Detox Lemons

Six Things I Learned Doing A Detox

Author: Lauren Coleman

Last month I embarked on my first ever detox. It wasn’t something I’d really considered doing however over the last few months I’ve become increasingly interested in the whole clean eating phenomenon and was intrigued with Charlotte’s clean eating posts.

Truth be told, I felt alienated by the whole thing. So many of you were so knowledgeable about chia seeds and stevia I struggled to get my head round the concept and didn’t know where to begin. Thankfully around the same time I was introduced to nutritionist, Bronwyn Hudson who was weeks away from launching the Spring version of her Wholefood Reboot; an online program with heaps of support designed to find out which foods work for your body and which inflame you. For me it made sense to start with a blank slate and reboot my system so I signed up to take part in a three step program.

Phase 1 – Pre-Reboot. Over four days I began to reduce wheat, caffeine, sugar, alcohol and processed food. Yep all the nasty stuff which tastes really nice.
Phase 2 – Reboot. This period lasted seven days and strips the diet back to whole foods. I ate seven portions of fruit and veg a day along with protein. Through the program we were guided with suggested meals and a list of foods to avoid.
Phase 3- Transition. Once my system was ‘reset’ I began to introduce potential allergens each day; for example grains one day and dairy another. Keeping a food diary I documented my reaction to all the foods to confirm if I had an intolerances.

I learned a million and one things during the whole process but pulling them all together would make one hell of a lengthy post so instead here are a few.

Everyone wants to know why you’re doing a detox

One of the first tasks of the program was to write a list of intentions. This was very helpful as it turns out everyone you meet wants to comment on your new dietary habits and find out what’s driven you to take on this crazy challenge. Here’s what I told them I was hoping to achieve:
a) Reset my eating habits and become more mindful about food and its effects
b) Expand my very small recipe repertoire to include more healthy meals James and I could cook together
c) Feel more energised through whole foods and exercise rather than reaching for sugar as a quick fix
d) Stop spending money on beauty wizardry to hide dark circles and blemishes and invest the money into healthy habits to stop them happening in the first place
e) Finally bring my IBS under control which has become progressively worse over the last three years
This was either followed by general nodding of the head and discussions about how they too wanted to do the same thing, or an announcement I was bound to become malnutritioned during the ‘fad’. Thankfully the latter was a less frequent occurrence.

It pays to be prepared

I knew for over a month I was heading for the reboot and so I started to stock up on some clean eating essentials to spread the cost. My pantry soon became filled with bags of seeds, coconut oil and lentils. Charlotte put together a helpful clean eating shopping list if you are interested in stocking your shelves with healthy eats.
As smoothies were central to the breakfasts during the detox I also splashed out on a Nutribullet. Now obviously you don’t have to use a £100 high speed blender as I’m sure any regular blender would do the trick. However we didn’t actually own any device of this nature and were short on space too. I started introducing berry smoothies (usually kale or spinach with a handful of berries and flax seeds) into my diet four weeks before the program so it wasn’t too much of a shock to the system when I went into full reboot mode.

It’s expensive

I’m not going to lie to you, clean eating is pricey. In order to make sure the food was as fresh a possible I found myself in the supermarket every three days subsequently the cost of our weekly shop doubled. However on the whole the process was probably cost-neutral as it was far easier to eat at home than eat out so we just absorbed the cost of one weekly restaurant dinner.

It’s not just about food

Primarily the detox is about what you eat. However as part of the reboot I was also encouraged to try oil pulling, experiment with dry skin brushing and take a bath with epsom salts to accelerate the detoxification process, as well as working up a sweat with exercise. The main week of the detox I had arranged to see friends on three nights, had a meeting in London and a very hectic working week. I’d spent so long preparing my daily salads and evening meals I really didn’t have any time to do anything else. During the second week I made sure I slipped back into my old exercise routine and did whip out the body brush.

Every day is a school day

I quickly got on board with sipping hot water and lemon on rising to improve my digestions and lymphatic system. Then I read on the internet this was going to strip the enamel from my teeth. This was just the start of the confusing information! You think you’re doing something extremely healthy only to find out it has an impact elsewhere.
The more I read about clean eating as a whole, the more conflicting information I read. Luckily for me I had a closed Facebook group to chat about any concerns or questions during the reboot and it was great to check in once a day and confirm with Bronwyn and the rest of the rebooters on the best route to take.

