Along with the time between bikini wax appointments my carbohydrate intake this winter has been steadily increasing. Now, where there are good carbs and big knickers, neither present a particularly big problem. Unless that is, you’re gearing up for a winter sun holiday. Where there is a need to prepare for the beach there is a usually a detox waiting in the wings. I present, the detox of all detoxes.
Next to ‘superfood’, ‘antioxidant’ and ‘anti-ageing’, the word ‘detox’ grinds me down a bit. Wherever you see it written you can usually guarantee it’s accompanied by a million empty promises and a serious commitment of £$€.
Detoxes can often be faddy, hard to follow and a downright pain in the backside for all involved – especially the long suffering families and partners of the miserable detoxee all too often found rocking in a corner, working their way through an entire iceberg.
But when it comes to the detox of all detoxes, I think I’ve cracked it. Before I go on I must hold my hands up and confess this isn’t a brainchild of mine. I first did this under the watchful instruction of former personal trainer and now good friend (funny how we get on so much better these days, now we spend very little time in the gym together…) StreTch Rayner.
In October 2010 I followed this for a week. I dropped 15lbs, a dress size and most importantly, I kept it off.
Enter “Fish & Greens”: the detox of all detoxes
Fish & Greens is a 7-10 day protocol that comprises of:
o Fish (any variety providing it’s not battered, crumbed or coated)
o Greens (especially the leafy cruciferous ones – you’ll get bonus points for those)
o Good fats (grass fed butter, ghee, olive oil, olives, avocado, coconut oil etc)
o Good fats also include eggs & nuts (both advised in moderation)
o Some green fruit (apples, pears, kiwis)
o A daily portion of berries with ground flaxseed
o Green tea (loads)
o Water (equally as much)
o No coffee*, black tea or alcohol
It’s that simple. Nothing more. Nothing less. It doesn’t need to be expensive, or boring, or leave you hungry. It won’t compromise your health.
o Fish is a superb source of low fat protein (amongst so many other things)
o Our bodies as good as bow down to us the more green we pile into them
o Good fats won’t make us fat but instead fuel us along in the absence of any significant carbohydrates
o The berries and recommended fruits that are relatively low in sugar provide additional fibre to keep us nice and ‘regular’ and do yet more of the detoxifying work for us
This is the third time I’ve embraced “Fish & Greens” and it never fails to do the job. It leaves me feel refreshed, alert and full of bags of confidence to hit the beach.
The first time definitely wasn’t easy so here are my top tips for nailing this detox of all detoxes:
1. Get organised: plan your meals, clear your cupboards, restock with only the good, allowed stuff and crack on. No packed lunch for work and cod three nights on the trot is going to drive you to destruction
2. Ignore your colleagues: no one will comprehend quite what you’re doing. They may even call you a freak. Plough on, chow down merrily on your spinach and smoked mackerel lunch, safe in the knowledge you’ll have more luck at the Christmas party than they do this year – especially when it comes to zipping up your party gear with ease
3. It’s not a diet, it’s a reset: I kept those 15 lbs off because I didn’t hoover down a yard of Jaffa Cakes once the 7 days was up. I’d never been so grateful for a bit of roast chicken breast and a sautéed new potato! You’ll genuinely appreciate whole, clean foods so much more after a week of fish and greens. Don’t think of it as a mere 7 day quick fix, look at it as a bit of a reset or the start of something awesome. It’ll really help kick cravings into touch – but I can’t promise you’ll not start to yearn for a crunchy bowl of cruciferous stuff from time to time.
Have you ever done a detox in the past? Think you’d be up to giving this one a go?
*potentially easier said than done if you’re a bit of a coffee fiend (guilty as charged). This time round I must confess I didn’t drop the coffee. Blinding headaches and mood swings are as good as inevitable and I honestly didn’t think my husband deserved that.