21 days of detox – How I did it

Detox with Christina Greve

Yesterday I ended my 21 days detox cleanse!

Many of you have asked how I did it, what I ate and how I´m feeling now. I will try to cover all of that in this post.

The detox was a challenge I gave myself for several reasons. I wanted to:

  • do something good for my body, after a long period with tons of work and little time to take care of me.
  • take control over my cravings for coffee, wine, chocolate and cheese – which I got way to much of.
  • feel healthy and full of energy.
  • see if it would make me look younger :-)
  • loose weight.

I´m no expert in detox. Everything in this blog post is simply to share the journey I´ve been on for the past three weeks. I´ve done this detox my own way. Before I started I read about different detox plans and tips. I knew I didn´t like the ones about starving yourself, as I don´t believe it´s good for your body. For me it was important to give my body as many nutrients and vitamins as possible.

The detox plans that inspired me the most was The Clean Diet, Simple Green Smoothies and Juicing Vegetables. So if you are interested in doing a detox yourself, I truly recommend that you look into the guidelines for those diets. I took the best tips from each of them, the ideas I liked the most and made my own detox plan.

My detox plan looks like this (recipe further down this page):

Breakfast: green smoothie with supplements

Snack: a glass of vegetables juice + 7 almonds

Lunch: a salade or a healthy pizza

Snack: fruit or vegetable juice

Dinner: a glass of vegetables juice + 7 almonds + a sliced apple

With this diet I was never hungry (except for day one) – all the veggies makes you feel full. The body adjust so quickly to the new diet and the smaller meals.

For 21 days I didn´t eat:

  • Bread, cereal, pasta, rice, ect.
  • Diary products like milk, cream, cheese, butter, ect.
  • Alcohol, wine, champagne
  • Sweets, chocolate, cakes, ice cream, ect.
  • Coffee, soft drinks, ect.
  • Meat – I got two slices of serano ham twice a week, that´s all.

For 21 days I only ate:

  • Vegetables 
  • fruits
  • Nuts
  • Water
  • Green tea
  • Small amounts of chicken, salmon and serano ham
  • A spoon of parmesan cheese twice a week
  • Supplements

Week 1

So a week before Easter I jumped right into it, honestly with a little doubt that I was able follow through.

But sometimes it´s great to start before you are ready, before you believe you can do it and just learn along the way.

The first week was hard! I knew that there would be different reactions from my body due to the detox, so I embraced it as good as I could. The first three days I almost slept non-stop. I was extremely tired…my body was working hard to get rid of the toxin – all my energy was gone because of it. After three days of sleep I started to feel a little more energy, but I also had a bad headache and that headache stayed with me for the first 8 days!

I couldn´t take any pain-killers as that would ruin the cleanse of my body, so I rested as much as I could in stead. All the rest gave me plenty of time to think and one thought that came to me often was this: “my body must really need this detox cleanse when it´s reacting so extreme” Honestly I was a bit chocked to realize that.

I was constantly craving coffee – big time…my body was screaming for it! (Properly the headache was because of caffeine addiction). I had severe mood swings, which I normally never (almost never..hhrrmmff) have. My mood could swing from extremely sad/angry/feeling sorry for myself to extreme happiness/hyper energy/feeling proud of myself…. it could change within minutes! Needless to say my family was a bit confused…lol.. but they were great supporters.

In the end of the week I started to make perfect poo – oh, sorry to be so direct…but it was more or less the only way I could see positive progress in the first week :-)

I didn´t do any exercise during the first week. The body needs peace and relaxation to get rid of as much toxic as possible.

Detox by Christina Greve

Week 2

Week two was amazing. I lost weight, my skin started to look firm, the white in my eyes started to look whiter and I had so much energy. I still had mood swings but I was joyful most of the time with only a few downs. The headache was completely gone – which was nice!

I found a daily rythme for preparing the food I was eating. I found it fun and interesting to experiment and learn even more about detoxing the body.