It’s a bit of a roller coaster

I was completely overwhelmed when I started the reboot and I have to admit I wrote in my food diary I didn’t know if I could face day one. (Melodramatic, moi?!) There just seemed to be so much information to take in and so little variety in what to eat. I mean ten lemons in one week?! It did seem a bit excessive.
As a potential allergen, tomatoes aren’t included in phase two so I wasn’t particularly excited at facing the prospect of a weeks meals without my little red friends. As it happens I actually began to like kale sautéed in garlic and ginger with a fillet of salmon on top.
By the second week I felt I’d got in my stride. My skin was clearer, my sleep was deeper and I had a new found energy. Best of all my digestive issues had all but disappeared. I joked last week in my bank holiday post I planned to ‘detoxify’ after the reboot however while I don’t plan to be so strict with the food I do plan to maintain the principles of clean eating as much as I can. Wish me luck!

I’d love to hear about your own experience of any form of reboot. How did you get on when you transitioned out of the detox phase? Any advice you’d like to share?

{Contributors}

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Lauren likes Paris, Prosecco and Paint Charts
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52 thoughts on “Six Things I Learned Doing A Detox

  1. Thanks, this sounds really useful and it would be good to have a guide to use as a kick starter. This is something I really need to look into. I have become far too dependant on caffeine and sugar since the birth of my little one but, with zero time for exercise the least I should be doing is eating better. Wish me luck, eek! X

    1. Lots of luck Louise! It doesn’t take too long before you feel better without the caffeine and the sugar x

    2. Hi Louise,
      with a little one in tow as well, finding time to exercise and eat well is most certainly a little harder (I definitely relate…I have 4 little ones!).

      Any little change you make is worth it. Perhaps start with just thinking of a way to add one more vegetable into each day.

      I would be happy to offer you support, look forward to hearing from you!

  2. I’ve never done a detox as such, I always worry that if I go in extreme then I’ll spectacularly fall off the wagon! In the run up to my wedding I was pretty much sugar free but then came the honeymoon and then I was pregnant and I single handedly enforce Lindt’s sales here in the Midlands!

    However, this week I am back on it. The baby is 7 weeks and there can be no more excuses! I’ve dusted off my I Quit Sugar books and have started to ease some of the meals in gradually. So far it’s very satisfying to feel like I’m back on track. I know there’s no way I’ll be sugar free all the time but I’m aiming for 80%!

    I know what you mean about people’s opinions. When I was this way inclined last time so many people called it a fad. How can giving up sugar and pledging to eat more real food be a fad?!

    Good luck with it all!

    1. I had a Lindt chocolate bunny staring at me the whole time during the reboot Jennifer! I was looking forward to biting his head off at the end of the program. However so far. so good. I remember the sugar crashes and I don’t like them!
      Best of luck with it all x

    2. Congratulations Jennifer on a busy year or so…wedding, baby!

      I agree that an extreme way of eating just sets you up for failure, or falling off the wagon, and there is nothing healthy about that. The aim of this reboot is not to become a food fanatic or extremist – the aim is to break through all the conflicting food advice and find a way of eating that suits you uniquely.

      During the reboot phase you create a clean slate, so that you are more aware of how different foods affect you as you add them back in. I find it is much more powerful to find a way of eating that has you feeling fantastic, sleeping well, clear skin and ready to take on the world, than to follow any diet rules.

      Much like the IQS programme, it is also a chance to recalibrate your taste buds and balance your blood sugar so that you have more control over your choices moving forward. I think your aim of 80% sounds perfect!

      Good luck, but most of all enjoy!

