I was thinking today about what might be most helpful when you first start adding more raw foods to your diet, and suddenly I thought of sharing some of my top detox tips.For some reason when I remembered my first detox experiences I also thought of an angry cat who looked something like this:
And so do you. You want a healthy, clean body full of energy. You want glowing skin that makes people do a double take if you tell them how old you are. You want to look as gorgeous as you know you can…and that’s all worth it, believe me!
So…back to our nut and bolts. What are the best ways to make detox a walk in the park rather than a run for the toilet?
My 7 Top Detox Tips
1) Be clear on what your long term goal is
Are you aiming for 100% raw? 80%? 50%? One raw meal a day? Two a week? Decide what is best for you.
Please don’t listen to anyone else’s suggestions on this one. Listen to yourself! I have heard advice from over 60+ raw food experts from around the world and have come to the conclusion that there is NOT one way – there’s just YOUR way.
So set a goal that feels really good to you: not so challenging that you feel daunted or stressed, but rather something exciting and fun, or at least a goal that gives you drive and purpose.
The goals of someone who wants to feed themselves and their family a bit more raw food are going to be very different from those of a person who has been diagnosed with a life-threatening disease and who wants the best nutritional support possible.
In fact, if you fit into this last category then I would suggest you get professional help in this area – you could start with the Hippocrates institute for example.
2) Know what to expect so that you don’t freak out
You may or may not experience headaches, gas, slight nausea, tiredness, a pasty tongue, mucus or congestion, diarrhea or constipation, trouble sleeping and cravings (particularly for unhealthy things like sugar or very fatty foods).
This can last from 1 to 3 days, after which things get better, I promise!
3) Go slowly – or at least at a pace that feels right for you, not someone else
Detox is definitely not a race. There are no prizes for ‘getting there first’, since it’s a journey and not a destination, I’m sorry to say.
Remember the story of the tortoise and the hare?
However, before you reach for a handful of something naughty in desperation, let me tell you that you do reach a point where you feel so different, so much more energetic, so much lighter, that in a way you will feel very much as if you have ‘arrived’.
There is always more to do, but then life is like that – there are always more countries to explore, more books to read…and more cleansing to do. Otherwise we’d be bored, right?
So respect your body’s needs and take your time. If you feel truly awful, then you’re probably going too fast.
4) Drink lots of fresh, unadulterated water
What do I mean by unadulterated water? Well, water that doesn’t have a lot of junk in it – so drink spring or filtered water if you possibly can.
Put a slice of lemon or lime in it to make it more appealing. Make some funny-shaped ice cubes and put in a fancy stirrer.
You want to feel like you’re treating yourself…because you are!
5) Rest when you need to
Your body is working really hard to get rid of all those toxins, so if you feel tired for those first few days, that’s a good sign! It means you’re successfully clearing out some stuff that is ‘better out than in’, so let your body do its work and curl up with a good novel!
Or if you’re like me and have a workaholic sub personality, put on an inspirational podcast so that at least you know you’re learning something!
6) If you need to slow down the process, it’s okay to have something ‘naughty’ as long as it isn’t junk food
This is a controversial one and I know there will be some people who will disagree with me on this, so you need to do what feels right to you.
Some people find they have to do things overnight or else it won’t work. Others are more comfortable with a slow and steady approach.
Only you will know what is best for you, because everybody else will tell you that their way is best…but they are not you! This includes me, of course!
I do remember though that I wasn’t able to consume huge amounts of raw food and juices all in one go – I’d be racing for the toilet a bit too much, or feeling tired for more than just a few days, which was my body’s way of telling me to slow down.
Although I’m usually jumping all over the place and really hate doing anything slowly, I did find that the odd small amount of cooked rice or potato or other cooked vegetables was actually really helpful for me. I just made sure I incorporated more and more of the good stuff in the long run.
This is speaking from 10 years’ experience now, mind you, and that was what was right for me at the time.
You’ll have to make your own decision on this one, but if you have any questions or comments do post them below and we can chat about it, which brings me to…
7) Connect, connect, connect!
Share your experiences with others, ask questions, read up on the subject… whatever you need to do to find some kinship on your journey.
You can post questions in the comments, or on my Facebook page.
It’s very important to me that everyone respect their own inner guidance, but I know that sometimes with so many conflicting opinions about what we should and shouldn’t eat, it can be a bit of a nutritional minefield.
So I hope you enjoy my top detox tips.
And if you’d like to enjoy a ‘live’ detox experience with me, I run gorgeous Raw Food Detox programs (pampering too!) in the gorgeous Cotswolds. More information about my retreats is here.