De-toxing De-mystified

By Lisa Simpson

So you’ve over indulged across the Easter break with one too many chocolates. You are feeling heavy and have decided it’s time to do a detox. So, is it healthy to detox? What style of detox should you do? Let’s take a look at some of the latest Detox Diets out there.

The Fast Food Detox

This detox removes all white foods from the diet for 14 days. No sugar, salt, white flour, white rice or white pasta. These refined foods usually provide less nutrition than their brown counterparts (except for brown sugar, no difference). You need to avoid all processed and packaged foods for the 14 days and make friends with your kitchen. The fact that it is only two weeks makes it easy to stick with.

Joshi’s Holistic Diet

This diet takes 21 days and is based on organic foods as well as lean protein. Off limits is anything refined or acidic, as are artificial sweeteners, preservatives and processed foods. The downside is there is a severe limit on fruit consumption as well as calcium from dairy products. You may find yourself craving sweet foods and as fitness instructors you need to be aware of your calcium needs. Try and boost your calcium with legumes, tahini and almonds.

The Source Detox

Another 21 day detox, with big thumbs up to eating loads of greens, wholegrains and fish. The idea is to eat a rainbow of naturally occurring colours and to eat slowly. On the downside is that all dairy and soy products are off limits, limiting your intake of calcium. With such a focus on fish, try eating tinned salmon that includes the bones for some additional calcium.

The Quantum Wellness Cleanse

A cleanse lasting 21 days that is essentially vegan, gluten free, caffeine free, alcohol and sugar free. It is very difficult to sustain this and so many nutritious foods are off limits. No wholegrain breads and cereals, no lean animal protein and no dairy products or eggs – not to mention the morning coffee or Friday night wine being off limits! If done well, it could be fabulous, but if done poorly you could end up constipated, grumpy and lacking energy to teach any group fitness.

A Better Approach?

Not all cleanses and detoxes are created equal and if a good one is enough to motivate you to clean up your diet, than go for it. Avoid detoxes that are juice based or pill based. This is not a healthy way to go and you will regain all lost weight quickly. Instead of detoxing over the next few weeks, why not boost your intake of fresh produce, wholegrains, low fat dairy and lean protein and limit processed and packaged foods. You have 21 meals each week, so if 19 of these are nutritious, you are doing ok!


Lisa Donaldson (nee Simpson) is an Accredited Practicing Dietitian and a Sports Nutritionist in Canberra. She currently teaches RPM™ and is also trained in BODYATTACK®, BODYPUMP® and Pilates. Lisa’s nutrition clinic is FEEDinc. located in Canberra