I still had a cravings….again the coffee craving was worst – but also chocolate…sigh… I was surprised that I didn´t miss cheese, milk, wine, bread at all….which was really new to me.

Week two was a challenge in other ways. I had several big events to go to. A design shop opening + a photoshoot in Hambourg, a birthday party and a music event in the Museum of modern art in Copenhagen.

I knew I had to spend a long time on the road and in restaurants, and couldn´t just go to my kitchen to prepare my detox food. I packed a big bag of fruits and nuts and crossed my fingers that I would be able to find some healthy places to eat.

Detox by Christina Greve

It was my first time in Hambourg and I really liked the city. I was surprised to find many, many healthy places to eat. Even the hotel I stayed at (Hotel Gastwerk) had a wonderful big healthy breakfast to indulge in. I was happy and no one seemed to raise an eyebrow due to my healthy eating – not even when I turned down the most delicious cupcakes!

Copenhagen made it hard to follow my detox – I was not lucky to find myself at places with a healthy selection of food. For the first time during my detox I had to starve myself a little, instead of eating the wrong things. Just before the concert I did manage to get a smoothie and some salmon. At the concert I started of in a really great mood – I was almost hyper, but in the end I got tired and thirsty…and a bit annoyed with everyone who had a delicious alcohol drink in their hand :-) Mood swings again!

Detox by Christina Greve

Week 3

During week three I started doing a little bit of running and fitness again. I noticed that I had much more energy to exercise. I normally get tired easily when I´m in the gym, but that was no longer an issue. Just fabulous!

My skin looks great, my small wrinkles and dark circles under the eyes are gone. My skin has a healthy glow and I think I look a little younger. My cellulitis has dramatically been reduced. What´s not to like about that!

I sleep like a baby during the night, don´t wake to go to the toilette anymore and I easily wake up in the morning.

I feel calm, stress-free, happy. The mood swings are gone. The coffee cravings are (finally) completely gone. Honestly I don´t even feel like drinking coffee again!! How did that happend? I don´t feel like eating red meat and bread anymore….what!!… and I don´t even know what milk is!

My body is asking for other things now. I´m craving foods like, ginger, almonds, celery, beetroot and wheat grass!

I´ve lost close to a total of 11 pounds (5 kilos).

I still miss chocolate…

The most surprisingly thing is, that I don´t want to go back to my normal way of eating. I don´t miss it. I don´t miss the feeling of carrying a heavy body. I don´t miss the stomach ache I used to have to often. I don´t miss looking old with puffy eyes.

I´m going to continue throughout May and June. I´ll make a few adjustments though. I´ll add more healthy protein to my diet, so I can exercise more, and raise my metabolisme. On Fridays and/or Saturdays I will allow myself to eat what I want. The rest of the week I´ll keep eating a clean raw diet. I call this the 20/80 rule. (80% RAW food/vegetables and 20% others).

My simple eating plan

Every morning I start with a healthy smoothie. Be careful, because not all smoothies are healthy and not all smoothies will help you detox. I like to make a green smoothie and add some supplements to it, to optimize it even more. I add coconut oil or coconut juice, wheat grass, fibers, essential oil and protein plant based powder. You can get lots of inspiration for green smoothies here, Simple Green Smoothies

 

Christina´s Green Morning Smoothie

  • half a banana
  • 3 slices of cantaloupe melon
  • juice from half a lemon
  • a chunk of ginger
  • a handful of fresh spinach leaves
  • half an avocado
  • 6-7 ice cubes
  • 1,5 cup fresh pressed apple juice

If you like, you can add supplements. I added the following:

  • 1 teaspoon of  Pukka fiber plus - good for the stomach, makes you full longer.
  • 1 teaspoon of Pukka wheat grass - gives you energy, better mood, helps you detox.
  • 1 tablespoon of organic coconut oil - great for the skin and organs. Makes you full longer and gives energy.
  • 1 tablespoon of Oil of life or Womens Essentials oils - energize your body, improve skin and hair. Lot´s of vitamines.
  • 1/2 a teaspoon of Stevia (natural sweetener) – optional
  • 2 tablespoons of plant based protein powder - builds muscles, boost your digestive system, makes you full longer. I don´t like protein powder very much, so every other day I leave it out and eat a few almonds instead. Just to make sure I get some protein.

