I’ve mentioned previously that I’m not a fan of so called “detox diets”. I see people posting about them online all the time, involving people consuming things like juice, tea and tablets for a short period of time in an attempt to rid their body of toxins. Our bodies, especially our livers and kidneys are specially designed to work by filtering out toxins so undertaking a diet to do this is, in my opinion, unnecessary and potentially dangerous.
That being said, I do understand the purpose of the detox within the structure of the elimination diet. As someone undertaking it is likely to have unknown intolerances to food types it is important to make sure that the body doesn’t contain any potential allergens prior to you introducing them individually. Otherwise, you might unknowingly ingest something harmless and have a reaction as your gut was still inflamed from something before.
The detox section of the elimination diet only lasts two days but involves you only consuming smoothies and soups. You’re also not allowed to have any trigger ingredients in your smoothies and soups, so no dairy, wheat, eggs, soya, potatoes, nuts, citrus or tomatoes! I started the elimination diet on a weekend, as I figured that I didn’t want to juggle the stress of drama school and a liquid diet. The Friday before I had a highly emotionally day at school and feeling miserable, decided to treat myself to dominos. With hindsight, this was probably a mistake and certainly hasn’t made the transition any easier!
I woke up with a sore throat, which was in all likelihood cause by my overindulgence the night before. I began my day with a green smoothie, made from kale, banana and a carrot, which was pleasant enough. I frequently have a smoothie for breakfast when I don’t feel hungry enough to have a large breakfast, so this wasn’t too much of a departure from my usual routine. However, by the time I got to lunchtime, I was really missing having solid food in my diet.
I made a vegetable soup for lunch from spinach, leek, broccoli, courgette and mushrooms. Unfortunately, I was seeing a matinee show that day so I was in something of a rush. I’ve only made soup once before (spicy chickpea and tomato- so something I wasn’t allowed to make as part of this diet!) and assumed I’d be able to follow a similar method of just bunging everything together, blending it then cooking it. In hindsight, this was a massive error It would not be an exaggeration to say that the soup I made was one of the worst things I have ever concocted and was barely edible! Lesson learned from this; take time to prepare your food so that it’s actually flavoursome rather than revolting.
I went to see the show, and started to suffer from a headache and a stomach ache (according to the book this is very common). After I returned home, I tried to eat some more of the soup for dinner (waste not want not!) but I barely managed half a bowl. By the end of Saturday, it’s safe to say that I felt pretty bloody miserable.
After the drama of Saturday, I woke up feeling a lot better. I attributed part of my groggy feeling the day before to being dehydrated so made an effort to drink a lot more water this day. I had a green smoothie for breakfast again, this time made with kale, spinach, banana and grapes.
My boyfriend had roasted a chicken on Saturday and so had made a lot of home made chicken stock. I followed a recipe for a creamy vegetable soup, frying some of my vegetables first before boiling them all in the stock. I then puréed them and ended up creating a soup that wasn’t just edible, but was actually really tasty! Being able to actually enjoy a hot meal this weekend was such a blessed relief, I felt so grateful! Looking back this seems quite daft, I’d only spent 2 days having soups and smoothies…I honestly don’t know how anyone does a diet like this for longer!
I had a mid afternoon snack of the the same smoothie and then had some more of the (nice) soup for dinner.
All in all day 2 was a much better day for me, though I did go to bed excitedly anticipating being able to eat solid food the next day!
My advice for surviving the detox part of the elimination diet
- Be prepared to feel a bit rubbish at first- definitely try to schedule it for two days that you aren’t going to be doing much.
- Make sure you know how to make a tasty soup…
- Stock up on anything you’ll need before. You really don’t want to have to go to Tesco’s to drool over all the things you’re now not allowed to eat!
- Make notes of everything you’re drinking and how you’re feeling so you can look back and notice patterns (this is true of the entire elimination diet)
- Drink lots of water
Until next time!