Tiva Luckett



Detoxification Diet

This diet is adapted from Henry Osiecki The Physicians Handbook of Clinical Nutrition

This is one of my favourite detoxes to do and I highly recommend it to everyone, it is simple and achievable. Also useful for bowel problems, bacterial overgrowth or yeast overgrowth (though focus more on vegetables than fruit because of its high sugar content), eating too much, eating poorly, after substance abuse, convalescing after illness or just a general detox that can be incorporated monthly, seasonally or yearly into your normal health regime.
You will need a time when you are not too busy, preferably not working, especially the first three days. It is best to plan all your meals and you will need a juicer. All foods must be fresh, in season and preferably organic. If you have a family they need to understand what you are doing and support you in it. Maybe they can participate too, or just include a few aspects of the detox in their diet.
In the beginning you may experience symptoms such as headaches, pimples, smelly discharges, dizziness, nausea and generally not feel so good. This is just the spring cleaning part, after the first few days you will feel like a million dollars.

Day 1
Vegetables – cooked (lightly steamed) or raw (grated).
Cereals/grains – (e.g. brown rice).

Day 2
Vegetables (raw).

Day 3
Raw fruit only.

Day 4,5,6
Juices only (diluted with water) or raw fruit and vegetables.
Herbal teas (e.g. buchu, nettle, chamomile, peppermint).
Clear vegetable broth (from any veggies, especially tops of root veg, dandelion leaves, nettles, seaweeds etc) every 2 – 3 hours (this can be pre-prepared and refrigerated/frozen if needed).

Day 7
Add, to what you have been eating for the past three days, some small serves of fruit and vegetables.

Day 8
Then add cereal/grains.
Plain yoghurt (and/or acidophilus/bifidus supplement)

Day 9
Slowly back to normal (but healthier) diet. Eat less of the foods that you routinely ate every day before the diet (e.g. less or eliminate cows milk, wheat, sugar, caffeine). Experiment with new taste experiences, (e.g. tofu, miso soup, beetroot muffins).

  • Eat well but don’t overeat. Eat small serves, 5 or 6 times a day.
  • Eat more in the morning less at night.
  • Aim to drink more water, filtered, but not with meals.
  • Start and finish the day with a glass of water with the juice of half a lemon.
  • Juices should be freshly prepared and not stored.

Forbidden: alcohol, tobacco, caffeine (tea, coffee, chocolate, cola), soft drinks, meat, sugar (any ingredient ending in -ose), dairy products (except the yoghurt on Day 8), processed foods (any
packaged product that has several ingredients or any preservatives).

  • Even when you have finished the diet, try to avoid or limit the above list of forbidden foods.
  • If you get constipated, drink more water or add psyllium husk.
  • If you get faint or dizzy, add a little honey to your juice.
  • Do not be too concerned about getting adequate nutrition – you may supplement with alfalfa, spirulina or a quality multi-vitamin supplement. You may be advised to support your liver with a specific liver supplement to aid detox pathways.
  • If you feel like 9 days is too much or you cannot find enough time, you can make it a 7 day detox and just do one day of juices/broths/herb teas (during day 4,5,6). So then, obviously, day 7 would become day 5, day 8 would be day 6 and day 9 would be day 7.
  • Get plenty of sleep, meditate, smile, avoid stressful situations as much as possible, this time is dedicated to you and your wellbeing. And while you are detoxifying your body you may as well keep the mind clear to!
  • Paint, write, read, dance, laugh, play, cry. Crying detoxifies your body of emotions!
  • Take gentle exercise, warm baths, sauna, yoga, tai chi, do some dry skin brushing and get a full body massage.
  • Enjoy cleaning out the old and making space for the new!

NB: Please consult your health practitioner if this is the first time you have attempted a detoxification programme! You may cause serious damage to your body or your health if you detox (or fast) unsupervised.


Posted in Diets

Sources of Iron

Iron is particularly important for menstruating and pregnant women, also for vegetarians and vegans. It is a component of blood cells which, among many other uses, transports oxygen from lungs to the rest of the body. Hence, low iron levels may result in fatigue as well as reduced immunity and anaemia.

Food sources include:
Meat, especially red meat e.g. beef, lamb, and ostrich.

Plant sources of iron are poorly absorbed in comparison to animal sources, vitamin C aids absorption,  vegetarians and vegans will need to increase:
Spirulina and chlorella
Pumpkin seeds
Dark green leafy vegetables

The Anti Candida Diet

'Candida’ refers to the proliferation in the intestines of the usually healthy bacteria Candida albicans, which may link to various symptoms. These symptoms may include:

  • Persistent digestive disorders such as indigestion, bloating, abdominal pain, constipation, flatulence or diarrhoea
  • Fatigue, depression, poor memory, irritability, headaches, lethargy, tiredness
  • Fungal skin infections e.g. athletes foot
  • Frequent throat and ear infections, nasal congestion, chest infections
  • Vaginal yeast infections/thrush, cystitis, PMS
  • Food sensitivity, allergies.

