28 Day Skin Detox Challenge
It’s that time of year again, when attention turns to all things health related. Diet and fitness tend to be the main focus for many of us this month, as we attempt to make up for the excesses of the festive season. There is however, no need to go to extreme measures by overly depriving yourself, which can in fact do more harm than good in the long run.
Instead, you can follow my gentle, yet effective 28-day Detox Plan. It will help you get back on track for the new year, as well as helping you to regain your energy, lose any excess weight, improve your skin and your general health.
Preparing to Detox
Before you start your detox, I would advise gradually reducing the following foods over two or three days to reduce the chances of any ‘withdrawal’ symptoms. The first three are especially important, as they are the most likely to give rise to symptoms, such as headaches if stopped suddenly.
Foods to Avoid: –
- Processed foods
- Meat and dairy
- Refined carbohydrates such as white rice, potatoes, pies, pasta, pizzas and anything containing added sugar or sweeteners
In addition, start incorporating the following foods into your diet, which will help stimulate the body’s natural detoxification processes.
Super Detoxing Foods
- Brassica vegetables – broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts
- Dark green leafy vegetables – kale, spinach, watercress, rocket
- Soluble fibre – oats, apples, beans and lentils
- Non-wheat wholegrains – quinoa, buckwheat, brown rice, millet
- Nuts and seeds
- Fruit and vegetables
- Water – 2 litres per day
Weeks 1 and 2
Your 28-day programme is designed to be started on a weekend, as the first two days of the week will require slightly more time and effort. The rest of the programme is designed so that you can carry out your normal work and daily routine. For the second week, repeat Days 1 and 2 as below, and then choose your meals for days 3-7 from the suggestions again, introducing as much variety as possible.
On rising: a large mug of hot water, lemon juice and a grating of fresh ginger
Breakfast: Bircher Muesli (see recipe)
Mid morning snack: Beauty & Go Skin Detox drink
Lunch: Superfood salad: a large handful of watercress, spinach and rocket leaves, 2-3 cooked beetroot, ½ sliced apple, 1 small grated carrot, ½ an avocado, 1 tbsp sunflower and pumpkin seeds. Dressing: 1 tbsp olive oil, ½ tbsp organic apple cider vinegar, ½ tbsp lemon juice, black pepper, pink salt
Afternoon snack: An apple
Dinner – Cashew nut, asparagus, shiitake and baby corn stir-fry, with garlic, ginger, chilli and coriander
Day 2 – Cleanse Day
On rising: hot water, lemon juice and ginger
Breakfast: Porridge made with 2-3 tbsp oats, 300ml almond milk, soya milk or water. Top with cinnamon and honey.
Mid morning snack: Beauty & Go Skin Detox drink
Lunch: Kichidi (see recipe)
Dinner: Butternut Squash Soup (see recipe)
For the remaining days, continue to avoid the Foods To Avoid, listed above and include plenty of the Super Detoxing Foods, and choose your meals from the suggestions below. Limit the healthy desert to once or twice per week. You can also repeat any of the meals from Days 1 and 2 that you like. Continue with your 2 Detox drinks per day, which will cleanse your skin and your system from within.
- Chia pudding – mix 2 tbsp Chia seeds, ½ cup almond milk, ½ tsp vanilla powder or cinnamon, 1 finely chopped medjool date in a bowl or jar and leave to soak overnight. The next morning, mix in ½ a mashed banana, and top the other half sliced, chopped nuts and berries
- Porridge made with almond or soya milk and topped with sliced banana, blueberries, cinnamon & almonds.
