Alli Godbold (Dip ION, mBANT, CNHC) regularly joins in:spa retreats as the specialist nutritionist for the week to advise guests on all diet and nutritional matters. However, if you would like to understand more about what detoxes are all about and to embark on a detox diet at home, please read what Alli has to say:

We live in a toxic world: our make-up, our deodorant, our cleaning products all contain toxic chemicals, we swim in chlorinated pools, we store our foods in plastic boxes containing BPAs, our foods contain pesticides … It seems sensible then that we should occasionally treat our bodies to a ‘detox diet’ to boost the elimination of these chemicals.

People talk about ‘going on a detox’ but in fact our bodies are continuously detoxifying both internal (endogenous) and external (exogenous) toxins. Toxins are pushed out through our skin, with our bowel movements, in our urine and via our lungs as we exhale. A ‘detox diet’ primarily supports and enhances the function of the liver and digestive system so that toxins are more efficiently processed in the liver and removed via the digestive tract.

The Detox Diet I use with clients in London (which is very similar to the detox diet on in:spa retreats, see diet & nutrition) is an elimination style diet that avoids all the common allergens – it cuts out gluten and dairy, eggs, soya, peanuts, shellfish and the nightshade family – these foods can potentially cause a build up of immune complexes, they can cause headaches, increase intestinal permeability and can upset the balance of bowel bacteria in sensitive individuals. Avoiding these potential allergens gives the body a ‘rest’ and allows more energy to be directed to the liver so that it can function more optimally. The Detox Diet cuts out all sugar, all refined and processed foods, alcohol and caffeine – these are acidic to the body and can increase inflammation.

The liver works best in an alkaline pH and the Detox Diet therefore encourages the intake of plenty of alkaline forming vegetables. Kale, spinach, broccoli, artichoke, asparagus, avocados and cabbage are all favoured as they help to boost liver function. Up to 3 portions of fruit are encouraged per day, e.g. in ‘green juices’ along with the veggies mentioned (spinach and pineapple juice is a personal favourite), berries can be added to salads and gluten free nutty granola or coconut yoghurt.

The Detox Diet allows non gluten wholegrains, e.g. quinoa, brown rice, buckwheat and millet and it includes fish and organic lamb, venison, chicken and turkey. The Diet includes pulses, sweet potatoes, nuts and seeds, their oils and milks and promotes drinking plenty of water and herbal teas. There is no shortage of foods to eat and I give my clients a 2 week meal plan with lots of delicious recipes so that they have plenty of ideas about what to eat.

To enhance detoxification there are a number of supplements that can be taken, I recommend a ‘Detox Supplement Package’ which includes a rice based protein powder (which contains liver enhancing nutrients such as glutathione), a-lipoic-acid, NAC, plant based antioxidants and a fibre supplement – which taken over the course of 2 weeks can really help to boost the metabolism of toxic compounds and remove them from the body.

The Detox Diet is not designed to be a weight loss diet and there is no particular restriction of the allowed foods (except for fruits) but clients tend to lose about half a stone in the process which is generally seen as a positive side effect. So far my ‘detox clients’ have reported more energy, improved mood, reduction of PMS, increased libido and glowing skin and all have said that they would like to ‘detox’ on a more regular basis.

If you would like to benefit from a delicious detox diet on a forthcoming in:spa retreat, please see dates & destinations. If you would rather try a detox at home, we would recommend buying a copy of Alli’s book Feed Your Health.