  3. I’m glad this worked for you and helped your digestive issues. However I really do think that you should add a note about consulting your doctor/GP before embarking on any drastic diet changes. There is absolutely no scientific evidence for undertaking a “detox” – all humans have an organ called the liver which is responsible for detoxing us on a daily basis! Clearly your changes weren’t as drastic as some “detoxes” and look more to be around sensible, healthy diet changes but the “detox” industry as a whole is set up to make money from vulnerable people, usually women, who have little or no understanding of basic human biology or science. It’s a shame to see it being promoted here (on a website which generally treats women as intelligent human beings) but I’m not entirely surprised given the seeming obsession with “clean” eating (another fad which seems fundamentally ridiculous).
    As I mentioned, I am glad that the changes you made have been positive to you individually, I just think you have a responsibility to be balanced and informative to all readers. As an example, breastfeeding mothers (I am one) or those planning to conceive should not drastically reduce their calorific or (good) fat intake but as women we are constantly bombarded with messages to lose weight, get “healthier”, give up the “junk” etc. etc. I’m not at all against a healthy lifestyle but a note of caution around “detoxing” would be nice to see….

    ……*waits for the responses to roll in*……….

    1. Hi Sophie, thanks very much for your reply. You make a very valid comment about consulting your GP before embarking on any drastic changes.
      As you say my ‘detox’ wasn’t particularly drastic, and indeed it was more of a reboot. Even though I eat a mainly plant based diet I realised I was only eating three portions of fruit and veg a day so upping to seven seemed like a very healthy change.
      This post is based on my own personal experience but I fully take on board your comments around providing balanced information. Thanks for your feedback.

      1. Lauren – thanks for your measure response! My comment was not meant as a criticism of you or your article in any way – I’m glad you didn’t take it as such. I was just concerned that some people might read more into it and not be as measured as you obviously have. We are so bombarded with messages about “detoxing” and other claims about health that I suppose as a trained scientist I feel a bit of an obligation to be cautious!
        All the best x

      2. Thanks Lauren for your measured response – my post was in no way a criticism of you, your experience or article so I’m glad that you didn’t construe it as such. I guess I feel that, as a trained scientist, I have a bit of responsibility to debunk what I consider as harmful or unscientific claims. None of which you make but I think others could read more into the whole “detox” agenda. Hope that makes sense!
        All the best
        Sophie

    2. Sophie, thank you for your comments. You make several extremely valid points here, so valid that I want to make sure they are reiterated:
      1. No one should undertake any extreme diet change without consulting their GP.
      2. We do all have a liver responsible for detoxification. However due to toxic load, methylation issues, and many many other factors our detoxification pathways may not be functioning optimally (and this is the case for many people). However this programme is not designed as a detox – it is a reboot. When I first began running the programme a couple of years back I called it a detox, but changed the name as detoxification is not the intention of the programme (supporting natural detoxification may be a possible outcome for some). The goal of the programme is to create mindfulness around what you are eating, explore how eating in a different way can allow you to feel (for most participants this is better than they have felt in a long time) and then to discover a way of eating that suits them uniquely.
      3. Pregnant and breastfeeding woman should not reduce their good fat intake – absolutely not. I would go even further to say that no-one should be making choice to eat low fat. We all need adequate levels of the right fats – they are an essential part of our diet. As a mum of 4 who has recently finished over 8 consecutive years of being either pregnant or breastfeeding (or at time both) I wholeheartedly agree with you comments about the need to create healthy body image for all women – and taking away the need to be so perfect!!!

      It is also often not safe for breastfeeding mothers to lose weight quickly, as when we lose weight we often also release toxins from the fat cells, and these can potentially end up in the milk supply.

      However it is very beneficial for mum (and bubs) to have a healthy diet while breastfeeding, and I am super passionate about helping mums to thrive at this incredible time of their lives (and acknowledge that sometimes just surviving is an accomplishment in itself!).

      Thank you so much for taking the time to highlight these important points.

      1. Just checked back in on this post – thanks so much for following up with this fantastic advice! This is just what I was trying to get across but you have said it so much better. I was never trying to criticise/”shame” anyone for being healthy, because I am all for healthy eating and living.
        Thanks! 🙂

  4. Sophie, I think I understand what you are saying but I don’t read Lauren’s post as anything other than an exploration of a healthier way of eating and an educational journey about nutrition. I don’t sense any vibe of claiming to be an expert. I think it also comes across that she’s eaten an abundance of food, fresh and wholefoods… and there’s no mention of weightloss in any of her goals. You are completely right that weightloss can be a dangerous target for breastfeeding mothers but sticking with processed foods (which don’t even contain any of the good fats) rather than wholefoods has never been an advised way to eat and so I don’t think there’s anything controversial said here.