Blend everything in a blender until smooth and delicious. Drink it right away. Enjoy and feel the energy!

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Ideas for Lunch

For lunch I eat either a salade with salmon or chicken, or a healthy tortilla pizza.

Healthy Tortilla Pizza

  • small organic spelt tortilla
  • a teaspoon of organic/bio tomato sauce
  • a big handful of spinach
  • a handful of mushrooms
  • slices from one tomato
  • slices from a green pepper

Heat in oven for 5-10 minutes on 200.

Weekend Pizza

On Friday and Saturday evenings I eat my pizza or salad in the evening (and then take vegetables juice for lunch), just to be able to have a longer dinner with friends and family.

I also add a little extra to the pizza in the weekends; two slices of serano ham + a spoonful of fresh italian parmesan. Warning: really delicious!

Easy and delicious salmon salad

Another favorite of mine is the salmon salad (see below).

  • fresh salad leaves
  • half a cucumber
  • 2-4 slices of salmon
  • mini tomatoes
  • juice from half a lemon
  • fish eggs (optional)

Spread the salad leaves on the plate. Slice the cucumber into very thin slices and mix it with the salmon on top of the salad. Sprinkle with mini tomatoes and lemon juice. Decorate with fish eggs. Voila – enjoy!

Salmon salade by Christina Greve

Fresh mint and lemon water

This is so simple and so fresh. I love it! I got this idea from Radostina from 79ideas. She posted this recipe and I´ve used it every day since.

Put fresh peppermint leaves, slices of a lemon and water in a glass. Add some ice cubes if you like and that´s it :-)

I drink it instead of coffee and I drink it with my lunch.

Fresh Vegetables Juice by Christina Greve

Vegetables Juice

Alright, let´s look at my main ingredient of this detox; vegetables juice!

You can juice almost all vegetables, so it´s all about experimenting and finding out what you like.

My favorites are:

  • Beetroot
  • Carrots
  • Ginger
  • Fennel
  • Celery
  • Cale
  • Spinach
  • cucumber

To make it taste good, I add 2 apples + 2 lemons pr. liter. I like to add a big chuck of ginger. It´s very strong, so be careful in the beginning. I find that ginger takes all cravings away – a wonderful helper during the detox.

Fresh Vegetables Juice by Christina Greve

Keep vegetables juice in your fridge – all the time!

When I make vegetables juice, I make 2-3 liters at a time. I fill it on thermo bottles and store them in the fridge. That way I always have something ready to drink. The juice can stay fresh for 2-3 days in the fridge.

Helpful detox supplements

Helpful Supplements

Here are some great supplements recommended to take during the detox:

  • Probiotic: There will be tons at your natural food store. Make sure it has at least 40 billion cell count per serving.
  • Fiber: A good natural flax fiber or vegetable fiber products. Example is Ground Flax Powder. Will be available at your natural food store.
  • Digestive Enzymes
  • Plant Protein
  • Coconut oil
  • Coconut juice
  • Bio/organic tea
  • Wheat grass

Natural sweetener: Stevia, honey or organic syrup. Use with care.

Final tips

If you would like to do a detox, my best tip for you would be to make sure, you have nothing or little planned during the first week. I was lucky I had the first week of, because of Easter. Therefore I had time to rest and concentrate about my new eating habits.

Don´t exercise for the first week. Then slowly get back into your training routine when you feel stronger and have more energy.

Be prepared to tackle curious questions and reactions when you go out. Some people like to comment on what you eat or don´t eat. Sometimes you need thick skin, to tackle the “aaw common it´s just one cupcake (or one drink, or one piece of chocolate) – it can´t hurt much”….

