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How to detox while still eating

Need to detox but don’t want to give up food for a week? We list a few simple ways – and the foods – that can help you do it.
Beyonce and Jay-Z adopted a vegan diet for the last days of 2013. Reuters
Beyonce and Jay-Z adopted a vegan diet for the last days of 2013. Reuters

The moment you utter the word “detox” your stomach begins to rumble in anticipation of the inevitable hunger that one expects when committing to a detox programme that usually consists of vegetable juices and nothing else. Juicing, it seems, has become the health and weight-loss secret of the well-being savvy and something of a hot nutrition trend.

But you don’t need to do just juice – Beyoncé and Jay Z know how it’s done, spending some of their last days of 2013 adopting a vegan diet. While there are many benefits of a vegetable-juice detox, it isn’t appropriate for everyone. If you are busy with family and work, or you just don’t want to give up food, then juicing may not be the best option for your well-being.

When deciding how to detox ­specifically for your body, it is ­important to consider your current state of health and your lifestyle. For example, are you are taking medication? Are you feeling unwell or have ­recently been ill? Are you under a lot of stress and pressure? Is your schedule packed to bursting?

All this may mean that while a detox would be a healthy option, a juice detox could do more harm than good. Remember, a detox is trying to rid your body of toxins and stress – if you are taking medication and under high stress with a hectic schedule then taking juices alone may be completely counterproductive.

The good news is you can still achieve amazing results with a detox programme that allows you to eat food: three meals a day – plus snacks. Of course, the magic lies in what you choose to eat.

To get an idea of what you could be eating while detoxing, check out these tips and the best detox foods, and try to stick to it for at least five days.

Go vegan

This means avoiding all animal foods and products – meat, fish, chicken, dairy and eggs. Most of these foods are eaten in excess and weigh heavy on your digestion. Going off them will give your body much-needed rest, allowing your system to process the excess. You’ll end up feeling lighter and more energised.

Say no to wheat, sugar and caffeine

All of these foods create toxicity and wreak havoc on your blood sugar. Cut them out of your diet and your body will be able to restore balance quickly. You’ll feel the results on your waistline and energy levels.

Drink water

Yes, we all know the benefits of drinking lots of water but during a detox it is essential, as this enables your body to flush toxins out of your system. During a detox you should aim to drink no less than three litres of still, room temperature, natural mineral water daily. This will also help reduce the headaches and tiredness from the lack of sugar and caffeine.

Go natural

Eat fresh foods such as fruit, vegetables, leafy greens, nuts, seeds, lentils, beans and whole grains such as oats, wild rice, quinoa and buckwheat. Keep your meals natural and fresh with smoothies, salads, soups, stir-fries and vegetable juices for snacks. Avoid all sodas, caffeinated beverages, processed foods, sweets, chocolate, salty foods and fried foods.

artsloife@thenational.ae

Updated: January 19, 2014 04:00 AM

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