Escape for Adults

Spring - the time to get lean and clean

The sap is rising and the birds are all ‘a twitter’. Buds are sprouting and the daffs are in full bloom. Spring is here at last; the season that invites us to take a fresh look at ourselves and start anew.

The rejuvenation of Spring is the perfect time to create a blank canvas in readiness for the Summer. If you want to lose weight, reduce bloating or increase your energy levels consider trying a simple cleanse over one of the upcoming Bank holiday weekends. As we naturopaths like to say ‘disease begins and ends in the gut’ and getting the digestive system in order is the best place to start for any new health plan.


Cleansing is quite a personal thing to do but some like the moral support of a friend to help during weaker moments. Plan your cleanse in advance so that you don’t take on lots of social arrangements. This is ‘me’ time and gives you the perfect excuse to have boxset fests. Cleansing and busy work schedules do not really go together especially as you may want to nap during the day. Being in a relaxed state will make the whole process much smoother.

Please remember that if you have a medical condition, food allergy or any concerns about your normal state of health, it is always sensible to consult your doctor before embarking on a Home Detox.  Your doctor will be able to advise you whether this Home Detox is suitable for you.

Getting ready

In the week leading up to your Home Detox, follow these easy steps to get your body ready for cleansing:

  • Cut out stimulants such as caffeine and alcohol.  Too much coffee can make us feel wired and tired.  If you experience a caffeine withdrawal headache, replace your regular cuppa with antioxidant rich green tea which has lower levels of caffeine. I love the Emeyu Eights Butterflies green tea (available from Lifehouse).  Do avoid anything decaf as harsh chemicals are used in the decaffeination process.   
  • Alkalise!   Everything in the body works better when we are slightly alkaline; 7.36 on the pH scale to be precise. Start each morning with a mug of warm water with the juice of half a fresh lemon, a thumb size of grated ginger and 1 tsp Manuka honey to cleanse, alkalise, boost the immune system and fire up the metabolism.
  • Cut out diet drinks and artificial sweeteners – aspartame is a substance that converts to methanol and formaldehyde and is toxic to the nervous system. Stevia is a natural sweetener and much better option.
  • Cut out stodgy dishes such as pizzas, pies and ready meals in the evenings as this will put on weight and make you feel sluggish. Instead opt for stir fries, steamed fish, greens, soups and salads.
  • Reduce or cut out ‘white’ carbohydrates such as white rice, potatoes, pies, pasta, pizzas and anything containing white sugar.  They are all devoid of nutrition, spike blood sugar levels and turn to fat when eaten in excess.  
  • Increase your pure water intake – this flushes your system and rehydrates your body.
  • Sleep!  Aim for 8 hours a night – sleep really is the best healer. Electronic devices in the bedroom upset our natural sleep rhythms so switch off the TV at the plug and do not use your mobile phone as an alarm.  Cool air circulating around our heads improves sleep so keep a window slightly ajar


Day 1 – Easing in to your Detox

This day will help ease you into a lighter eating mode in readiness for the upcoming cleansing. Meals will be vegetarian to ease the workload of the digestive system.   

In addition to Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner shown below, aim to drink 5 vegetable-based juices throughout the day. These are more cleansing than fruit based juices and won’t spike your blood sugar levels and contribute to weight gain. Classic detox combinations include – beetroot, carrot, ginger and apple or broccoli, kale, parsley, celery and apple. You can make these at home if you have a juicer.  If not, good supermarkets have vegetable juices to buy.


On rising:  Half a squeezed lemon and warm water – you can add thumb size of grated ginger and 1 tsp Manuka honey to boost the immune system.

Breakfast:  Enjoy a small bowl of porridge or Bircher Muesli made with almond or coconut milk. Add a few berries or prunes on the top.   If you haven’t tried Bircher Muesli before, it’s great because it’s easy to digest, very nutritious and you can make it in advance and keep it covered in the fridge.  If you want to try it, here is my favourite twist on a traditional Swiss recipe which is wheat and dairy-free. It is made with Quinoa (keen-wah) which was revered by the ancient Incas and is the only grain that is a complete protein as well as a carbohydrate. 

