Pre-Christmas Detox


However much you love Christmas, it is often an energy-sapping marathon. A gentle detox now will help you feel and look as sparkling as the decorations. 

Daniel and Cornelius O’Shaughnessy (below), the bespoke detox experts who run Bodhimaya, the retreat that transformed Rebecca Adlington before her wedding, have devised a three-stage detox plan for YOU readers, which you can do inexpensively at home.

Toxins from food, drink, pollution and synthetic chemicals in cosmetics can unbalance our bodies and potentially cause disease. ‘A good detox lifts the toxic load and helps our liver, gut, lymph, circulation and perspiration systems work effectively to return our body to a state of balance where we feel full of energy, with natural sleep patterns and clear skin,’ they explain.


This prepares your body and brain for Stage 2: Cleanse.


  • 3 meals and 2 snacks daily (eg, an apple/pear and 6 almonds) to help stabilise blood sugar.
  • Fresh simple food with a small amount of protein at each meal (white meat, fish, shellfish, eggs, nuts, seeds).
  • 5 to 7 vegetables in rainbow colours (no potatoes or parsnips), 2 helpings of fruit (apples, pears, berries; no bananas).
  • Some fat with each meal: 1 tsp olive oil, coconut oil or a small portion of butter.
  • Lots of still fresh water, and herbal or green teas – we like Tea Pigs.
  •  Two days before your detox, start the day with 2tbs of ground flax seeds (Linwoods Milled Organic Flaxseed £5.19/425g) soaked overnight in half a cup of organic prune juice to eliminate toxins from the colon. Or if you prefer opt for the more substantial chia pudding which can be made in one big batch. Scroll down for recipe.


  • Processed foods, sugar, alcohol and caffeinated drinks, which can overwork the liver and cause a build-up of toxins, leading to fatigue, headaches, gas, constipation, acne, bad breath and PMS. A detox can relieve these symptoms by lightening the load on the liver.
  • Gluten-containing grains, milk or soy-based products. Gluten may cause intestinal permeability (leaky gut), leading to food sensitivity. Choose gluten-free bread and coconut or almond milk.
  •  If you do crave caffeine, snack on Naturya Organic Cocoa Nibs, £7.99, and Holland & Barrett. 


Ideally, organise this as a home spa weekend. Clear your diary and relax. 

  • On rising, continue your bowel cleanse (2tbs ground flax seeds soaked overnight in half a cup of organic prune juice OR chia pudding). 
  • Drink 3 cold-pressed juices or smoothies and 1 protein shake each day, around 8am, noon, 4pm and 7pm. Or swap your third juice for a green veggie soup. Finish by 8pm so your body has 12 hours to rejuvenate. See recipes below.
  • For your protein shake use Sunwarrior Warrior Blend Raw Vegan Protein Vanilla powder (£35.25,, or blend a handful of soaked almonds in a green juice.
  •  Drink lots of water and/or herbal tea – up to three litres.


How you break(your)fast Is vital 

  •  Choose easy-to–digest fruit (eg melon) with coconut yoghurt (Coyo, right, £1.69 for 125g,
  •  For lunch have thicker vegetable soup – add beans such as edamame, frozen from Ocado, to the pureed soups below.
  • Return to the Stage 1 Clean-up diet for a week, longer if you can.
  • Carry on with the bowel cleanse (chia pudding or soaked flaxseeds) first thing for two days.

NB Children and pregnant/breastfeeding women should not detox. Please consult your doctor first if you have a medical condition or take any prescription medication. 


BOWEL CLEANSE This helps eliminate old waste from the colon. Begin two days before your Stage 2 detox cleanse and continue until two days afterwards.


 1 Prune juice and ground flax seeds

Soak 2tbs ground flax seeds (Linwoods Milled Organic Flaxseed £5.19/425g) overnight in half a cup of organic prune juice.


