Want to try a cleanse but intimidated by the commitment of most detox diets? You don’t need to swear off sugar or only drink juices for days or weeks at a time. You can detox your body in one day.
A short cleanse not only gives you the kick you need to get back on a healthy track, it also gives your body a rest from hard-to-digest and blood sugar-spiking foods. And you won’t get any of the harm that you would from restrictive long-term cleanses. ‘Especially if done often or followed for a long time, [cleanses] can be harmful and cause unpleasant side effects such as cramping, bloating, nausea, vomiting, dehydration, headaches, lack of energy and dizziness,’ warns Dietitians of Canada. And, any plan that involves any amount of fasting may trigger disordered eating or nutrient deficiencies.
Instead, think of a one-day detox as a reset button; a reminder of how your body feels when it’s fed healthy foods and is well hydrated. You’ll be inspired to eat healthy again. Firouze Zeroual, co-founder of Reset Yourself, whose celebrity client list includes actress and director, Robin Wright, gives her tips on how to do a one-day detox.
Foods To Avoid: This may seem obvious, but skip foods that with added sugar, like milk, sauces or sweet cereals. Also pass on anything that is processed, manufactured or packaged. Salt is also on the don’t-eat list, as it can cause bloating. And the same goes for caffeine from coffee, black tea and chocolate. This will also avoid added sugars and food preservatives. Meat does take longer to digest, so avoid high-fat proteins and red meat. Think of it as a day of eating healthy whole foods. You can avoid dairy, too, if you find it hard on your digestive system.
Nutrients Required: A healthy detox plan will include a variety of nutritious foods, dietary fibre and fluids. In addition to drinking juices and soups that are made with fruits and vegetables, make sure you include solid and raw foods in the form of salads, smoothies and whole-food snacks, like nuts and seeds. For protein, go for plant-based protein or if you must, small portions of lean meat. You’ll want a balanced approach to food to make sure that you get your required nutrients, including antioxidants like vitamin C and metabolism-boosting micronutrients, like B vitamins.
Your One-Day Detox Diet Schedule
9:30 p.m. the previous night
Go to bed early. Make sure your bedroom is cool. And don’t watch anything stimulating on TV, such as the news or a drama. ‘To optimize this one-day detox, make it a mind-body experience,’ says Zeroual, who is also a holistic nutrition and health coach.
Wake up, meditate and breathe. Start your day with a fresh mind. ‘It’s calming, soothing and centering,’ says Zeroual.
Drink spring or filtered water and have a light breakfast, such as a smoothie and a handful of nuts.
Check in your technology. ‘Do a digital detox day, while you’re at it,’ says Zeroual. ‘Put aside your smartphone, tablet and computer for just these 24 hours.’ This will give you some much needed rest from stress. So be mindful of which day you choose to do the detox; a workday probably isn’t realistic.
Have a snack and drink water. This can be a bowl of soup (see recipe below) or some fruit. ‘This is a carrot-based soup and contain a very good balance of vitamins and minerals such as vitamin A (beta carotene), B, C and E. It is also rich in bioavailable calcium,’ says Zeroual.
You’ll be hungry for lunch, so enjoy a hearty bowl of soup, steamed veggies, some lean protein and a glass of water.
Before you have another snack and drink water, try a breathing exercise for five to 10 minutes.
Go for a quick jaunt. ‘A brisk walk does wonders for blood circulation,’ says Zeroual.
Have another hearty bowl of soup for dinner. And pair it with a delicious salad (no cheese).
Do a calming yoga session.
Think of reasons you’re grateful today.
Detox Carrot Soup
from the Reset Booster Cleanse
1 small bag organic baby carrots (or stalk of carrots, peeled and cut into ¼-inch chunks)
2 stalks celery, cut in quarters
1 large yellow onion, chopped
15 oz organic vegetable or chicken stock
1 tsp pickling spice
In large soup pot, cook carrots, celery and onion in stock; bring to boil.
Add pickling spice in cheese cloth or tea strainer and place in pot (it will float on or near the top).
Simmer vegetables and spice for 40 minutes or until vegetables are very tender.
Remove from stovetop. Remove pickling spice and discard.
Skim foam off top of soup. Let cool slightly.
Using a slotted spoon, scoop out vegetables and place in blender; add vegetables until the blender is one third full.
Now pour stock from pot into blender until blender is two-thirds full.
Blend on low to puree into a creamy, slightly thick consistency (add more vegetables if too thin).
Pour this first batch into very large container or separate smaller containers that you can freeze individually. Continue to blend vegetables and stock in small batches in blender and store.
Serve warm. Will keep in refrigerator one week; will keep in freezer several months.
Option: Add peeled and chopped ginger and/or cumin.