- Rye toast with almond butter and sliced banana
- Mashed avocado on rye toast with pumpkin & sunflower seeds
- Mixed berries and papaya, natural coconut or soya yoghurt, nuts and seeds
- Vegetable and lentil soup
- Salad with hummus, quinoa, avocado and walnuts
- Open salmon and avocado sandwich on rye bread
- Brown rice sushi, fruit salad
- Oatcakes, hummus, cherry tomatoes, vegetable crudités
- Courgetti or brown rice pasta with tomato and basil sauce
- Mixed roasted vegetables with quinoa, pine nuts and herbs
- Baked sweet potato, sautéed mushrooms, peas, broccoli
- Grilled white fish with lemon and garlic and mixed vegetables
- Baked salmon fillet with herbs, green vegetables and quinoa
- Avocado Chocolate Mousse
Recipes (swipe right to see more)
- 100g organic rolled oats
- 2 tbsp Chia seeds
- 50g chopped almonds, hazelnuts or Brazil nuts
- 40g goji berries or raisins
- ½ tsp cinnamon
- 300ml almond milk
- 1 apple, grated
- Put the first six ingredients in a bowl and mix thoroughly. The mixture should be quite loose, as the oats and chia seeds will absorb the extra milk overnight. Place in the fridge overnight.
- In the morning, add the grated apple, stir thoroughly, and top with fresh berries, extra nuts, seeds and a drizzle of honey if liked.
- 25g basmati rice
- 60g moong dal (or red lentils)
- 1 tbsp ghee or olive oil
- 1 tsp cumin seeds
- 1 tsp finely chopped ginger
- ½ tsp turmeric
- 1-2 tbsp chopped coriander
- Salt and pepper
- Thoroughly wash the rice and lentils, then soak in water for 1 hour.
- Cook lentils and rice in a pan with 300ml water for 25 minutes until well cooked and mushy.
- Heat the oil or ghee in a pan, add cumin seeds and heat until they start to crackle.
- Add ginger and sauté until golden, then add turmeric and rice and lentil mixture, cook 5-7 minutes.
- Season and serve sprinkled with coriander.
Butternut Squash Soup
- 1 large butternut squash
- 5 tsp vegetable bouillon
- ½ tsp ground cumin
- 1 tsp olive oil
- 200ml boiling water
- Peel and cube the squash, toss in 1tsp oil and roast at 180°C until soft (approx 30-35 mins).
- Put in a blender with the other ingredients and blend until smooth.
Avocado Chocolate Mousse
- 1 very ripe avocado
- 1 very ripe banana
- 3 tbsp raw cacao powder
- 1 tbsp chia seeds
- 2 medjool dates (remove stones)
- A pinch of pink salt
- ½ tsp cinnamon (optional)
- Raspberries or other berries to decorate
- Simply peel the avocado and banana, discarding the stone of the avocado, and chop into chunks.
- Add along with all the other ingredients (except berries) and blend everything together until smooth and creamy.
- Add almond milk or water to thin to desired consistency.
- Pour into bowls or ramekins and decorate with the berries.
Spinach & Tofu curry
- 200g spinach, blanched, finely chopped
- 1 onion, finely chopped
- 125g organic tofu
- Thumb-sized piece of ginger, peeled, finely chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, crushed
- 1 tbsp olive oil or ghee
- 1 tsp ground coriander
- 1 tsp cumin seeds
- 1 tsp garam masala
- 2 tsp gram, chickpea or rice flour
- Heat the ghee or oil in a pan on a medium heat, add cumin seeds and cook until they crackle.
- Add onion, garlic, and tofu and fry until the onion is translucent. Add spices and ginger and flour and cook for a few minutes more.
- Add the spinach, season, cook 3-4 minutes more and serve.
Pea & Mint Soup with Cashews
- 50g cashew nuts
- 250g frozen peas
- 1 tsp vegetable bouillon
- 2-3 sprigs of mint
- Soak cashew nuts in water for 30 mins and blend until smooth.
- Cook the peas, put in a blender with the cashew cream, 1tsp vegetable stock, and a few sprigs of mint.
- Blend and add water to thin to desired consistency, then heat and serve.
