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Pat Henry's guide to safe detoxing

NOW is the time to assess and consider detoxing. Over the Christmas the average person would probably eat a massive amount of calories per day, including more high calorie foods and increased amounts of alcohol and soft drinks.

We are consuming between 6,000 and 8,000 calories per day -- that's 4,000 over what we would normally eat. And as 3,500 calories equals one pound of fat, you see how easy it is to gain 7lb in one week.

Most of the weight gain will be an accumulation of waste and junk food clogging up the system, with the average person being five meals behind in elimination causing bloatedness, swelling of the tummy area, facial bloatedness and puffy hands.


Our 30ft of intestines can become backed up with food that has not been eliminated, resulting in constipation. If your system is working properly, you should be going to the bathroom a half hour after you rise in the morning and at lunch time again anywhere between one and two hours after your meal.

When you are eating, the enzymes in your saliva starts breaking down the food even before your tummy starts the real process of digestion. Hydrochloric acid is what breaks down the majority of food, but if you have any liquid with meals it slows down the process so try and avoid drinking with meals: it's OK after half an hour but give your body a chance to do its job.

Let's imagine you are having a prawn and avocado starter with wine, turkey and ham and all the vegetables and gravy for main course, add more wine, then your creamy trifle with tea, put all these foods into a blender and whisk.

This is what happens when you eat: your food, the intestines become overloaded, the tummy extends, your body is trying to cope with the avalanche of a mixture of drink and food and if you drink beer with your food it makes it even worse, with the yeast effect bloating your tummy even more. To avoid all this, eat food slowly, give each course a break and don't overload your body.

So now you want to detox, it's a great buzzword at the moment with so-called detox products being sold. To detox properly, take a sensible approach. Don't try a long detox regime if you are not used to it. If you do, you may feel unwell. To remove waste, your system has to have a period of adjustment, so over the next four weeks we will take you, step by step in a safe manner. through the proper way to get healthy by detoxing.


I remember the great pioneers of fasting, such as Paul Bragg, Arnold Ehret, and Bernarr Macfadden. They were my heroes of detoxing. Reading their books years ago, I wanted to feel the exhilarating effects of cleansing. Only now is the medical profession accepting the benefits of fasting.

My first attempt was seven days on pears followed by seven days on water. Then eventually three months on pears and 21 days on distilled water. With a large 'NO!', I am not recommending this to you. Looking back, it was too extreme but it did feel fantastic. And, yes, I was working at a very strenuous job.

The idea was to clear the body of mucus and waste to get closer to meditation. But now with such hectic lives I think

to start off for the first week try two days of cleansing. Let's say Tuesday and Thursday.

The most effective way is to have your normal breakfast and from then on only pears or grapes and good water, non sparkling and not tap water, until the next morning.

Then eat your normal food slowly. Don't shovel food into the body. The reason for pears and grapes is that they are the best cleansing foods. Don't use acidic foods, such as oranges or grapefruit, as they will make you feel queasy as they are too acidic and bitter.


Try to use soft pears or sweet grapes. If pears are too hard they don't digest properly. Two days in the first week is enough; very slowly letting your body re-adjust to the cleansing effect and no, you won't be going to the bathroom all day long, that doesn't happen.

Sometimes during cleansing your body you might get withdrawal symptoms from coffee and junk food.

If this happens, don't worry. If you must have some black tea or coffee go ahead. After one day on and a day off food, you will feel the bloatedness decreasing and your tummy will revert back to normal. Your gut is like a small balloon the size of your fist, if you overload the balloon, it just gets bigger, pushing the tummy forward.

Do not detox:

1. If you are pregnant or breastfeeding

2. If you suffer from a serious illness

3. If you are having major surgery

4. If you are seriously under or overweight or suffer from eating disorders

Before detoxing:

1. Visit your GP for a full medical

2. Listen to your body as it will never lie to you, there's nothing to be gained from being stubborn or foolish

3. Get proper advice from an experienced health and fitness expert before you embark on your first detox as they will let you know what to expect