Kerryn Boogaard Kerryn Boogaard
Beverly Goldsmith Beverly Goldsmith
Zoe Bingley-Pullin Zoe Bingley-Pullin

To detox or not?:

Every time there's a celebration, there's also talk of detox - but is it a good thing? Read about Loudy's recent experience.
By Loudy Wiggins
Date: April 12 2015
Tags: detox body,
Editor Rating:
detox-leaf-stones

I am no stranger to the concept of a detox; I remember doing my first “cleanse” when I was 15 years old. I’m not sure what I was detoxing from. I didn’t drink, I didn’t smoke, I ate freshly home cooked meals and trained for 25 hours a week.

Perhaps it was chlorine that I was trying to rid my system of, but I took the advice of Dolly Magazine and ate fruit every two hours for 2 – 4 days. I kid you not. I know the sugar-watchers would be cringeing at the thought of so much fructose, but after the two days my tummy was flatter and I was 1.5kg lighter. My eczema had cleared and I felt good.

Would I let my daughter of the same age embark on such drastic measures? No, I would cringe at the thought and jump up and down protesting but, as my own mother knows, I’d probably have no choice.

Detoxing is never about losing weight. Or it shouldn’t be. There’s something about overindulging and stress that leaves our bodies feeling sluggish and our brains foggy. Even the mere thought of detoxing (in my case at least) can help set healthy habits and makes us feel 'clean'. For most it represents the start of a journey.

The medical professionals argue that our bodies should function efficiently enough that we shouldn’t need to “detox”. 

When I came back from a four-week holiday and road trip after Christmas I didn’t feel well. I felt like I was bordering on getting sick the entire time. My diet was ok during my holiday, but it was different. I even tried to exercise as much as I could. Being out of routine though, left me feeling fatigued and hazy. My kids hadn’t slept much (meaning I hadn’t slept) for the entirety of the trip. We sat in a car every day for about five hours and snacked on so many rice crackers and packaged snack foods post Christmas binge that my body didn’t know what was going on. I also didn’t drink enough water. 

Then I saw Karmic Cold Pressed Juices via the pages of my Facebook newsfeed. With the promise of only 5% fructose and cold pressed juice (which maintains more vitamins in the way it’s juiced, opposed to the normal juice machine at your local cafe), I was sold. It seemed too good to be true. The price was justifiable and I didn’t have to do a thing, just hand over my credit card and the juice was delivered two days later.

My biggest concern with my diet and embarking on a detox is my coffee dependance in the morning. One coffee as soon as I wake, with milk and - hold your breath - sugar. I can’t kick the habit, nor do I really want to, but I thought if I’m going to do this I want to do it properly.

The two day juice cleanse consisted of the following:

  • 1 serve of Lemon Spice (lemon, water and cayenne pepper)
     
  • 2 serves of Leafy Green (spinach, kale, celery etc)
     
  • 2 serves of Red Raw (which includes beetroot etc.)
     
  • 1 serve of Sun Glow blends (capsicum, carrot etc)
     
  • 1 serve of Almond Chai milk.

Karmic offered an excellent service. Home delivery, as well as constant communication and follow-up during the cleanse itself to ensure you are feeling ok; an abundance of information of what is happening to your body and why you feel the way you do. Medically proven or not, it helped.

Ideally I wanted to do my cleanse over a weekend so I could shut myself away from the world, but we arrived back from holidays on a Friday and I didn’t get my order sent off in time. So I started on a Monday morning. The lemon spice was a brilliant way to start the day and a habit to keep, but I spent the first 6 hours fighting with myself over having a coffee or not. I didn’t.

I didn’t find the not eating part very difficult, but I did forget to drink additional water for the first few hours, which I think is really important. The juices themselves, which come in glass containers and are recyclable, were delicious. Even now when I buy a store or café bought fresh juice it is just not the same.

On the afternoon of Day 1, I had to confine myself to a dark room with no contact with the outside world. My head was pounding and there was no relief in sight. Amazing how one little coffee a day is such an addiction. The withdrawals from caffeine were ridiculous. I did also feel a bit peckish, but mostly because I had to feed the kids dinner – it’s hard not to eat, when everyone else is eating! I had a small nectarine and a Lebanese cucumber. Which was enough for me. If you are going to embark on something like this, it’s so important to listen to your body.

If not eating scares you, or you are very active, Karmic also offer an “Active Cleanse” which is probably the one I would recommend for Personal Training clients, if they had to work. It comes with suggested meals to eat with your daily juice intake.

By day 2 my headache had disappeared. I managed to drink herbal tea on this day and also have some steamed asparagus before I had clients in the evening. By the time I got to the studio, I was buzzing with energy and felt brilliant. I was itching to exercise, but this is also not recommended on a cleanse. It’s all about rest and recovery of the mind and body.

The juice cleanse itself is only 500 calories, so it’s no wonder I lost about 1.3kg. I wouldn’t recommend it as a weight loss solution, but possibly a kick-start if you feel like you need one. The 500-calorie concept is similar to the 5:2 fasting diet, but I don’t think I could do this every week. I read recently that doctors are worried that there isn’t enough protein consumed on a detox and this could be damaging to your health – but you’re not being asked to do this every day for the rest of your life. It is designed as a break. It is as much a mental journey as it is a physical one.

Once my two days was up, I certainly wasn’t putting anything remotely processed in my body, so for me it was a great kick-start to my working year. I was mentally clear and whilst I am not able to control the amount I sleep because of my two little angels, I definitely was not as fatigued or lethargic. I felt ready to tackle the world.

Would I do it again? Most definitely. I look forward to it in fact.

Would I recommend it? That’s a tricky question. For me, this was a very personal journey. If someone asks me about it, I will rave about it until the cows come home, but I think it’s a personal decision to make - once you've consulted with your health experts and advisors. 

As for the coffee, my addiction is back. Until next time …

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