Cleansing your body is more than just cutting out alcohol during the week, an all over body cleanse involves pushing out all the toxins that create the problems your organs have to deal with on a daily basis. Whether it is green juices for a week or a ‘Paleo’ protein diet, the ultimate ‘reset button’ for your body is to cleanse it, there is nothing better for you than cutting out all the bad things you put into that temple that is your body. Think about all the functions that your body has to do on a daily basis, it is an amazing piece of live machinery and needs some serious TLC. The big question is how do you stick to a cleanse, the answer involves two easy steps, the first being ready within your mind and your body will always follow. The second involves planning, start with one week of pre-organised meals and go from there.

Have you ever gotten to that point when Monday swings around and you feel like Saturday nights hangover is still holding on, Vicki Edgson, leading UK nutritionist and co-author of ‘Honestly Healthy’ explains, “alcohol stays in your system well over forty-eight hours after you finish consuming it, you start the week feeling horrible while your body is still processing the alcohol”. This means that the champagne and few too many vodka, lime and sodas that was Saturday night is probably still moving around your system come Monday morning. Don’t get me wrong, we are all after that wind down after the working week is over but what you need to ask yourself is ‘do I need that extra drink?’ According to the UK NHS alcohol choices advice, ‘regularly drinking over the recommended amount of alcohol can have a noticeable impact on your waistline. Many women don’t realise that two large glasses of wine not only puts them over there daily limit for regular alcohol consumption, but also provides them with nearly twenty percent of their recommended daily calorie intake’.

Zoe Copsey, head of nutrition at Lomax Bespoke Fitness, Nutrition and Wellbeing explains, “binge drinking puts extreme pressure on your liver and kidneys to process huge amounts of alcohol at once, if you overload these vital organs they push the toxins that they can’t process back into your body, this can cause digestive, skin and general health problems”. Everybody reaches that point when their body is asking for a break, a body cleanse is the best way to kick start this off. As someone who enjoys a good few drinks and the food that goes along with it on the weekend I believed that when I exercised and ate healthy during the week it ‘cancelled out’ all the bad things I put into my body on the weekend. This is a huge misconception, as the saying goes, two wrongs do not make a right and in this case that phrase is certainly true.

There are many cleanse options out there, you can either do it yourself or have nutritionists, like Zoe and Vicki design a weekly menu for you. At Lomax Bespoke Health they provide a five or seven day cleanse where all meals and snacks are provided for the time period. Their cleanse menu is meat and wheat free; this includes no red or white meat and fish. After I had nutritional consultation with Zoe, she recommended I undertake the seven day cleanse to give my body a better chance to ‘reset’ itself and so it began.

A Lomax cleanse allows your body to focus on processing food that it will find much easier to digest. Your liver also aids digestion and this gives it a huge break too. ‘Cleansing’ means no coffee or alcohol, it is strictly water and green tea unless otherwise specified. They do not recommend exercise whilst ‘cleansing’. Jonathan Lomax, CEO and founder of Lomax Bespoke Health explains, “your body is already undergoing a big change in itself, it can be a shock taking away all the toxins that we put into our bodies and it can react in many ways, everybody is different”. Cleanses are different to diets. The main point of a cleanse is to rid your body of the impurities and toxins that we all put into it on a day-to-day basis. A diet differs from this and is usually used as a weight loss aid or if you suffer intolerances/allergies to certain food products.

The hardest part of ‘cleansing’ is the halfway mark, this is when the body has usually pushed out the previous toxins and is running purely on a new and improved cleansing body. The last toxins are holding on for dear life, in this stage emotions and cravings run high. Day four entailed me thanking my breakfast of muesli and berries with almond milk, you begin to connect and appreciate your food. After this stage you begin to realise how amazing you feel with this ‘cleansed’ body of yours.

My biggest struggle was eating every three hours, I come from a family of large portions three times a day, not small portions including two snacks. Throughout my cleanse I ate Mediterranean and hummus buckwheat wraps, vegetable frittatas with an array of delicious salads, mixed bean and tomato soup with stir fried vegetables and delicious fresh fruit smoothies and vegetable juices. Nuts and seeds were the majority of my snacks, but my favourite was the wild rice salad with avocado, quails eggs and fresh vegetables. These are just a handful of meals that Lomax provided for me fresh on a daily basis.

When you finally reach the end I guarantee you will never look at that muffin in the same way again. I did savour my first coffee after I finished my cleanse but it did not taste the same and I found myself determined to stick to the eating patterns I had made over the last week. By the end the previous weeks meal structure really drives you to integrate cleansing into your everyday life. My stomach had flattened out and I felt great, in fact one month on and I still do. I have the self-control to say no to sugar and alcohol. Don’t get me wrong I still enjoy a treat, I just have everything in moderation, which is the best way to enjoy most things – it’s just very hard to do. Doing the cleanse has made me respect my food and my body, helping me to make better choices and more mindful ones at that, which can only be a very, very good thing.