Sara Southgate - Naturopath & Herbalist

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04 Jan

Detox Eating Plan

Digestion takes up 50% of your body’s energy. Digestion takes up 50% of your body’s energy.

Digestion takes up 50% of your body’s energy. Eating easily digestible foods will mean you get the best results from your detoxification because doing so allows the body to divert energy usually taken up with digesting complex foods to cleansing.

The principle is simple and perhaps best explained using a simple analogy: if you were to take time off work you would have more time on your hands, which you could use to do all those little jobs that need doing, but you never get around to – the type that won’t cause the house to fall down if they don’t get done, although it would be cleaner and less prone to going wrong if you did defrost the fridge and clean and organise the shed etc. Your body works in a similar way, in that it prioritises some jobs and leaves other less vital things until it has more energy to deal with them. By eliminating those foods your body finds hard to digest (i.e. those that require more energy) you free up energy to complete those ‘little’ jobs, meaning the body will be able to function more efficiently once it has everything in order.

Foods to eat plenty of
All fresh organic vegetables and fruits, preferably cooked – steamed, baked or boiled in the minimum of water. You can also ‘steam-fry’ vegetables, using a tablespoon of water in place of oil and covering the pan. All wholegrains such as brown rice, rye, quinoa or millet. Blended soups are a good way of eating plenty of fresh warming vegetables, and miso soup is an extremely healthy addition to anyone’s diet. Fresh herbs and spices should be plentiful, especially ginger and garlic, as they are both warming and detoxifying. Proteins should be lentils, pulses or nuts and seeds and should be eaten once a day only, although do increase this if you find you are lacking energy. Sprouted seeds should be eaten at least once daily and can be sprinkled onto any meal. Organic unsulphured dried fruits make filling and portable snacks.

Drink plenty of water to flush out all the toxins you will be eliminating, either in the form of hot herbal teas or still mineral water (at room temperature – not chilled). Any of the following fresh herbs ginger, fresh rosemary, crushed lemonbalm, sage or tumeric contain masses of antioxidants, which will help you detoxify as well as being good for general day-to-day health. They also taste delicious! Drink as much as you can in any combination you like, but make sure your fluid intake is at least 2l daily.

Foods to avoid
All processed and fast foods; fried foods; meats and fish; eggs; dairy products (milk, cheese and yoghurt); sugar; caffeine (in black tea, coffee and chocolate); alcohol; salt; wheat (found in most breads, pasta, couscous, processed foods, sauces, breakfast cereals and biscuits); refined (white) flour products; margarine.

Meal Suggestions:
- Breakfast
- Porridge made with oat or rice milk and ground ginger or cardamon
- Avocado, tomatoes and sprouts with fresh lemon juice and walnut oil
- Fresh fruit salad, with a sprinkling of pumpkin, sunflower and sesame seeds

- Hummus with ‘cooked’ salad and nuts
- Spicy lentil soup
- Baked potato with home-made vegetable and tomato topping

- Steamed vegetables with brown rice
- Sweet potato and squash curry
- Lentil stew with quinoa

Try to keep your meals as simple as possible, so keep the number of ingredients down and flavour with plenty of spices. Salad dressing (vinaigrette) need not only be used on salads – it can add flavour to cooked foods also.

Preparation is key, as if you don’t have the right foods to eat and you’re hungry, you’ll eat what is in the fridge! See the shopping list below and make a List. Also put temptation out of sight by moving any ‘naughties’ to the bottom cupboard so you’re not looking at them every day! If you have lots of social engagements, you will find this very difficult, so take the opportunity to give yourself a bit of space to relax, pamper yourself and get loads of sleep.

Shopping List:
Rice or Oat milk
Brown rice
Rye bread (German Style – check for added wheat)
Quinoa (available from health food shops – cooks in 18 minutes, use as a separate grain or add to soups & stews)
Fresh Miso (to add in small quantities to soups & stews once the pan has been removed from the heat)
Fresh organic vegetables – plenty of everything
Fresh and dried organic fruit – plenty of lemons
Fresh herbs for teas – plenty of ginger
Nuts and seeds
Fresh tomatoes to make a sauce – obviously fresh are better than tinned
Alfalfa seeds for sprouting/ ‘Sprouting Mix’
Lentils and pulses.

If you have a confirmed carnivore for a husband (like me), then I find doing dishes that can have 'bacon sprinkles' or added sausages work really well - things like sausage and bean hotpot, red lentil casserole with bacon on top and a pea and bacon rissotto (with parmesan cheese and bacon added only for those who want it). Stir-fries are good, too as they avoid wheat and you can grill some chicken pieces and have cashew nuts as the vegetarian protein. That way you're still only cooking one meal.

Last modified on Thursday, 26 January 2012 21:55
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Sara Southgate

I am a naturopath and herbalist, with a decade's experience of working with natural remedies. I am a member of the United Register of Herbal Practitioners (URHP) and complete regular Continual Professional Development courses.

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Sara works from home in central Leamington - to make an appointment please contact me on the numbers above.

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