Okay so most of us have heard about detoxing. Normally this means eliminating most if not all foods and drinking nothing but water for a couple of days. And I have to admit the idea of doing that has never appealed to me. I can’t get by without a nice big mug of tea first thing in the morning and at selected points throughout the day, so I’m not going to forego that in aid of nothing but water.
So you can understand I was a little skeptical when I first saw the title of this new Dr Oz detox – the Two Day Spring Cleanse. To be honest if it hadn’t been to do with Dr Oz I would have kept right on going to another magazine, instead of reading about it in O, The Oprah Magazine.
But there it was – it had Dr Oz’s name on it. So I thought, hey, what do I have to lose? Let’s check it out (purely out of curiosity you understand).
So here’s the thing. The idea is that this particular two day detox is based around six meals. You also get to eat snacks so if you get hungry in between meals you’ll never be left with nothing other than a glass of water to solve the problem. The thing I liked about this detox is that it is based on eating whole foods. This basically means that instead of eating things that are made from dozens of ingredients, you’ll eat things that have just a few ingredients. Take prunes for example – they’re made of, well, prunes, and nothing else. This is the idea of this particular detox and I can see why so many people are thinking of trying it. It certainly doesn’t look like any detox I’ve ever seen before.
As I read through the article on this detox I realized a few things. Firstly if you’re going to try it you’re only going to do it for two days. I think that’s pretty achievable, even for me. Also it means you can do it on the weekends, when you’ve got time to get into the kitchen and cook or prepare stuff for the plan if you need to. There is nothing worse than trying to stick to a detox when you’re trying to work. Imagine trying to get through a regular work day on a fruit smoothie for lunch and pineapple-kale juice (this is the snack that is available in unlimited amounts for the two days). It’s not that practical so I’d say this is a weekend detox for sure. You could do it at work but you’d need to be dedicated and prepared. Also Dr Oz says you might end up needing the toilet a bit more often than you would normally, as your body detoxes. So it’s a little less embarrassing to fully detox at home at your leisure, I’d say.
Secondly the detox designed to help get all your organs back to their optimal function. The idea is that they should be good at eliminating your toxins and making you feel pretty good again. Drinking plenty of water is in there too for good measure, and I guess it should be filtered too for the best effect. Indeed Dr Oz adds the idea of drinking water into his list of additional pointers once he’s shared the two day meal plan with you. Most of this is pretty self explanatory, such as the idea of getting eight hours of sleep a night. Apparently this detox is not just about eating the right foods – it’s about treating your body right in other ways as well.
Another point that occurred to me is that Dr Oz does not say you’ll lose loads of weight on this detox. Sure you might lose a couple pounds with no problem, but it’s almost as if any weight loss is incidental rather than anything else. The idea is to clean your system out from the inside, and to get your body back into order again. You’re supposed to feel way better after the two days and Dr Oz recommends you try it three to four times every year (maybe once at the start of each new season?). He reckons you’ll feel loads better if you do – he evens uses the word ‘rejuvenate’, which to my mind is overused lots of times in completely the wrong situations. But I think Dr. Oz is “spot on”using it here.
Dr. Oz’s Two-Day Wonder Cleanse
Breakfast: Quinoa with Prunes (see recipe at oprah.com)
Start the day with a bowl of this healthy whole grain. Quinoa contains all nine essential amino acids, making it a complete protein. (Not many cleanses incorporate protein, which can be problematic; if you’re not consuming enough amino acids, your body will begin mining them from your muscle tissue. Muscle loss is, unfortunately, one way that detox dieters lose weight.) Quinoa also provides fiber to bulk up stool, and phosphorus to help stimulate bowel movements. The prunes deliver even more fiber, plus sorbitol, a sugar alcohol with a laxative effect.
Here’s proof that a cleanse can taste fantastic. Blueberries provide antioxidants to neutralize cell-damaging free radicals and contain quercetin, a pigment that may increase the number of enzymes in the liver. The banana’s vitamin B6 helps recharge detoxifying enzymes throughout the body, and ground flaxseed or chia seeds supply additional fiber for healthy elimination (as well as brain-nourishing omega-3s).
This soup is full of good stuff: Fennel may help stimulate the secretion of bile (a fluid that carries waste out of the liver); parsley is believed to act as a diuretic; compounds in garlic, shiitake mushrooms, and cabbage have been found to support liver function; and cayenne pepper may aid lung enzymes. Finish your meal with fermented sauerkraut, which has probiotics that can help break down toxins in the gastrointestinal tract, and apple slices for one last dose of fiber.
Enjoy this beverage as often as you like. (I typically recommend two glasses between meals.) Pineapple contains digestive enzymes. Kale is rich in compounds that support enzymes in the liver. And artichoke can improve bile flow.
6 Quick Detox Pointers
Use these tips to make the most of your two-day cleanse.
1. Drink plenty of water.
2. Aim to get eight hours of sleep a night.
3. Don’t eat after 7 P.M.
4. In the evening, take a warm bath with two cups of Epsom salt dissolved in the water. The salt’s key component, magnesium, supports hundreds of enzymes in the body.
5. Before bed, sip a cup of dandelion tea. It’s been shown to have diuretic properties, which will help flush away toxins in your urine before you sleep.
6. Know that you’ll likely have to use the bathroom quite a bit in the next 48 hours, though your stool should be well-formed, not loose. And since the meal plan doesn’t severely limit your caloric intake, you shouldn’t feel tired or weak.
I think the word ‘detox’ has probably gotten a bad press over the years, simply because it has been used in association with severely restricted liquid diets. When I think of a detox I think of water, fruit and maybe (if I’m lucky) a little homemade vegetable soup, but that’s about it. I cannot survive on that kind of food every day, even if it is only for a day or two. That’s why I think a lot of people might be surprised by what Dr Oz’s detox will do for them. If Dr Oz says it makes you feel good inside and out, what do I have to lose?
This could be a great way to get into some new eating habits too, such as not eating past 7pm in the evening. I know I should stick with this part of the plan – just as I should drink more water – but I’m not sure I could make it happen. Maybe the two day spring cleanse is the perfect way to kick start some new habits, even though the plan itself only lasts for forty eight hours. We’ll see.
Okay time to stop writing and time to go buy some quinoa, fresh fruit and vegetables. I have a detox to do, guys and gals.