  • This diet is best done for 4 weeks, the first two weeks being the most disciplined. The good thing about this diet is that it encourages eating natural unprocessed foods, and is a good detoxification programme. The problem with the detox part of it is that there may be a release of toxins into the bloodstream, therefore it is important to drink a lot of water and eat soluble fibre (which is present anyway) to help get the toxins out of the body.

    It is also helpful to take supplements (e.g. zinc, vitamin C), and herbal remedies (e.g. Hydrastis canadensis, Propolis) to aid in reducing the candida overgrowth.

    Permitted Foods and Drinks
    • Vegetables: especially onion, garlic, green leafy veg, cabbage, broccoli, celery, cucumber, carrots, spinach.
    • Whole grains: millet, buckwheat, quinoa, brown rice, corn, barley, spelt also can have these as pasta.
    • Protein foods: free range organic - chicken, turkey, fish, lamb, beef, eggs.
    • Nuts and nut spreads (except peanuts and peanut butter).
    • Seeds: flaxseeds, sunflower, pumpkin, sesame, tahini, psyllium (husk).
    • Fats and oils: cold pressed flaxseed, olive, pumpkin, walnut, sunflower, sesame, butter, coconut.
    • Water: filtered, at least 8 glasses, or herbal tea, vegetable juices preferable diluted.
    • Stevia and xylitol as sweeteners.
    • Plain yoghurt with acidophilus.
    • Sugar free soy or rice milk.
    • After 1 week introduce fruits: apple, pear, pawpaw, pineapple, banana and kiwifruit allowed.

    Foods and Drinks to Avoid
    • All sugar (glucose, fructose, lactose) all foods containing sugar and artificial sweeteners.
    • Fruits, dried fruit and dates.
    • Refined foods: white bread, white flour, margarine and foods containing these.
    • Dairy products.
    • Vegetables for 1 week: sweet corn, sweet potato, squash, potato.
    • Alcohol: especially beer and wine.
    • Meats preserved and processed: sausages, salami, polony etc.
    • Fermented foods: such as soy products - tempeh, miso, tofu, soy sauce.
    • Peanuts and peanut butter.
    • Yeast: bread with yeast, marmite, beer.
    • All fruit juices, coffee, tea, carbonated drinks, soft drinks.

    In order not to feel too limited by this diet it is necessary to find foods that you can enjoy and are 'allowed' to eat. I suggest perusing your health food shop, there are a number of healthy and delicious foods that you will discover. 
Posted in Diets

Healthy Foods

An optimum diet contains an abundance of high-nutrients and is the basis for good health, energy, and a sense of well-being. The foods that we need to eat to assure good health include whole grains, legumes, raw seeds and nuts, fish, poultry, fruits, vegetables, herbs and spices, and water.

Whole Grains
Whole grains are the seeds of various grasses (cereals). Whole grains are almost complete meals within themselves, containing fibre, protein, carbohydrates, fats, vitamins such as B and E, and many minerals like calcium, magnesium, potassium, iron, copper, and manganese. When grains are refined in milling the germ and bran are removed, as a result, most of the essential nutrients of the grain are removed.

  • Cooked grains. Grains should be eaten as an integral part of most meals. Vary the grains you eat: amaranth, barley, buckwheat, corn, kamut, millet, oats, quinoa, kasha, rice, rye, spelt, triticale, wheat, wild rice.
  • Sprouts. Several grains, as well as beans and peas, can be sprouted easily at home. Sprouts are extremely high in nutrients.
  • Pasta. It is best to buy, or make, fresh pasta from rye, buckwheat, millet, rice or corn. These non-wheat pastas are easier to digest and have a variety of flavours.
  • Legumes, beans and peas. Legumes are excellent sources of easily utilised protein, particularly when combined with whole grains. Common legumes: adzuki, black/turtle, black-eyed, garbanzo, lima, mung, navy, pinto, red, soy, and kidney beans, lentils and split peas. Here is a preparation method to make them more accessible for use: Bring water to a boil (3 cups water to 1 cup beans). Add beans to boiling water and cook for two minutes. Remove from heat, cover pan, let beans soak in boiling water for one hour. Drain, rise with cold water and freeze. When you want them, thaw quickly under running water. Boil for 30 to 50 minutes.

Seeds and Nuts
These should be eaten raw and unsalted. They are a source of many nutrients including, Omega-3 and 6 essential oils. Seeds: flax, pumpkin, sesame and sunflower seeds, and nuts: walnuts, pecan, almonds, cashew, hazel, brazil and pistachio.

