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Find time to detox

Do yourself a favour and help the body flush out the toxins that accumulate over time. It will kickstart a healthier, more energetic phase of your life

Detoxification (detox for short) is a process in which one rids the body of toxic or unhealthy substances. A medical detox usually meant the three-week period when an alcoholic gave up drinking under medical supervision and let the alcohol circulating in his blood drain out, prior to starting a life of abstinence. In recent years, perfectly healthy people have been undergoing a detox once in a while to cleanse the body of toxins that accumulate due to unhealthy eating. That is why it is also called a ‘cleanse’.

I stepped into the world of detox and alternative healing a decade ago, when looking for ways to strengthen my compromised immune system. Wiser from the experience, I am an advocate of an annual detox which would be under doctor’s supervision and at a wellness resort or spa destination. I wish all of you could fit that into your busy lives at least once a year if not more!

I do a three-day detox once a month along with intermittent fasting on a regular basis. This keeps the inflammation in check and promotes a healthy gut and overall healing. My three-day juice detox starts on Friday and ends on Sunday — mostly fruit and vegetable juices, hot water and herbal teas. By Monday, I feel renewed and fully charged. Raw organic ingredients are most important as the nutrients, phytochemicals and antioxidants are more readily absorbed in liquid form. I prefer then at room temperature or lukewarm, and usually end the day with a clear vegetable soup.

So if you want to try it at home, here’s the drill.

Morning: Start the day with hot lemon water / pinch of rock salt / turmeric
Breakfast: Green juice (can be a mix of carrot, apple, celery, ginger and cucumber)
Snack: Apple juice or green lemonade (made with spinach, pineapple, green apple, cucumber and celery)
Lunch: Herbal tea
Snack: Juice (try watermelon juice, which is a mild diuretic and contains significant amounts of Vitamins A and C, potassium and small amounts of iron)
Dinner: Clear vegetable soup or juice

Health spas offer packages of medically-guided fasting and treatments, fitness activities and services that eliminate toxins and harmful substances from the body. A detox boosts energy and mental alertness, promotes digestion and weight loss, nurtures healthy skin, and cleanses the liver. If there is any inflammation, it subsides.

“Creating space is the first step to manifesting the future you want to step into. Cleansing is vital for creating space for a happy and healthy you!” says Dr Mel Tinio, integrative medicine specialist at The Farm, San Benito. “This is where you begin caring for yourself to improve your total well-being.” At the spa, doctors’ approach to holistic health is science-based, evidence-based and results-driven.

The Farm offers a four-day detox with the aim of facilitating the elimination of toxic substances trapped in the tissues of the body, while restoring the body’s optimum ability to absorb nutrients. Mind and spirit enrichment is also provided for a holistic and balanced approach to healing and well-being.

You will be on a diet of pure vegetable juices and nutrient-dense whole foods. Detox activities include walking massages (lymphatic drainage), deep tissue massage, Thai massage, hydrotherapy, acupuncture, acupressure, skin brushing, yoga and meditation. In addition, there is walking, swimming, massages, saunas and steam. Make sure to get lots of sleep!

The Farm has a specially formulated Liver Cleanse Potion to flush out toxic waste build-up in the liver and gall bladder to prevent the formation of gall stones and to assist in detox.

For otherwise healthy people, detox diets once a year are becoming popular in the West, preparatory to which you are expected to give up caffeine, sugar, processed foods and artificial sweeteners. If you are working, it is advisable to start on a Friday. You will be put on a diet of vegetables and fruits that are high on antioxidants. Also whole grains, nuts and seeds which are high on fibre. Of course, you have to eat in moderation, avoiding dairy and meat products.

This supports the body’s natural detox process — and jumpstarts your heathy eating lifestyle. Continue to have light food for a few days and you might never want to touch junk food again!

Dr Reshma is an advocate of wellness, prevention and holistic health. Instagram handle: dr.reshmakhattarbhagat