    Lauren, I think it sounds great. I know what you mean about the costs, and time… but I’ve really found that once your cupboards are stocked for the first time things do last a long time and you get into the habit of it you don’t notive the prep as much. I also find I probably spend less on meat as we’re packing more of a variety of protein into meals and we just don’t need it all the time… so have probably saved on the meat bills.
    The nutribullet is amazing. I have been known to go on and on about how both the steam mop and my slowcooker have completely changed my life… but the nutribullet has taken the no1 spot for sure!

    1. Off topic alert! Amanda, which steam mop do you have? I’d like one, but my mum invested in one and said it was rubbish and now it is never used! ( I can’t remember which one she got, possibly it had a 5 in the name?)

      1. I think mine is the Vax S2S – but its quite a gentle one as I was a bit worried about warping the floors and there look to be some much fancier ones out now. Mine does use detergent. A friend has one that just uses hot water and she’s not as crazy about hers. Another friend has one that doubles up as a wallpaper stripper – not sure what model that is but I want that one next! We live by the woods and my husband cycles everywhere – the amount of mud is ridiculous!

        1. Continuing with the steam mop derail… I have a non-detergent one and i’m not a fan, I cant see that it makes much of a difference apart from making the floor a bit damp… so a steam mop with detergent sounds perfect! x

    2. I love my nutribullet Amanda! I’ve eaten fruit and fibre for breakfast for forever so actually look forward to a smoothie in the morning now and it fills me up for far longer.
      Last week I was in the pub with a friend (drinking sparking water – in a champagne flute – obviously!) taking about steam mops and blenders for at least half an hour!

    3. Hi Amanda,
      you have me adding steam mop back onto my wish list again now! I totally agree about the slow cooker though. I think my favourite appliances would be in this order: high-speed blender (we brought ours over in our suitcase from NZ when we moved to the UK as I couldn’t bear to be without while it shipped), slow-cooker, food processor (I LOVE my magimix), my stick blender (all those veges are now cooked in the slow-cooker, lets turn them to creamy soup right now), and them my Tupperware turbo chef mini thingy – the best way to chop garlic, onion and herbs I have ever come across! Oh, oh oh, somewhere in there I have to add the chest freezer – it is such a lifesaver for doubling or tripling many recipes and having meals-to-go in the freezer.

      Thanks also for your comments about the reboot. The whole aim of the reboot is to eat more fresh whole foods, eat in season, and learn about how different foods work for you. There is nothing extreme about it, and the food is delicious! I love my food too much to eat something just because it is good for you…it better taste damn fine too.

      I also remember the cost initially of reducing processed foods (there is a reason they are so cheap), but like you I have found that once you are set up and find your groove the cost isn’t so high. We also spend less on meat than we used to, even though I tend ot only buy the best quality meat we can afford. We just eat it less often, and less of it when we do.

  5. Not so much a detox, or clean eating… but definitely a diet re-boot… At Christmas I took a good look at myself and realised that if I was going to carry on with my current eating habits, then I was going to do myself some real damage. I was the heaviest I’ve ever been, my skin was suffering, I felt rubbish and I hated every single photo of myself on Facebook.

    I started off trying to cut out certain foods and lost a few pounds, but then in March I bit the bullet and ended up joining Slimming World. The group meetings are every cliche you expect them to be, but it’s really fun and I tell you what – it works!

    In less than two months, I’ve now lost 12.5lb, dropped almost two dress sizes, I’ve been eating healthy food, my skin is clear and I feel fab. It’s amazing how giving yourself a little focus to make the changes your body needs can have such huge results. I never in a million years thought I could drop almost a stone in such a small amount of time without having to starve myself!

    Lauren, it sounds like you’re going about your re-boot the right way and sensibly… but you must have a will of iron! hats off to you love! xx

    1. It’s wonderfully cliched – I love it! Love getting a shiny sticker and a round of applause when I’ve had a good week. It’s so motivating and I feel like I go to that extra bit of effort when I know my achievements are shared in group.