Smoked Mackerel Pâté with Oatcakes
- 1 packet smoked mackerel fillets
- 1 ripe avocado
- Juice of ½ lemon
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 1 tbsp chopped dill
- Either mash the mackerel with a fork with the avocado, then add lemon juice, dill and seasoning for a coarse pâté or blend all the ingredients together in a food processor for a smoother texture.
- Serve with oatcakes and cucumber slices.
Sweet Potato & Squash Salad
- 1 sweet potato
- 1 small butternut squash
- 1 bag of watercress, spinach and rocket
- 2 tbsp toasted sunflower seeds or chopped walnuts
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tbsp tahini
- Juice of ½ lemon
- Salt and pepper
- Peel the vegetables and chop into small bite-sized cubes. Toss in a little oil, season and roast in the oven for 30 minutes, or until tender.
- Mix the oil, tahini and lemon juice together with some seasoning to make a dressing.
- Place the leaves in a bowl, then the roasted veg on top, the nuts/seeds and then the dressing.
Baked bananas with vanilla
- 2 very ripe bananas
- 2 tsp honey, maple syrup or a pinch of stevia
- A squeeze of lemon juice
- ½ tsp vanilla essence
- Flaked almonds, toasted
- Coconut yoghurt to serve
- Place the bananas in foil, drizzle the honey on top, and the vanilla and lemon juice. Close the foil, seal well.
- Bake for 5-10 minutes at 180°C.
- Meanwhile gently toast the flaked almonds in a pan, being careful not to burn them.
- Remove the bananas from the foil and transfer to a serving plate, scatter over the almonds and serve with a generous dollop of yoghurt.
Weeks 3 and 4
On rising: hot water, lemon juice and ginger.
Breakfast: Porridge made with almond milk, soya milk or water, cinnamon.
Mid morning: Beauty & Go Skin Detox drink.
Lunch: Kichidi (Recipe from Week1).
Dinner: Spinach & tofu curry, 2-3 tbsp cooked quinoa or brown basmati rice (see recipe).
Breakfast: Green smoothie: ½ avocado, ¼ cucumber, 1 large handful of spinach, 1 handful of blueberries and a large slice of papaya.
Lunch: Kichidi (see Recipe).
Mid Afternoon: Beauty & Go Skin Detox Drink.
Dinner: Pea and Mint Soup with cashews (see recipe).
For the remaining days, choose your meals from the suggestions below, continue with the Foods To Avoid and the Super Detoxing Foods, and your 2 Detox drinks per day. You can also choose meals from weeks 1 and 2 and the weekend menu plans. For the fourth week, repeat days 1 and 2 at the weekend and then choose your meals for the rest of the week.
- Mushroom omelette, wilted spinach.
- Porridge made with almond or soya milk and topped with grated apple, cinnamon, raisins & walnuts.
- 2 poached eggs, roasted tomatoes, ½ an avocado.
- Healthy pancakes – use buckwheat flour, 1 egg, almond milk and vanilla or cinnamon. Top with berries and sliced banana.
- Overnight oats: mix oats, coconut milk, mashed banana, cinnamon, pumpkin seeds and raisins and leave to soak over night. Top with fruit the next morning.
- Smoked mackerel pâté with cucumber and oatcakes (see recipe).
- Sweet potato & squash salad (see recipe).
- Avocado on rye or millet toast with seeds or a poached egg.
- Bean salad with cherry tomatoes, cucumber, spring onions and tuna.
- Sweet potato wedges, guacamole or hummus.
- Vegetable and bean chilli with wholegrain rice.
- Lentil and vegetable curry.
- Prawn stir-fry with plenty of vegetables, garlic, chilli, ginger and soy sauce with soba or brown rice noodles.
- Salmon, new potatoes, green beans.
- Tofu, red onion and courgette skewers, broccoli.
Healthy Treats (once or twice per week)
- Baked bananas with vanilla.
- Bedtime drink of coconut milk with chocolate.