Bircher Muesli Ingredients:

  • 4 large handfuls of organic rolled oats
  • 4 large handfuls of quinoa flakes
  • 1 handful chopped dried apricots or fruit of your choice
  • 1 handful chopped dried dates
  • 1 handful  crumbled walnuts
  • 1 handful crushed almonds, hazelnuts or brazil nuts
  • Pressed apple juice to cover
  • 2 apples washed and unpeeled
  • 1 pear washed and unpeeled
  • Coconut or almond milk
  • Nutmeg & Cinnamon to taste
  • Fresh berries 

How to prepare it:  Cover the first six ingredients with the apple juice, grate in apple & pear and stir immediately to keep apple from discolouring. Add nutmeg and cinnamon. Place in the fridge overnight. In the morning enrich with coconut milk or almond milk and fresh mixed berries. Keeps for about 4 days in fridge. 


Lunch:   make a big mixed superfood salad of leaves, fresh herbs, beetroot, grated apple, carrot, nuts and seeds.

Dinner:  In readiness for tomorrow just have some lightly steamed seasonal vegetables with a beetroot dressing for dinner.

Beetroot Dressing Ingredients:

  • Honey - 1 tbsp
  • Wholegrain mustard - 1 tbsp
  • Olive oil - 8 tbsp
  • Organic Apple Cider Vinegar - 2 tbsp
  • Beetroot Juice (Beet It from James White) - 2 tbsp

How to prepare it:  Mix all ingredients together except oil and then whisk in the oil very slowly until desired consistency achieved. Keeps in fridge for a week. 

Day 2 – Cleansing (extendable for up to 8 days)

This is a ‘liquid only’ day so make sure you have cleared your diary and can enjoy a day relaxing at home. If you fancy a walk, the fresh air and gentle exercise will assist your detox. If not, just curl up with a good book or your favourite film and chill out!  This ‘liquid only’ day removes the normal day to day load from the digestive system enabling the detoxification process to kick in.


On Day 2 you may experience some cleansing symptoms as toxins move through and out of the body. These can include tiredness, headaches, aching joints, vagueness and skin breakouts. This is normal and indicates your body has the energy to clear itself of accumulated debris. You will soon be feeling better and experiencing a renewed sense of wellbeing and lightness. 

On rising:   Half a squeezed lemon and warm water – you can add thumb size of grated ginger and 1 tsp Manuka honey to boost the immune system.

Through the day:  five cleansing juices spread throughout the day.

Lunch & Dinner:  enjoy a light soup or broth at lunch and dinner. 

Day 3 – Springing back to normality

This final day eases you back into a normal routine after a dynamic period of cleansing. Choose foods that are easy to digest and it is especially important that you chew your food thoroughly to aid digestion. Protein is now gently re-introduced. 

On rising:   Half a squeezed lemon and warm water – you can add thumb size of grated ginger and 1 tsp Manuka honey to boost the immune system.

Through the day:  five cleansing juices spread throughout the day.

Breakfast:  Make yourself an omelette or small bowl of Bircher Muesli.

Lunch:   Opt for a light vegetarian lunch – soup or salad will be great. 


Dinner:  Steam or grill some fish of your choice with seasonal vegetables and a drizzle of extra virgin olive and lemon. And treat yourself to a healthy pudding.  One of my favourites is Chocolate Avocado Pudding with sliced mango or raspberries on top.   

Chocolate Avocado Pudding Ingredients:

  • 1 large ripe avocado
  • 200ml coconut milk or coconut cream
  • Raw cacao or melted 70% dark chocolate to taste
  • Raspberries or fruit of your choice

How to prepare it:  Blend avocado until smooth.  Add coconut milk and blend. Add cocoa powder or melted dark chocolate to taste and blend. Chill for 30 mins. Serve with raspberries or fruit of your choice.


Time to pat yourself on the back!   

Your stomach should be looking flatter, your eyes more sparkly, your skin more glowing and your energy levels markedly improved. You should be having clearer thought processes and deeper, more rewarding sleep. Daily challenges will seem a like a piece of cake or maybe not!  

I hope that your Home Detox goes well.  However, if you would rather escape the usual day-to-day distractions and get some encouraging support for your Springtime Detox, the Lifehouse 3 day Detox features structured dietary cleansing to boost your energy and improve digestive health.  I will be happy to see you at Lifehouse and talk you through your detox step by step.


Sue Davis – Resident Naturopath

Lifehouse Spa & Hotel 


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