At this time of year I, like many, want to start the year a little bit cleaner and clearer, beginning as I mean to go on. For the last couple of years I’ve used the detox system created by Dr Joshi to reach this goal. It’s called the holistic detox or Alkaline detox. The principle of the detox is to reduce acid in the body and increase your internal alkaline balance. I’ve done the detox about 5 times and have always found the results so beneficial; not just feeling cleaner and losing a couple of pounds but I sleep better, feel less stressed, have better digestion, my skin is improved, and I also feel happier on the Joshi detox. My energy is more stable on this detox, and I don’t get the peaks and troughs of high energy and then low blood sugar “shakes” that I can sometimes get if I’m eating a lot of bread or carbs.
The detox lasts for 21 days and requires you to cut out foods that cause acid in the body: namely wheat, dairy, caffeine, red meat, alcohol, sugar, fruit (except bananas), deadly nightshades (i.e. potatoes, tomatoes, cucumbers, courgettes, aubergines)
You can eat: chicken, fish (not shellfish), gluten free bread, avocados, bananas, rice, gluten free oats, all veg (except deadly nightshades), rice milk or soya milk, goats cheese or mozzarella, sheep’s yoghurt, green tea, eggs, honey or maple syrup, olive oil, sweet potatoes (as an alternative to regular potatoes), and nut butter made with almonds or hazelnuts as a good alternative to peanut butter-which isn’t allowed on the diet.
Dairy free spread is a tasteless alternative to yummy butter, but I really find that it makes all the difference to stick to the diet rules and not have butter during the 21 days. You can also use avocado as a butter alternative which is really tasty.
I always start the detox at the weekend so that if I have any withdrawal symptoms from caffeine, like headaches or tiredness, I can rest and not have to concentrate hard on work or manage the week’s schedule. Over the years, I’ve reduced my caffeine intake anyway so these days when I do the detox, I don’t suffer with too many initial side effects and I just drink loads of green tea which has a bit of caffeine in it anyway.
In order to really feel the benefits, it’s ideal to combine the detox with an exercise regime – I like to get up a bit earlier than normal and do some yoga (I follow the Rodney Yee DVD for a dynamic yoga practice of 30 minutes) followed by 20 minutes meditation. For me, it’s the best way to start the day. And combined with the detox, I quickly feel really great, calm and happy.
If you buy the book – you can buy it so cheaply 2nd hand online these days – Joshi provides detailed information on how the system works and also provide recipes that you can follow. I also purchased Gwyneth Paltrow’s cook book called “It’s All Good”, which includes lots of delicious recipes to compliment the diet.
I especially recommend these meals in particular during the detox which work really well at any time of year. Breakfast options:
- buckwheat pancakes – sweet with honey and banana, or salty with avocado and tamari sauce
- porridge using gluten free oats – with maple syrup and coconut milk
- boiled egg with gluten free toast and dairy free spread
- home made granola made with gluten free oats and also with nuts and seeds
- mackerel and spinach salad with egg and a sheep’s yoghurt dressing
- tofu wiener sausages with sauerkraut on gluten free bread
- grilled chicken breast with avocado on gluten free toast
- rice noodle salad with a cup of miso soup
- Kedgeree – I use the classic Delia Smith recipe which has a curry flavour and using brown rice and smoked haddock, this is a delicious supper and great breakfast option too.
- Chicken noodle soup – the classic Jewish penicillin recipe is great but use rice noodles or ‘free from’ spaghetti or you can do a Japanese style and use Japanese vegetables and flavours including sesame oil, garlic, tamari sauce, and pla pla fish sauce for extra flavour
- Lentil dhal and rice. This is such a great meal for this detox and you can make it more interesting with delicious side dishes of spinach and mushrooms, poppadums, and roasted cauliflower with cumin seeds
- Roast chicken with roasted sweet potatoes and other vegetables.
I really find that this detox is the most easy and effective way to cleanse and start the year on a positive footing; helping to recover from the excesses of Christmas and new year celebrations while also eating food that I love and not having to feel like I’m missing out on many foods that I like.
If I’m really missing chocolate or sweet things, I’ll cheat a little with a cocoa Nakd bar . It doesn’t have sugar, but it does have fruit (dates). I find this helps psychologically if I need a little boost. Doing a detox can sometimes bring out negative emotions until my system is re-balanced, so it’s good to bear that in mind if you’re planning a January detox either with the Joshi method or other.
I hope you’ve found this blog useful. I’ve recommended this particular detox to many friends who have also found it not only does the job (ie feel more vital, brighter, happier as well as lighter) but its constructed in a sustainable where you don’t feel like you’re denying yourself delicious meals or having to go through massive hunger pangs for the period of the detox.
Let us know if you’ve also benefited from this detox or any other january detox experiences.
Here’s to a happy and healthy 2015!