Happy Belly Happy Heart

A blog dedicated to nutrition, wellbeing and happiness. I believe the key to a good life begins with what you choose to put into your body. A happy belly = a happy mind = a happy heart.

A Simple Diet to Cleanse and Detoxify Your System

fruits, veg & juicesI’ve always wanted to try fasting. There are many reported health benefits of going without food for short periods of time and the 5:2 intermittent fasting diet (where you eat normally for 5 days and fast on the other 2) seems to have had a lot of press lately. Even the NHS reports that studies show this fasting diet can aid in weight loss and help reduce the risk of diseases such as type 2 diabetes and certain obesity-related cancers.

Absolute fasting, however, would not be practical whilst maintaining a normal Western lifestyle. Personally speaking, I’m sure I wouldn’t be able to keep up my daily Ashtanga yoga practice, let alone function properly at work, whilst fasting!

However, the module I’m currently studying in my BSY Group nutrition course outlines a cleansing diet which presents a much safer and more practical alternative to fasting.

The premise of this cleansing diet is that it’s highly alkalising, which makes it particularly useful for arthritis sufferers as it strips away the acid build-up responsible for inflammation in the joints. It can also be very beneficial for cancer sufferers and others with serious illnesses, as well as anyone looking to lose weight, eliminate toxins, revitalise the body and clear the mind.

It’s a very simple diet which involves eating only fruits and vegetables and drinking only distilled or filtered water, herbal teas and fresh fruit or vegetable juices for either 5, 7 or 10 days. You can also add the following amounts of neutral or alkalising foods to the diet:

  • Brown rice: up to 1 cooked cup per dayAlmonds and avocados
  • Almonds: up to 20 per day
  • Avocado: up to 1/2 a small avocado per day

The fruit & veg should be consumed with as few combinations as possible at each meal and should never be eaten together, i.e. you should eat either fruits or vegetables for each meal or juice.

It’s not uncommon to experience a ‘healing crisis’ in the first few days of such a cleanse. As the calorie intake is lowered, excess fat is burnt off quicker, taking with it any toxins stored within the fat. If the liver and kidneys are unable to eliminate these toxins faster than they start entering the bloodstream, this can lead to a temporary feeling of unwellness.  However, these reactions shouldn’t last long and by the end of the detoxification you should be feeling much lighter and stronger with higher energy levels.

It can be useful to supplement this diet with digestive enzymes to reduce flatulence and bloating, and with enemas and colonic irrigation to cleanse the bowel and multiply the effectiveness of the detoxification process.

I should point out that this diet is not suitable for pregnant or breast-feeding women, people who are severely anaemic or nutritionally deficient, or the elderly. If in doubt, you should seek medical advice before attempting any cleansing programme.

I intend to put this diet into practice very soon. I have a buddy to do it with, which should help with the motivation and recipe ideas. So all I need now is to get myself a juicer and decide on the most appropriate event-free week in which to do it!

If you’ve tried this or a similar cleansing diet I’d love to hear about your experience and whether it’s made a difference to your overall health. Please leave a comment below. And wish me luck!

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2 Quick & Easy Veggie Meals

avocadoThings have been a little hectic the last couple of weeks, what with my sister visiting from New Zealand, both my Grannies in and out of hospital, various social engagements to arrange and my normal work and yoga routine to fit in as well!

I’ve had a couple of ideas for blog topics but haven’t had time to research or write about them, so instead I thought I’d share a couple of my favourite easy dinners, which I’ve been enjoying recently. They’re both quick to make whilst still being filling and nutritious, but I’m afraid they were too delicious to stop and take photos!

Beans on Toast Supremebeans-on-toast

  1. Heat a small can of baked beans.
  2. Add some chopped avocado into the beans 1-2 mins before taking off the hob.
  3. Pour the bean & avocado mix over 2 slices of hot buttered wholemeal or seeded toast.
  4. Sprinkle with grated cheddar cheese and freshly ground black pepper.
  5. Enjoy!

Deluxe Poached Eggs on Toast

  1. Melt some butter in a pan and add a bunch of spinach. Cook for 3-4 mins until wilted.
  2. Poach 2 free-range eggs (I use silicone egg poachers in a covered pan of boiling water).poached-egg-with-spinach
  3. Toast and butter 2 slices of wholemeal or seeded bread.
  4. Place a slice of vegetarian ham on each piece oftoast (I like Redwood’s Cheatin’ Ham Style Slices).
  5. Cover the ham with the wilted spinach and place the poached eggs on top.
  6. Sprinkle with grated cheddar cheese, freshly ground black pepper and a sprig of parsley.
  7. Enjoy!
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