My friend Green Dean launched a 7 day belly detox challenge via facebook and I was intrigued. I met Dean late last year though a mutual friend when I did an urban gardening workshop with him. And I was inspired to re-invigorate my veggie patch. A few weeks later I dragged hubby and Mr12 along to do a chicken workshop - we are now the proud owner of four beautiful chickens who each give us an egg most days. I really like his philosophy to food and life in general so I thought I'd give his detox a go.
|Our gorgeous girls scoffing down a bowl of yogurt|
I slowly and steadily lost about 7kg over the last six months, but the excesses of Christmas and a week in Sydney and Canberra last week resulted in a couple of those returning, along with a feeling of general malaise. Not to mention the little podgy bloat-belly that resurfaced. Yuk.
Dean's challenge didn't look all that hard. And I loved it was only 7 days. Even though I knew that would be a massive struggle, especially as I had many social engagements during the week! [Note to self, don't book in eight coffee meetings and lunches in detox week...]
There were ten simple rules:
- No dairy - this would be my toughest challenge, despite not eating a wide variety of dairy I do love my cheese. Far more than it loves me. Luckily a bit of plain yogurt was allowed
- No wheat products - I love bread too. It also doesn't love me. Oh well...
- No meat or animal products including eggs. This was a toughie as I have an egg for breakfast nearly every day.
- No sugar - surprisingly this was the easiest. I did sneak in a few medjool dates
- No salt - again, not too difficult given there were no eggs, one of the few things I do add salt too.
- No caffeine - I am sick of drinking peppermint tea!
- No alcohol - again, surprised by how easy this was. No, I was shocked.
- No white or refined foods - including pasta, white rice, pastry, bread
- Drink at least 2L of water a day - something I already did
- Make and drink the two green smoothies Dean recommended every day.
|Dean's belly fruit smoothie - banana, blueberries, green leaves, yogurt, mango, prunes, linseed, sunflower seed, aloe vera juice|
|This was my favourite. Dean's belly green smoothie - banana, avocado, cucumber, green leaves, mint, honey, sunflower seeds, almonds|
So. There you have it. Not too difficult.
So how did I go? Well, I lasted five days, with one meal including haloumi and a tiny bit of seafood on a couple of occasions. I was very impressed with myself.
|My almost-detox lunch - stunning salad with a few different tomatoes, basil, red onion, olive tapenade, avocado, haloumi. From Kitchen Sanitarium cafe on Eagle Street. One of the best lunches I've had in town for ages. A vegetarian cafe that I will definitely return to.|
I'll definitely incorporate a lot of what I did over the last five days into my regular diet. Including:
- starting the day with a mug of warm-hot water with the juice of half a squeezed lemon
- eating a bit more fruit - aiming for 1 piece a day
- eating lots of veggies, especially raw. I'm a big veggie eater anyway, but usually cooked. Aiming for more raw
- limiting how much cheese I eat - I probably don't need it every day. Sigh.
- we had cut down our meat consumption significantly in 2012 but I'm aiming for 2 vegetarian days a week in 2013 - a great excuse to use all my vegetarian cookbooks
- I don't eat a lot of sugar anyway, but I love baking. I've discovered rapadura sugar and am using maple syrup a lot more as a sweetener - the real stuff, not that fake nastiness
- less alcohol - aim for 4-5 alcohol free days a week
- a few green smoothies every week
- much less wheat - I've just bought 10kg of organic spelt flour so am going to do more baking and bread making with that so I'm not tempted to eat wheat based products. Spelt flour makes great muffins and pizza bases AND my tummy loves it!
- I don't drink a lot of caffeine - 1-2 cups of tea a day and usually only 3-4 coffees a week, so I doubt I'll change that
- I also don't eat a lot of salt as I don't buy or eat many packaged foods. A blood test a few months ago actually showed my sodium levels were on the too-low level so I add a bit of salt to foods to get it into the healthy range. And yes, the odd pack of chips.
|Celebrating the premature end of my detox with scrambled egg, sauteed mushroom, smoked salmon and a much loved cup of tea [Twinings English Breakfast of course!]|
So that's me. What are your detoxing experiences? Have you ever done one? Would you consider one? This one was very gentle, and apart from a headache on the second afternoon I felt great for most of it. I also didn't feel too hungry, other than 2-3 occasions when I snacked on a few nuts and dates. Unsalted of course!