      Well done you – not far off your next shiny sticker! I’m still on a mission to try and win Slimmer of the Week but not had any luck yet!

      1. Haha – I’m the same! There’s this one couple who go and lose about 4lb each every week and they ALWAYS get Slimmer of the Week. I secretly fume about it not being me!!

        Our group is like something off Shameless and I love it. I LIVE for the hope of getting a sticker and a certificate!! Gutted I have to miss next week and wait til the week after for my stone… I’ll have to drop you a message for recipes Kitty. How are you getting on? xxx

    2. Karen good on you for your efforts. To me the way you feel is so much more important than how much weight you lost – good on you! I think the support of a group is for many a factor that adds to success outcomes, which is why I include private group support as well as 1:1 for my reboot participants. The key is to eat real food, food that works for your unique body and needs at this time, enjoy the food and feel fabulous!
      Keep feeling great 🙂

  6. Almost three years ago now a school friend of mine who is a Personal Trainer and Lecturer did some outdoor exercise classes accompanied by a clean eating programme for two months. The simple version is sugar free, gluten free and almost dairy free. It was a drastic change and I enjoyed it but it was very difficult to keep up permanently – and it was massively expensive. I lost a lot of weight (which sadly crept back on) but there were massive benefits that I still feel today – the main one being actually tasting food properly once you cut out sugar. I never liked raw vegetables before and I used to find that carrots tasted like soil but after the ‘boot camp’ they suddenly tasted very sweet. I am no longer a salad dodger.

    In order to try and eat fairly well I always plan out meals so up to two weeks ahead to keep a varied diet and so that I minimise naughty ‘treat’ meals popping up too often.

    Well done of the detox Lauren!

    1. “I am no longer a salad dodger” – love this quote Claire!
      Totally agree on the cost. I’m thinking making the change from cereal to smoothie for breakfast is probably the biggest change I can make – three portions of fruit and veg versus a bowl of sugar, but it’s double the cost.
      Meal planning two weeks in advance is a great tip too. I’ll definitely remember this one otherwise we’re in danger of having the sauteed kale and salmon dish three times in a couple of weeks. It does taste good though!

      1. Your ‘bowl of sugar’ is very accurate Lauren – I’ve got a massive sweet tooth and am always aware that I do eat a bit too much sugar. However, I don’t really mind when it is cake or chocolate because that stuff is supposed to be sweet! It is much more annoying when apparently “innocent” cereals contain it because at that time in the morning I don’t even want anything that sweet, but it’s hard to avoid. I have weetabix which isn’t *too* bad but still does contain it, but have got into the habit of adding fruit every day which is expensive but makes me feel like I’ve had a really healthy breakfast. I don’t think a smoothie would be enough for me – I like something a bit more solid in the mornings!

        1. Hi Katie, I do like a bit of weetabix but prefer it when I add sugar on top.
          Actually I do feel a bit fuller for longer with a smoothie. I only realise I’m ready for the next feed about 11am but it was 9.30 on the cereal!

    2. Hi Claire,
      you hit the nail on the head – finding a way to eat for life is so important. And the taste of real foods when you cut out sugar is out of this world isn’t it! I had a giggle at your ‘salad dodger comment’.

      Well done you planning two weeks in advance. Planning is the secret to my success too, and learning how to cope when I go off-schedule was the biggest learning curve I faced.

      What I find so powerful is adding things back in slowly after creating that clean slate, and taking note of how they make you feel. Keeping a food and symptoms dairy is a really useful tool for this. When you have experienced feeling fantastic, and have worked out which foods you can eat that allow you to feel this way it is much easier to stick to eating them long term. The rest of the time, just chalk it up to experiments. I experiment most Thursday’s at playgroup just to see how the delicious cake makes me feel…usually I am pretty sleepy and unproductive on Thursday afternoon’s, and look like I may be expecting again (trust me I’m not – 4 children are enough for me!), but I try the experiment again the following Thursday just to see!

