How and why to do a holistic detox. Nutrition coach Kaya Peters reveals the latest health trend in Hollywood circles – do try this at home!
The word ‘detox’ is often associated with deprivation, diet and generally forcing yourself to do something that makes you a bit miserable in the hope it’ll do you some good. This is far from a durable solution to a healthier body and a better lifestyle.
As an alternative, Holistic Detoxing focuses on cleansing the physical body and inner organs, releasing mental stress and quieting the mind; a combination that will help regain a state of physical and mental equilibrium.
While in other parts of the world, Holistic Detox is the Next Big Thing, no small thanks to celebrities like Heidi Klum and Elle Macpherson singing the praises of Holistic Detox programmes, the UAE is only now awakening to this trend in wellness.
So what does ‘holistic’ actually mean? It’s about focusing on all aspects of our being. Using mostly Eastern teachings as its basis, Holistic Medicine views a person as a whole, rather than just a body with a collection of symptoms. Examples of Holistic Medicine include Traditional Chinese Medicine, Yoga- related teachings and Ayurveda.
Where most detox programmes on the market work with fasting methods or drinking juices for several days in a row, Holistic Detoxing is a little different: A programme generally includes eating ‘clean’ or unprocesed natural, whole foods, which are easy on the digestive system and have additional cleansing value. Examples are steamed vegetables, salads and certain types of fruit. In addition, as much of a special cleansing broth and water can be consumed as needed along with herbal supplements to assist the body in its detox process.
CRAVINGS AND BINGES BEGONE
This ‘diet’ is combined with mild forms of exercise, stretching and breathing techniques, which work on the emotions, as well as getting plenty of rest.
So what are the benefits of doing a Holistic Detox? For a start, there’s the obvious health benefits of a clean digestive system, rejuvenated liver, new life energy and feeling light and healthy.
Another major advantage is that because this type of detox does not make you feel hungry or deprived, you’re less likely to suffer cravings and over-indulge in processed or junk food before or after starting.
he well-known ‘before diet binge’, where you can still eat whatever you want because ‘my diet will start tomorrow’ is taken away by using several days to prepare yourself for the detox.
In these first few days you cut out specific foods, like red meat, caffeine- based drinks, sugar and more. After the programme, you take the time to slowly go back to a long-term, healthy way of eating.
Another benefit is the fact that a programme like this can kick-start a weight-loss effort and greatly accelerate weight-loss results. This is because people with a lot of toxicity in their bodies often have a harder time dropping a few kilos than someone who is clean on the inside – the body protects your organs from these toxins by storing them in fat cells. Toxic fat is stubborn and more difficult to lose.
In addition, this type of programme will help you kick your addictions to sugar and carbs; appreciate the taste of simple foods, and help you create new and healthy habits for life. Ok, are you ready to do it? Here’s how:
DIY HOME HOLISTIC DETOX
Exclusively for the readers of Awakenings Middle East magazine, Kaya reveals her three-day Home Detox secrets:
To do your own mini detox at home, do the following over the course of three days.
- Avoid all caffeinated drinks like coffee and green tea
- Avoid all alcohol
- Avoid all red meat
- Avoid refined grains like white rice, white pasta, etc.
- Avoid wheat products
- Avoid dairy, except for live organic yoghurt
- Avoid nuts, except for soaked almonds (soak them for six hours or overnight)
- Focus on eating simple, one-ingredient foods
- Use herbal teas to assist in the cleansing process (dandelion, mint, chamomile, redbush/ rooibos etc)
- Drink three litres of water daily, and add one tablespoon of apple cider vinegar to each litre of water, this will help with liver detoxification.
THREE-DAY HOLISTIC DETOX MENU:
Wake-up: Two glasses of lukewarm water with the juice of half a squeezed lemon and a pinch of cayenne pepper
Breakfast: Two green apples, 1 handful of blueberries or other fresh, non-sugary fruits in the morning (any type of berries and occasionally papaya due to its beneficial effects on the digestive system) Snack: 15 almonds pre-soaked in water (six hours or overnight)
Lunch: Green salad, raw beetroot, beansprouts, and any other raw vegetable of choice (carrot, capsicum, lettuce, spinach, celery, etc), one cup of cooked quinoa, dressed in olive oil, apple cider vinegar and lemon juice.
Snack: Raw carrot and celery sticks
Dinner: Steamed broccoli (as much as you like), one cup of steamed pumpkin, one cup of steamed sweet potato.
Do this for three days and then slowly start adding other foods to your diet again, but stay away from anything processed, sugary and refined.
For a simple daily detox, just make sure to drink plenty of water, eat green vegetables every day, and have some lemon water in the morning before breakfast.
EXERCISE AND MINDFULNESS
Because this is a Holistic Detox, it’s not just about the food. Over the three days, take time every day for light exercise and a form of meditation. For example, a Hatha yoga class, a Bikram yoga class, a Pilates Core class, or just go for a walk.
In addition to moving your body, spend at least 10 minutes a day stilling your mind in meditation. This could be mantra chanting (search ‘mantra meditation’ on YouTube – there are thousands).
It could be staring silently at a candle flame; it could be simply watching your breath; it could be putting your iPod earphones in and listening to deep relaxation music like a Tibetan bowl session (again, loads on YouTube). Or you could do a guided meditation such as chakra cleansing either by yourself or at a local healing centre such as Illuminations in JLT. Experiment, search the internet and try something you’ve not done before.
Need some help or want to know more? Kaya offers one-on-one Holistic Detox in the UAE or online. Her programmes are based on the teachings of Traditional Chinese Medicine, Yoga and whole food nutrition. Her seven-day detox works on cleansing the inner organs through the five elements using foods and flavours. Kaya is a certified Yoga teacher and holistic practitioner. Read more on www.kayapeters.com and click the ‘get started’ tab.