Clean up your act!

You’ve stuffed yourself silly over Christmas – now it’s time to rid your body of those toxins and embark on a healthy detox…

Did you know that over Christmas, you’re likely to eat three times as many calories a day as you would normally? It’s hardly surprising then that after such an overload of toxins caused by too much refined food and alcohol, by the time January arrives, our bodies feel bloated and tired.

Following a sensible detox regime can not only help rid the body of this chemical overload but also boost energy levels. A detox neutralises the toxins which have built up and removes them from the body by helping the eliminating organs (skin, bowel, kidneys, liver and lungs) to function efficiently. Celebrities such as Madonna, Kim Basinger and Carol Vorderman are all regular detoxers. And, for top singer and TV presenter Kim Wilde, going on a detox literally changed her life.

Kim was invited to appear on Channel 5’s Celebrity Detox Camp in May 2003 and she saw it as the perfect opportunity to lose some weight. The 80’s pop star, who has blossomed into television’s sexiest gardening presenter, admitted that motherhood and her new gardening career had taken their toll on her body. A safe and effective detox was just what she needed to get herself back on track.

Wilde about detoxing

“I’m a real foodie”, 43-year-old Kim admits, “and I really enjoy good food and good wine. During my life I’ve tried a whole raft of diets and none of them have had any effect in the long term. Trying my first detox was a complete revelation. The results were so dramatic. Not only did the unwanted weight drop off but I also felt completely rejuvenated in both mind and body. It’s the best I’ve felt for years.”

During the programme, Kim successfully managed to lose a stone in weight and felt so great she decided to share the secrets of her detoxing success. She has teamed up with leading health practitioner and naturopath Michael van Straten and the result is a brand new video – Michael van Straten’s 10 Day Detox with Kim Wilde, which comes with a free booklet explaining the main aspects of the easy-to-follow regime.

“For the TV series, we went to Koh Samui in Thailand, which was the perfect place to get away from it all and just concentrate on me”, explains Kim, who lives with her husband Hal Fowler and their children Harry, five, and Rose, three. “After having my first detox I felt like it was something that drug addicts and alcoholics have to go through, but I soon discovered, done correctly, it really can boost your health and well-being.”

Kim got together with leading complementary health practitionel Michael van Straten to devise an easy-to-follow detox that anyone can follow. While weight loss is often most people’s major goal, following the regime will also help improve skin tone, hair, nails and eyes, reduce blood pressure, boost the
rounds,” says Michael. “More importantly, in the long term, it’s a cleansing process, which benefits the body mind and spirit.”

Reward yourself

Day by day, Kim and Michael outline a meal plan with a thorough explanation and details of how to make each dish as appetising as possible. Michael also provides advice about specific supplements.

[…] the UK Here And Now Greatest Hits Tour, alongside top acts from the ’80s such as Paul Young, ABC, Howard Jones and Heaven 17. The fact that it lasts for ten days means it is do-able – it isn’t forever and devoting that amount of time to your health isn’t impossible”, she adds. There’s a specific menu for each day and I’ve also done a detox diary to share my own experiences as I went through the programme”, she says.

A healthy boost

“I did lose weight doing the detox. Now I know it works, I know that if I’ve gained weight over Christmas, I can easily lose it by following the programme. However, the main benefit for me was the increase in energy levels and boost to my immune system. I’ve always had a history of chest problems and bronchitis but as far as coughs and colds go, there seems to have been a definite improvement.”

The regime has been carefully planned to give maximum benefit for minimum effort. “Initially there’s a two-day fast”, explains Kim. “You start the day with a glass of hot water and a thick slice of fresh, unwaxed lemon, which is a wonderful kickstart for the system – I still drink this every morning. Fresh organic juices are also very important. The juicer has become a real fixture in our kitchen now and sits alongside the toaster.”

The programme also has plenty of advice on good nutrition and how to make your meals tasty but healthy. “As a family, we now eat a lot more fresh food and steamed vegetables, which the children love”, says Kim. “I’ve cut out all caffeine and am much more aware about what I eat, which in turn has helped me be more relaxed and given me a greater sense of well-being”.

Michael van Straten suggests doing the detox three to four times a year. “It’s a great thing to do at the start of each season”, he says, “or when you’ve been through a particularly difficult time such as when you’re travelling and can’t manage to eat such healthy food.”

The final section of the programme deals with life after detox with tips and advice on how to maintain healthy eating habits, plus details of 24 and 48-hour detox plans that can be fitted into your lifestyle.

“For me, stress was a major health issue”, says Kim. “The detox forces you to focus in on yourself, to take time out to relax and become a little more protective of yourself, which is great. Everyone needs a little pampering. My attitude to myself has changed. Whereas before I was always putting everything else first – my family, my job… I now realise how important it is to make time to focus on me and look after myself.”