  7. I think changing your diet to improve IBS symptoms is the ONLY way to get better so fair play for such a humongous effort. I know for a fact that your reboot was nothing to do with your weight or with fad dieting. I also know full well how awful your IBS symptoms have been recently and that you had very little support from your doctor on this issue.

    I do agree that ‘detoxing’ has become the trend word of the moment and I’m also aware that the ‘5 a day’ promotion was set up by a very very famous fast food restaurant to encourage people to drink their orange juice. As cynical as I may be about particular ways of eating there is one thing you cant knock people for. Beng mindful of what you put in your mouth, looking after yourself both on the inside and outside, using strength of willpower and taking time to put yourself first is never ever a bad thing. Well done Laurie, and im so glad you are feeling better xxxx

    1. Thanks lovely. No more having to go home early because I feel so ill, and no more people questioning if my swollen belly is a pregnancy bump. Hooray! x

  8. Loving this Lauren. I suffer from sporadic IBS. It’s not too bad at the moment but I think that it is partly down to what I am eating and I have recently, thanks to blogs such as Deliciously Ella (by the way thanks RMS for introducing me to Deliciously Ella!) noticed an improvement. I still eat sugar but I have cut down and I eat a lot more plant based foods. I also tend to have a homemade smoothie for breakfast. For me personally I find that if I have a smoothie for breakfast it sets me up for being a lot more healthier throughout the day. I have no idea why this is! My current smoothie love is from Deliciously Ella, a handful of spinach, a banana, two thirds of a cup of coconut water and one tablespoon of coconut yogurt. I am o.b.s.e.s.s.e.d with it.

    1. Oooh yum Kate. Whoever thought spinach could be delicious but I’m a total convert now!

    2. Sounds fabulous Kate. I love Deliciously Ella’s savoury recipes too. I do really enjoy my smoothie for breakfast – it sets me up for the day fabulously just like you. They aren’t for everyone though, and I am always careful to balance just a handful of low GI fruit (such as berries or apple) with a couple of handfuls of greens.

      Not everyone thrives on a smoothie though, and that is what I love about bio-individuality and learning what works for you, rather than following any ‘rules’.

      If you eat in a way that keeps your blood glucose levels well controlled it is much easier to make good choices across the day, which is probably what you are finding.

      Well done you!

  9. Really interesting read! I’m not a big fan of “detoxing” or “clean” eating as terminologies – and agree with Sophie that it tends to capture vulnerable people and is almost always relating to buying a book/wondermachine/online program/food deliveries etc. I think common sense and going back to more traditional eating habits (less processed, ready made etc) if possible is a much more sensible approach (as is moving more)! Of course that’s not always practical and I’m perfectly happy to use a ready made pasta sauce to save time after a long day at work 🙂
    I’m both dairy and gluten sensitive though and suffer from IBS so I completely sympathise with any approach that helps getting that under control.

    1. Thanks Maike, yes agree it’s all about reducing the processed stuff. It’s much nicer to eat real food than something that’s been put through lots of processes to resemble food!
      Hope you’re finding ways to deal with your IBS. I was at my wits’ end before I did the reboot!

      1. It’s such a debilitating condition – and it really affects your social interactions as well – I’m really glad to hear that it helped you get it under control! x

  10. This is so apt Lauren, I’m on day three of the 22 days nutrition vegan detox plan that Beyoncé has been endorsing recently and I have to say – it’s great! I always struggle with ‘Borrowers portions’ and this lets me eat plenty so I would recommend it, and it’s a good way to try veganism. My plan is to go back to vegetarianism after the 22 days so I like that it is teaching me healthier eating habits. X

    1. Glad you’re getting to eat healthy portions Beckie.
      I was eating a two course dinner on my reboot. So much lovely healthy food!
      Lots of luck with it all x

  11. Really interesting article! I too am in love with my Nutribullet – I have a smoothie for breakfast every morning and it fills me up much more than cereal. Out of interest, did you ever get to the bottom of whether hot water and lemon is bad for your teeth? I’ve been starting my day with a mug of it for a while, so I really hope it’s not actually bad for me. Maybe a straw is the answer…!x

    1. My Mum has been drinking hot water and lemon on a morning for as long as I can remember and her teeth are perfectly fine.