2  Chia pudding

Makes 8 small portions

50g / 1 ¾ oz / ½ cup chia seeds

250ml / 8floz / 1cup 100% unsweetened prune juice

2tbsp tahini

6 pitted dates, chopped

Handful of unsalted pistachios

Pinch of sea salt

Pinch of cinnamon

225g / 8oz blueberries


1 Place the chia seeds in the juice and leave to soak for 20 minutes. The seeds should swell up and thicken the liquid.

2 Place all the ingredients but only half of the blueberries into a blender. Process until smooth and creamy. Stir in the remaining blueberries.

3 Spoon into bowls


 1 Bowel cleanse – Chia pudding or flaxseeds with prune juice, as above

2 Green juice A (ideally use a cold press juicer and organic vegetables. If using a blender, blend with coconut water).

2 Green juice A 

 1/2 apple

1/2 cucumber

1/2 lemon 1/2 cup of spinach

3 Green juice B

1 kiwi

1 handful spinach

1 stalk celery

1 cucumber

1 handful parsley

4 Protein shake or juice with protein

1 Scoop Sunwarrior Vanilla protein powder

Handful of Spinach

300ml coconut water or unsweetened almond milk


Green juice C with handful almonds on the side for protein

Green juice C

1/2 cup of spinach

2 stalks of celery

1/2 fennel bulb 

Thumb of ginger

5 Green juice C (above) or Green Soup

Green soup

1 tbsp virgin organic coconut oil 

1 large chopped onion 

2 garlic cloves 

2 large handfuls broccoli 

3 chopped carrots

Handful watercress 

Chicken or vegetable stock to cover – approx two pints. Avoid stock cubes (try Waitrose Cook’s Ingredients chicken stock £1.72 500g) 

A small handful of chopped fresh parsley leaves

Himalayan pink salt to taste

Black pepper to taste


1 Heat the oil in a large saucepan 

2 Fry onion and garlic until onions soften 

3 Add stock and vegetables 

4 Bring to the boil and simmer until vegetables are tender 

5 Add the fresh parsley and simmer for a further 5 minutes 

6 Blend until smooth

Eat one bowlful and freeze the remainder to eat immediately post-detox.

DAY 2 

1 Bowel cleanse. Chia pudding or flaxseeds with prune juice as before

2 Red juice

1 small beetroot

2 carrots

1 celery stalk

3 Green Juice D

1/2 fennel bulb 

1/2 cup romaine lettuce 

1/2 cucumber

1/2 grapefruit squeezed 

Handful coriander

4 Protein Shake as before or yellow juice with handful almonds on the side

Yellow juice

1/2 cucumber 

1 stick of celery 

1/4 medium pineapple 

1 tsp ground turmeric or 1 finger fresh turmeric root

5 Yellow juice or orange (carrot and coriander) soup 

Orange (carrot and coriander) soup

1 tbsp coconut oil 

1 onion 

1 clove of garlic 

One finger length fresh turmeric root chopped or 1tsp ground turmeric 

10 carrots 

Handful of fresh coriander 

Vegetable stock to cover (around two pints .Try Waitrose Cooks’ Ingredients Vegetable Stock 500g £1.72) 

Himalayan pink salt to taste

Black pepper to taste 


1 Heat the oil in a large saucepan. 

2 Fry onion and garlic until onions soften 

3 Add stock and vegetables 

4 Bring to the boil and simmer until the vegetables are tender 

5 Add fresh coriander and simmer for a further 5 minutes 

6 Blend until smooth

Eat one bowlful and freeze the remainder to eat immediately post-detox. 


STAY RELAXED Breaking down cortisol, the stress hormone, is more work for the liver, so in Stage 2 do gentle exercise such as walking or yoga and avoid action movies and stressful arguments.

DRY SKIN BRUSH BEFORE YOU SHOWER This helps the lymph and circulation systems to get toxins out and nutrients into your body. Liz Earle offers a good Natural Bristle Body Brush, £8,

USE NATURAL BEAUTY PRODUCTS The Ultimate Natural Beauty Bible by Jo Fairley and me (Kyle Books, £19.99*) lists the top products rated by our testers.


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