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Is a detox worth doing?

Date
Which are you?

Which are you?

It wasn't that long ago in my life when a Wednesday was ample occasion for a few mid-week beers, and Thursday, Friday, and Saturday were days to do real damage. Late-night drinks led to bad sleep, energy drinks, hung-over breakfasts and hair of the dog.

After a lifestyle change and becoming a personal trainer, I became a lot more conscious of the food and drink that I put into my body. However, sometimes the social life takes precedent and a big weekend is had - like the one just gone. Oh, what a fun weekend it was - Friday drinks, and a Saturday lunch that led into a birthday party at night. But when my Sunday hangover was still knocking at midday, I knew I needed a cleanse or a detox.

My thought was to become a lab rat and donate my body for the sake of Fairfax readers, so I walked to a CBD pharmacy to check out the cleanse and detox options. Red-faced, I located the diet section, and what a selection it is … Lemon Detox, African Mango Detox, a 48-Hour Rapid Detox, Fat Blaster Coconut Detox, Slim Right Detox 'n Burn, a 10-Day Detoxification Program, and Totally Natural Products 15 Day Detox.

What to choose? Each package was loaded with pills or powders, and when I saw a smiling Kim Kardashian on the packaging of an oral spray that is meant to deter the consumer from eating sweet treats, I had seen enough. I left empty-handed.

Arriving back at home, I jumped online and even found a Cabbage Detox Diet (imagine the farting). So, I had a look at The Lemon Detox to see what this category leader is all about. The Full Body Cleanse recommends:

"Breakfast: 2-3 glasses of the Lemon Detox drink.

"Lunch: 2-3 glasses of the Lemon Detox drink.

"Dinner: 2-3 glasses of the Lemon Detox drink.

"This version can be done from a minimum of five days. The ideal duration of the Lemon Detox cleanse is 10 days on the Full Body Cleanse."

Ten days of no eating and drinking the trademarked Madal Bal Natural Tree Syrup, mixed with water, lemon, and cayenne pepper? I'll pass, thanks.

So, I took pen to paper and created my own "Bender Cleanser". I wanted a five-day cleanse with real food, real juices, and real smoothies – so, I created a one-day, three-day, and five-day menu, and a shopping list, and off I went to the grocery store to get it.

My Bender Cleanser's has five rules:

1. It's gotta taste good;

2. It must be pretty easy to make;

3. It must be filled with nutrients, not pills and powders;

4. There must be solid food; and

5. I must have energy to exercise and move throughout the day.

The Bender Cleanser is about waking with real food and consuming juice like a tasty celery, cucumber, kale, lemon, ginger, and apple combo. Dinner consists of salmon on a healthy bed of Moroccan quinoa and spinach. Daytimes are spent consuming plenty of water to hydrate the body, and eating healthy (real) snacks.

There are no pills, powder, or potions with chemicals that nobody can pronounce, nor magical fruits from countries on the other side of the earth. No boozing, no fizzy drinks … and no junk. That is how you cleanse and detox your body.

The results? By Friday, I had lost weight. My skin was clear and healthy. My eyes had life in them. Time on the toilet was healthy. My energy was back. I looked better, and I felt leaner.

It cured my weekend bender by cleansing my body from head to toe. But most importantly? A clean week had me feeling better … and that's what life is about.

Am I a cleanse-and-detox convert? I don't know about that, but I'll keep The Bender Cleanser in my back pocket for future reference. Sure, cleanse and detox are buzz-words at the moment, but it sounds a bit sexier than "weight loss" or "diet". I do know that taking a time-out from the booze and party scene and looking at everything you put into your body for a bit of time is a damn good idea.

I doubt my humble column will make a dent in the revenue of the pharmacy's diet section, but if you fancy my Bender Cleanser's shopping list and menu, then get in touch via email and I'll get it to you within a week. It will save you money and a whole lot of swallowing of pills and powders.

Have you cleansed or detoxed? What were the results?

Email citycavemanmj@gmail.com or follow Mike on Twitter

72 comments

  • Your body already has built-in detox equipment: your kidneys and liver. If they're not working, you need serious medical help, not some juice and salmon. What this column is describing is "eating healthier", not "detoxing" or "cleansing", of course you're going to feel better eating fruit, veg and lean protein and staying off the booze and burgers. "Detox" diets are yet another fad in a long line of such.

    Commenter
    Lock
    Date and time
    June 05, 2013, 9:41AM
    • True. Perhaps 'non-toxing' would be more accurate.

      Commenter
      Reverse Concave Spoon
      Date and time
      June 05, 2013, 11:16AM
    • Agreed. I've always thought all the fad detox diets were complete bullshit. Exercising, not drinking and eating normally is my detox. I try not to drink Mon-Thu and generally feel pretty good.

      Commenter
      Jack
      Date and time
      June 05, 2013, 12:49PM
    • Unfortunately your liver and kidneys can't filter the microscopic toxins that block your energy meridians. That's why you need a proper detox programme. Only that will clean out and rebalance your chakras.

      Commenter
      John
      Location
      Sydney
      Date and time
      June 05, 2013, 1:16PM
    • Perhaps a better option is to start substituting all these products with chemicals and instead start drinking naturally cleansing products. One I love is Matcha Green Tea Powder- this is an all natural potent green tea where one cup is equal to 30 cups standard green tea in antioxidants. By drinking this and not coffee, juice, soft drink i've lost a lot of weight, feel great and my skin is really clear. Also great to use as a face mask! I buy mine from zengreentea.com.au but there is a few stores in sydney also selling matcha- Dr Earth Newtown for one.

      Commenter
      Matcha Fan
      Date and time
      June 05, 2013, 1:38PM
  • It is all just a marketing thing, this detox blah...the body has plenty of tactics for dealing with toxins and hey what is a toxin, ( apart from the obvious arsenic etc ) but even water is toxic in the right quantity..

    So arrange a time to provide the body with resources it needs to do its thing restoring health in the way it does best.. I start with a fast of about 24 hours no food just tea or lemon squeezed into water..sure you get a bit hungry, but look up autophagy.. then whole foods nothing processed for about a week..no booze, and gentle exercise..

    If you do this once a month chances are you will regain health without spending dollars on "Kim's" next wheeze diet.

    Commenter
    Lean Too
    Location
    Sydney
    Date and time
    June 05, 2013, 9:42AM
    • We DO NOT need to detox! We already have an efficient detoxifying organ. Its called the liver.

      Commenter
      Nurse
      Date and time
      June 05, 2013, 10:03AM
      • If you have ingested toxins you need to find out how it happened. It is illegal to sell toxic food in Australia, so if that is your source of toxins you need to make a report to health authorities immediately. They will refer you to a pathologist who will be able to do a series of blood and other analyses to determine which toxins you have ingested and when. Then you can work backwards through you meals and work out where the toxins came from. There will be consequences for the offending store / restaurant.
        At this point you will be referred to a medical specialist to determine the impact on your health and what you have to do to manage / reduce the toxicity. This is a serious medical procedure and should not be left to magazine diets.

        Commenter
        hmmm
        Date and time
        June 05, 2013, 10:03AM
        • I have used two solutions recently to great effect. One is called the Carbolic smoke ball (google it) and I can recommend this heartily. The other is a kind of oil which has been extracted from (I think) pythons or something. I think it was called "Serpent oil" or "Snake Oil" or something like that.

          Commenter
          ron
          Date and time
          June 05, 2013, 10:06AM
          • So pythons have to have their lives cut short because you choose to beleive pseudo-science? Hmmmm.

            Commenter
            Tutt Tutt
            Date and time
            June 05, 2013, 10:17AM

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