    2. Hi Emily, it has to be better for your teeth than gulping a can of coke.
      The general consensus seemed to be have a large glass of water after, and sipping through a straw was mentioned too x

  12. I hear you on the conflicting information! The comments alone show that. I have a friend who is a health coach. She’s the most ‘clean eating’ person I know. Super super into it. I had a very honest conversation with her that went as follows:
    Me: “I think you’re wonderful and I love what you do… But honestly, there are so many people out there preaching different things, Doctors, nutritionists, health industry leaders… Why should I go with what you’re advising instead?”
    Health coach friend: “You shouldn’t sweetheart. You should pick up the information that resonates with you, try it and listen to your body. Your body will tell you what’s for you and what’s not.”
    Best bit of health advice I’ve ever received.

    1. Hi Naomi,
      I totally agree…it is a minefield of conflicting and confusing information out there. Much of it has no grounding in science, or there are scientific findings but they are not necessarily relevant. Even studying the science is confusing! I am studying a Masters in Science in personalised nutrition at the moment, and I tell ya for pretty much every bit of research saying one thing there is other research saying another.

      I believe there is a real need for a new paradigm when it comes to nutritional advice, moving away from recommending certain diets or protocols for different conditions, and focussing more on the individual and finding the root cause.

      I studied as a health coach initially, and there is such a big focus on recognising that everyone is unique. I totally agree with your lovely health coach friend who is encouraging becoming more intuitive and listening to what your body is telling you, rather than something you have read! The best advice ever!

  13. Hi Lauren, I suffer from IBS too and symathise so much. I was sort of getting there with it (5 years down the line) and then got a really bad stomach bug when I traveled abroad for work last month. Now I’m back to square one. I was on a vegetarian gluten-free diet. Now I seem to dairy intolerant as well. I’m pretty certain there are other things that don’t agree with me, but I can’t work out what I’d eat while I strip back my diet enough to figure it out.
    So, I was wondering, are you pretty confident you’ve figured out what you’re intolerant to? Do you think it’s sustainable to have a diet without those things long term? And, finally, where can I sign up to one of these reboots? I really want to figure things out and get my IBS in check again. It’s not exactly a “sexy” health condition is it? I hate having to explain to people why I’m struggling…

    1. Hi Mel,
      So sorry to hear you’re back to square one 🙁 I was diagnosed when I was 11 so can’t really remember a time without it but the last three years have been particularly nasty. I used to attempt to hide the condition but I’m quite open about it now. I suppose you have to be when you disappear to the loo eight times in an evening!
      I would say I’m 95% certain one of my triggers is chillies. I didn’t eat them at all during the reboot and the two times I’ve eaten them since haven’t gone at all well. I used to eat them nearly every day so it was very difficult to single out the aggravator though I had an inkling.
      I worked with Bronwyn Hudson on the program (her details are in the post) and she was fabulous.
      Best of luck Mel. Hope you can get back in check again very soon x

    2. Hi Mel,
      it is certainly no fun managing IBS symptoms on a daily basis. How frustrating for you to be back there again.

      I would be very happy to support you in finding a way of eating that works uniquely for you. I believe that digestive health and lifestyle factors also influence IBS, so there are lots of areas we can look at.

      Please feel to reach out and book a complimentary discovery session with me if you would like more information.

      I do hope you get on top of this soon x x

    3. Hi again Mel,
      I realised looking through these comments that I never addressed your question about whether it is okay to eat like this long term. It is such an important question that I want to come back to you with my thoughts.

      An elimination diet plan is designed to help determine food sensitivities…not as a long term diet plan. Avoiding everything that is originally removed over a long period of time would not be safe, and you would be bound to end up with some nutrient deficiencies if you did so.

      That is where this reboot differs from many of the diet plans you see in the papers/magazines at this time of the year: you get individualised professional support to ensure you are set up with the best plan for you moving forward. There is no one diet that fits all, so I believe that the personalised aspect of the reboot is really important.

      Conversely continuing to eat foods that really don’t serve you personally very well because you believe you need to eat it to be healthy is also not a great idea.

      The challenge is working out alongside a professional what works best uniquely for you.

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