Following my first ever 10 day detox inspired by Goop, I thought it would be useful to share my experience should you fancy a go to see how it makes you feel.
The reason I decided to do it was because it had just been Easter so I had eaten, lets just say, a substantial amount of chocolate (Easter is one of my favourite times of year, it’s just my thing, so I relax my rules and eat what I want!) so I wanted to have an internal spring clean. I was also super interested to see if it would improve my mental health (when starting a business on your own you need all the help you can get!) and/or the skin on my face and the back of my legs- where I get most congestion.
These were the rules:
- No alcohol
- No caffeine
- No dairy
- No eggs
- No beef, no pork
- No shellfish, no raw fish
- No gluten
- No soy
- No nightshades (potatoes, tomatoes, aubergine, peppers)
- No strawberries, oranges, grapefruit, grapes or bananas
- No corn
- No white rice
- No added sugar
- No peanut, thought other nuts are fine
- No processed oils and butters (e.g. margarine and spreads) and no vegetable seed oil like canola and corn. Stick to cold-pressed olive, coconut, sesame, almond/walnut and pumpkin seed oil
It look 6 long days for me to turn the corner. The first 6 days completely and utterly shocked me because I thought I had a pretty good diet on the whole but OMG I wasn’t prepared for the headache which started within 7 hours of waking up on day 1. I presumed it was a coffee withdrawal and that it would pass. But it didn’t pass, it stayed, and got worse before it got better all the way up to day 6. On that first day I had a meditation class and I swear I nearly fell asleep, which never happens! Not only that, but its little accomplice came to join. I had such bad flu-like symptoms from day 3 to day 6. Four solid days of an achy back and limbs… I didn’t feel that I could exercise and I was exhausted. I was so shocked by the reaction that I thought it was just a coincidence and that I actually was coming down with the flu! I messaged a brilliant nutritionist I work with to check and she reassured me that:
- It is very common to get flu-like symptoms when detoxing
- It means it is working so take comfort in that
- It is your body releasing the toxins
When telling her how long it was lasting (most books say you will feel bad for only 1-3 days) she also reminded me that this is a whole lifetime of toxins leaving my body because I have never detoxed before.
Now I feel like I am not really selling it (not that I am try to sell it, this is just my experience) but here is the thing. After day 6 I felt very balanced in myself and my temperament and baseline mood was very positive, almost like that is what I am supposed to be like every day, but I contaminate and disrupt the orchestration of my hormones with this highly processed and manufactured junk that global food giants have the audacity to call ‘food’! I was also able to ‘rise well’ !! I started to wake before my alarm and it was easy to get out of bed with great energy. The skin on my face definitely improved and I felt more sharp mentally.
I didn’t once feel a craving which is interesting, as I thought I was addicted to coffee. I have realised that I am just addicted to the process of going for a morning coffee- and I don’t think that is a bad thing (except financially!) so I know that I can always order a turmeric latte for example, and still enjoy this ritual that I love.
Buying food out wasn’t easy. Even when I was in Wholefoods seeking a sweet treat I struggled to find one thing which was devoid of the forbidden food groups (in the end I found a raw cookie). However, I must say restaurants are getting better at listing allergens in their food and I was offered an ingredient list at most ‘food-to-go’ chains. At home, with a bit of prep, I was easily able to make lunches and dinner which included things like fish, chickpeas, vegetables, salads, brown rice and sweet potatoes.
The interesting thing was re-introducing the foods after the detox. The point of a 10 day detox is to not only cleanse your organs but also start again with a ‘clean white slate’ to slowly re-introduce food groups, leaving it 2-3 days in between and see how you feel to detect which foods you may have issues with. I had strategically completed my detox 10 days before I was going to Sardinia for the bank holiday break. Big mistake! With the best intentions and starting the holiday with an oat milk latte at Stansted (caffeine was the first thing I wanted back- it was an early flight!) I realised within a few hours of landing in Sardinia that it was going to be virtually impossible to eat gluten free and dairy free let alone the other rules… so pizza and pasta it was and it never tasted so good! When I detox again next Spring, I will make sure I have a clear couple of weeks in my diary to make it easy to re-introduce food groups slowly.
I enjoyed this experiment and would recommend it to anyone. It has made me realise how much gluten I actually eat. I suspect the 10 day abstinence of gluten could have been the reason behind the improvement in my skin and mood. As my mum is coaeliac, I will book up a for a quick, easy and accurate blood test to confirm this.
Let me know if you have ever done a similar detox and what your experience was!
*DISCLAIMER- I am NOT a qualified nutritionist. This is just an account of my experience. If you’d like to speak with a nutritionist before trying this please email me and I can put you in touch with the best practitioners in London.