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'Better than Detox' Challenge

After two weeks, you'll feel fresh and great with these do-able tips. All done without any horrid colonic irrigation, herbal potions or punishing exercise programs!

Detox. A word usually associated with drug and alcohol programs but in recent times, many people turn to detox diet programs to cleanse their body and liver after punishing food feasts and days of alcohol overload. Some people use food and drinks like others use drugs and alcohol; food and drink can act as pacifier-relaxants or stimulants. If you've been abusing food and so abusing your own body, then get back to basics to help invigorate and refresh your sluggish mistreated body. You can't truly cleanse the liver or purify the body, but you can add vitality and freshness that feels like purification. Take the challenge and try these tips for at least 2 weeks and see how you feel.

  • Drink more water and ditch the caffeine. Under-hydration may lead to lack of energy, tiredness, constipation (poor elimination of wastes and toxins), headache, and dull and aged looking skin. Ditch all caffeine (tea, coffee, guarana energy drinks, cola), diet drinks, sugared drinks, and alcohol. Start with at least 2 litres of water for a couple of days and then reduce down to about 1-1.5 litres daily after that. If you are overweight, you may need more water. If you are petite, you may need less. If you've been hitting the caffeine, then sudden withdrawal of all caffeine drinks will trigger a bad headache that could last days - be warned!


  • Enjoy at least 2 pieces of fresh fruit plus 2.5 cups of vegetables or 5 cups salad everyday. The softening fibre will bind cholesterol and improve bowel function. These add natural healing nutrients, cancer fighting agents, and vitamins and minerals to protect against anaemia. Eat at home more and avoid foods prepared away from your home because you don't know what's in them. Sudden increases in fruit and vegetables/salad might cause tummy wind and loose soft bowel motions, so be prepared for this side effect.


  • Turf out processed foods and stuff you think is junk. Move back to simple foods and add fresh herbs and spices rather than commercial salt laden sauces. Turf out the scales as well - lose that obsession and you'll be happier long term. Turn off the TV and make eating the event.


  • Open your lungs and be active for an extra 20 minutes each day. Deep breathe to relax and oxygenate your system and clear out stale air from deep in your lungs. The extra activity helps release stress and allows you to relax and maybe even sleep better. Open you ears and eyes to nature's relaxing sounds and images.


  • eXperiment with new fresh flavours and foods and extend the variety of real foods, not processed foods in your day. Find a new herb, fruit, vegetable or different grain and taste it. Aim for a new flavour everyday. Extend your time in the kitchen rather than the supermarket.


All 'detox' programs are a social challenge and require increased time and commitment in the kitchen.

The side effects from most 'detox' dietary programs include headache, abdominal wind, weight loss, and possible problems with gout and the gall bladder.


Warning: This two-week approach suits anyone who is basically healthy, but you are cautioned to seek advice from your own doctor and dietitian before starting any dietary program or major lifestyle changes, including this one. More radical 'detox' programs are not recommended, especially during pregnancy, or if you have a medical condition, a weakened immune system, or are very young or elderly.