If you feel that it’s time for a detox, you may find it easier if you get yourself well prepared before you start. Not just your mind and body, but your kitchen cupboards too!
The typical physical effects of a surfeit of toxins – caused by, for example, pollution, detergents, food and drinks – are tiredness, dull skin, weight gain, bloating and mood swings. If you have noticed one or more of those tell-tale signs, your body is probably crying out for a detox. So, it’s important to understand that detoxing is as much a mental process as a physical one and everyone advises that a little preparation goes a long way. And, a detox done properly, will lead to better skin, better sleep, brighter eyes, more energy and a hightened sense of inner calm.
If you have any allergies or a medical condition, check with your doctor before detoxing.
All detox plans focus on a change of eating habits which means a special diet, fasting or a combination of both. A quick-cleanse detox takes 2-3 days but the most effective cleanses last between a fortnight to a month. But the good news is that most people begin to feel the benefits after just a few days. So, firstly, decide when to begin your detox. January is always a popular time, but Spring is a perfect time to start too. A big occasion, like a party or wedding, can also be a great motivation.
However, don’t set yourself unrealistic goals. Remember that a good detox is about health and dropping a dress size should be regarded as a fabulous bonus rather than the primary objective.
Most professionals recommend that you start to develop good habits one month before, and cut out processed foods, caffeine (remember, there’s caffeine in tea too), refined sugar, preservatives, alcohol, salty foods, additives and tobacco. And the easiest way to do this is to purge your kitchen, your larder and your fridge and start shopping for the right foods (see our recommended shopping list – in the column on the right). Organic is best. Stock up on fruit, vegetables, nuts and seeds. Also try to make one meal a day completely ‘raw’ (uncooked).
Get your body used to drinking a glass of warm, filtered water with lemon first thing in the morning which kick-starts digestion and aids your immune system.
Drink two litres of water a day, but remember not to drink during meal times as this impairs digestion.
Avoid adding salt to your meals. Use salty alternatives such as tamari, soy sauce or fish sauce – but sparingly, as they are still loaded with salt.
Mentally prepare for possible side effects. Your body will release toxins and for some people this can result in mood swings and headaches. Practice coping strategies for if they strike.
Many people find the rigours of detoxing too difficult to handle alone and that a communal spirit in a managed environment makes all the difference. The Healthy Holiday Company recommends week long in:spa retreats (available in Marrakech, Andalusia and the South of France) if you would like to join a small group of like-minded people in the sunshine and combine your cleansing detox with lots of great distractions like yoga, hiking, fitness training and massages.
There are lots of lovely hotels and boutique resorts that we can also recommend that offer 3 to 21 night detox programmes. See the selection of detox programmes below.
There are lots more options too, (see all detox programmes) and our travel specialists can help advise on the best option for you. Please just call 020 8968 0501
Here’s a simple shopping list for you, which will ensure you have all nutrients covered as you start to stock up your fridge with healthy foods.
Keeping a selection of dried and canned food in the cupboards means you’re never stuck for a meal, even if it’s a quick one involving opening a can. A wide selection of spices and other condiments means you can jazz up any meal.
With over 15 years experience, we’re travel experts
Fully tailored holidays, exactly as you want them.
All of our holidays are financially protected by the ATOL scheme and Protected Trust Services.
Our experienced team at your destination will look after you every step of the way.