Fish and Poultry
Both are excellent sources of protein. Fish, especially deep sea cold water fish e.g. tuna, salmon, trout, mackerel, sardines and halibut, provide essential Omega fats (EPA and DHA), even more so if eaten raw such as in sushi or sashimi. Tinned fish is a good form of calcium due to the small easily digested bones, e.g. sardines and salmon.
Most poultry fat is found within the skin and the internal organs, so if you want to minimize your fat intake it can be easily removed. The total fat content of chicken and turkey, is far lower than that of beef (11% compared to 40%). Chicken and turkey are less abundant in their vitamin and mineral content though. If you eat poultry buy organic, free range, as their exposure to pesticides, antibiotics, and hormones has been reduced. Both fish and poultry are best eaten grilled, roasted, sauteed, or baked. Frying or sautéing in oil should be avoided.

Nutritionally, fruits are a treasure trove of vitamins A and C, many minerals, natural sugars, fibre, and water. Adequate fruit intake can help to prevent or relieve a wide variety of health problems. Much of the bioflavonoids in citrus fruits are found in the inner peel which is the bitter part of the fruit usually discarded, unaware of its health benefits. The skin and seeds of grapes contain many nutrients. Make sure to eat the whole fruit rather than just the juice, but it must be organic! Although fruit is high in sugar, the fiber helps slow down absorption of the sugar into the blood which helps stabilise the blood sugar level, fruit juice acts more like table sugar and can destabilise your blood sugar level dramatically when taken excessively. The fibre also helps prevent constipation and other digestive irregularities. Fresh and dried fruits are excellent snacks and substitutes for cookies, candies, cakes, and other foods high in refined sugar.

Eat as many vegetables as possible, raw if you can. You can enjoy a variety of raw vegetables in salads, or munch them with dips. Fresh vegetable juice is another option. Though the fibre is discarded in the juicing process, the vitamins and minerals are retained and they do not have a high sugar level like fruit juices. Juices are easy to digest, but if you find that you do not tolerate raw vegetables well and they cause digestive discomfort, cooking them slightly may be preferable. Steaming is the best cooking method because it preserves some essential nutrients. Try to eat organic veg where possible, be sure to wash all fruit and veg thoroughly to remove any pesticides, herbicides, and dirt.

Meat and Milk
If meat is part of your diet it should be a small part. It has a high iron, protein and zinc content but is also high in saturated fat, which cause a number of common diseases and health problems. It is easy to include iron, protein and zinc in your diet without eating much meat. Meat that is consumed should be lean, organic and free range as this is another industry where animals are given many hormones and antibiotics, (some of them solely to increase milk production, which are excreted in milk and consumed by humans, in some ways it's lucky the calves don’t get to drink their mother’s milk!). There are a variety of healthy alternatives to milk including soy milk, rice milk, oat milk and nut milks. Be aware that the animals you eat died for your eating pleasure and the milk you drink was meant for a calf who had no choice but to give it up for you. With the grain used to feed cattle in the US alone they could feed an extra 800 million people, thats food for thought.

Diet and the Environment
The diet should consist of as many organic whole foods as possible, when eating a meal make sure it is in a relaxed environment to aid digestion. Variety is the spice of life! Try healthy, new foods be creative. The more refined foods are, the worse they are for you.

NB. Please be aware that plastic, polystyrene, cling film etc. all contain small amounts of xeno-oestrogens (hormone like substances) that leach into packaged foods. Also think about where the packaging ends up after you throw it away… reduce, reuse, recycle!

Posted in Diets

Iron Deficiency

Iron is essential for the function of many proteins in the body, including the transport of oxygen from the lungs to the tissues.

Symptoms of low iron levels (anaemia) include tiredness, pallor, shortness of breath, fatigue and irritability, decreased general health and well being. Iron deficiency is thought to impair psychomotor development and cognitive function in infants, reduce work performance in adults and increase low birth rate, prematurity and perinatal mortality in pregnancy.

Signs of lack of iron include: paleness of skin, tongue, lower inner eye lids and nail beds; a sore mouth, unusual hair loss, dry hair and skin, menorrhagia, fatigue, reduced stamina, headaches, dizziness, decreased appetite, reduced immunity, irritability.

Iron deficiency may be a result of blood loss (including heavy menstruation), pregnancy and lactation or being vegetarian or vegan.

Non meat sources of iron include:
Whole grains: wheat, oats, brown rice.
Legumes: lima, aduki, kidney beans.
Dark Green leafy vegetables: cooked spinach or kale, all seaweeds.
Dried fruit: apricots, raisins, prunes.

Herbal teas to increase iron levels:
Avena sativa – Oat straw
Medicago sativa - Alfalfa
Urtica dioica – Stinging Nettle
Withania somnifera – Withania


Posted in Nutrients

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