Wow, what an amazing experience - and that is not what you would expect to be saying after two weeks of not eating all the things you thought you loved and couldn't go without!
Yesterday was my final day of eating the cleanest diet I am ever likely to have consumed, having removed all foods that may be slightly toxic to the body, either because they are produced using chemicals (pesticides, mercury in fish etc), or may naturally cause intolerances (gluten, dairy, deadly nightshade family, soy). And having cut out lots of foods, this meant I could increase the remaining food groups, and eat far more!
This was the interesting bit - to start with my weight started to drop, but I didn't want to lose weight, I just wanted to eat healthily and be sure to rid my body of unwanted toxins. So each day I would weigh myself and if it looked like my weight was dropping I increased my intake of delicious foods that day - what could be better?!
And now I'm back to a 'normal' diet, I don't want any of those bad foods back, because I feel so great without them - more energy, amazingly smooth skin and very focused brain-wise!
This is what a detox should be, it's not about losing weight and starving yourself - for detoxification to work well it needs lots of nutrient support, so increasing your intake of colourful vegetables, fibre and plenty of liquid is hugely important.
De-stressing yourself mentally and physically also helps - taking long relaxing Epsom salt baths, having a massage, or even just going for a long relaxed walk in the countryside, all help towards a more relaxed you and hopefully a more relaxed digestive system.
Changing the way you eat also encourages you to try new foods and recipes, and even though I cook for a living (so you would think I had cooked pretty much everything!), I leant a lot having less ingredients to play with, but love some of the new recipes I have come up with.
My favourite of course has to be replacing the one thing I thought I couldn't live without - creamy natural yoghurt. But guess what? Creamy homemade coconut milk yoghurt is just as tasty and fits in perfectly with my thoughts on eating a dairy-free diet (we should all be doing it!).
Even entertaining became fun - the recipe below I cooked for a friend who is now converted to quinoa, and who knows, I may even get her to join me on the detox programme next year!
If you'd like to join us too, do get in touch.
Grilled Mackerel with Quinoa Beetroot Tabbouleh
225 g quionoa
125 g cooked beetroot, diced
1 carrot, peeled and grated
large handful parsley, chopped
large handful mint, chopped
large handful coriander, chopped
large handful chives, chopped
1/2 cucumber, diced
juice of 1 lime
1-2 tbsp good tasting extra virgin olive oil
8 mackerel fillets
Cook the quinoa in simmering water according to the pack instructions. Drain and refresh under cold water then drain and place in a large bowl.
Stir in the diced beetroot, grated carrot, chopped herbs and cucumber.
Squeeze in the lime juice and pour over the olive oil, mix and season well. Leave to stand at room temperature.
Grill the mackerel fillets for 3-4 minutes each side and serve on a bed of the colourful salad.
Tip: As with all my recipes, this is just an idea - change it to suit your taste - different herbs, chopped avocado, fresh anchovies, toasted seeds - the list is endless - have fun!
Happy Healthy Eating,