Is a detox worth doing?

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?

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