Dr. Joanna McMillan Price is a registered nutritionist and dietician with a PhD in nutritional science from the University of Sydney. She is the resident nutrition expert for Channel 9’s Today Show, health and fitness writer for the magazine Life etc., consultant dietician to Slimming & Health, the author of Reality Food (ABC Books), and co-author of The Low GI Diet and The Low GI Diet Cookbook (Hachette Livre) and Gut Reactions (ABC Books) amongst others.
I’m not a big fan of detox diets. The whole idea of toxins building in your body that you then need to flush out with a special diet, supplements or herbs has no scientific grounding whatsoever. Normally functioning liver and kidneys do a pretty amazing job of detoxifying and eliminating anything that needs to be. It’s true that some toxins can be found in our fat tissue, but there is no easy way of getting rid of those.
However there is merit to giving your liver, kidneys and your digestive system a break. The liver is an amazing organ in that it regularly regenerates cells and can therefore heal itself if it gets enough of a break. Problems happen when it doesn’t get that break. Drinking alcohol every day for example will eventually destroy parts of your liver, but allow at least a couple of alcohol-free days every week and you give it the chance to regenerate and stay healthy. Similarly the gut has a fair onslaught of work to do day in day out, and so giving it a rest and time for a bit of a clear out is a good idea.
To that end try taking our Pureau Cleanse. This is designed to reduce toxins like alcohol and processed foods full of unhealthy fats, additives and refined carbohydrates. At the same time it increases your intake of essential nutrients including vitamins, minerals, fibre, omega-3 fats and phytonutrients (= plant nutrients). You will of course also stay well hydrated and ensure adequate fluid intake for good functioning of the gut, liver and kidneys by drinking at least a litre and a half of Pureau water every day. More on hot days and when you are exercising. Overall the energy intake will be much lower than you normally eat so you can expect to lose some weight, but it is NOT supposed to be a crash diet. Weight loss is not the primary outcome although it will help you to reduce your intake after the cleanse as you become accustomed to eating less food.
A note on caffeine – caffeine is a stimulant and does affect some people more than others. However despite much mud being slung at coffee, nothing much sticks! In fact there are more positive findings in the coffee research than negative. Nevertheless many of us start to rely too much on the coffee pick-me-up and in my experience it does do most people some good to cut it out, or at least back for a few days. Often it’s the additions to the coffee that is the problem more than the coffee itself – sugar, flavoured syrups and lots of full cream milk for example. What I recommend for the cleanse is to switch to tea – both green and black tea contain caffeine but in smaller quantities than coffee and they have many health benefits backed up with good research. But if you’d prefer to go completely caffeine-free choose herbal teas in stead.
Try to do the Cleanse for 1-3 days.
Drink 250ml glass of Pureau on waking.
Bowl of fresh fruit salad (any fruit you like) with unsweetened natural yoghurt and a handful of mixed nuts and seeds sprinkled on top. Cup of tea of your choice.
Boil or poach 2 eggs and serve with veggies of your choice eg steamed asparagus, handful of spinach, grilled or raw tomato, mushrooms sautéed in a little olive oil.
Throughout morning sip on 500ml Pureau.
Large salad of greens (choose from spinach, rocket, watercress, salad mixes, snow pea sprouts), chopped capsicum, tomato, cucumber, avocado, beetroot and any other veg you like. Drizzle with a really good quality extra virgin Australian olive oil. Serve with either a grilled chicken breast, smoked salmon fillet or can of tuna. For vegetarians you can substitute marinated tofu or a can of mixed beans for the meat or fish.
Drink 250ml Pureau water
Throughout afternoon sip on 500ml Pureau.
Snack – bag of mixed nuts, seeds and if you like dried fruit mix.
Steam or grill a fish fillet, preferably an oily fish such as salmon or trout. Serve with as many mixed veggies as you can – either steam them or stir fry them in Camellia tea oil (available in the health aisle of the supermarket) or avocado oil. Top the veggies with the fish and squeeze over half a lemon and add a tablespoon of pesto for flavour.
If following for 3 days on day 2 substitute chicken for the fish, and on day 3 substitute a lean red meat.
No bread, rice, pasta or breakfast cereals
No added refined sugars