Smile and be strong :-)

That´s all for now!

What about you, have you ever done a detox? How did you do it and what results did you get? If not, would you like to try it?

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{ 24 comments… read them below or add one }

Lena T. Mikkelsen April 15, 2013 at 11:32 am

I would like to try a detox, but not live it every Day for the rest of my life, if you know, what I mean. ;-) I would however like to lead a healthier life …and my boyfriend would love to loose some weight. :-)

Reply

Christina Greve April 15, 2013 at 12:00 pm

Hi Lena

I agree, you shouldn´t be on a detox for life. Eating what you love, is a big part of a wonderful and happy lifestyle. The best thing is to find a balance, and that´s what I´ll try to do with my 80/20 rule :-)

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Susie April 15, 2013 at 11:39 am

Feeling really inspired after reading your post! I totally agree about how some people like to comment on what you eat/don´t eat. When people say “come on, it’s just one drink, don’t be BORING’ it’s so hard, especially when they ridicule for being on a ‘diet’/’detox’ – ‘WHY would you do that?! Why are you dieting? Who cares, don’t bother…’ etc etc.
Now I really feel like doing a detox after your success and positive results – I’m way too reliant on tea and chocolate for comfort and have got into bad habits.
One question: did you not miss having a dessert/pudding at the end of you main meal? I think that would be my weakness :(
Thank you for posting this!
Susie x

Reply

Christina Greve April 15, 2013 at 11:58 am

Hi Susie

In my family we almost never eat dessert (unless we are having guests or are going out on a restaurant), so I didn´t miss it much. But sometimes I get that feeling of needing something sweet after a meal. When I feel that I eat a handful of grapes – especially the red ones are so sweet. The longer youré on a detox the sweeter they´ll taste, because your body is no longer use to sugar. That helped a lot. If I was really eager after sweets I would eat a few dried fruits – you are allowed to do that on a detox. But keep it to a minimum because it´s full of sugar.

Hugs/ Christina

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Anya J April 15, 2013 at 4:53 pm

WELL done Christina, super cool and super inspiring. Maybe I’ll give it a go, tried before and nearly died because of coffee craving headache – crazy painful. But the body sure could do with an overhaul. Thanks for sharing :)
Happy Monday &
Hugs
Axx

Reply

Christina Greve April 15, 2013 at 5:01 pm

Let me know how it goes, if you decide to do it Anya :-)

Hugs/ C

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Marian April 15, 2013 at 6:06 pm

So happy for you Christina! These are great news.
In my family we keep the fasting of Orthodox church which is something like been vegan for 3-4 times a year that last 40-50 days each time and also every Wednesday and Friday every week. So i know that what you did is a real deed! Not to say that your detox is much harder than vegan. I so admire you! As we are going through our Easter lent right now, you also game me plenty of inspiration for trying some new ideas. And those smoothies look really interesting!

Reply

Christina Greve April 16, 2013 at 6:07 am

Thanks Marian

Wow, 40-50 days…that´s amazing! That´s a big deal :-)

Try the smoothie – you´ll get addicted to it and your body will thank you :-)

Hugs/ Christina

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Amy April 15, 2013 at 9:38 pm

First of all Congrats to you for making it 21 days. Detoxing isn’t easy. I am beginning week 3 of my Paleo detox diet. I have an autoimmune disease called Sjogren’s Syndrome. My DH has told me many times that he believed my diet effected my disease. I didn’t want to believe him because I am such a foodie. Recently, a good friend of mine who suffers from epilepsy has tried living the Paleo way. He dumped all of his meds (I don’t condone that) and ate the Paleo diet. He went from having 5 episodes a week to not one in a whole month. To say I was sold is an understatement. The Paleo diet is no soy, no dairy, not grains and no sugar. Let me start by saying it’s expensive to replace your oils, sugars and dairy with things made with coconut or other nut products such as coconut oil spray instead of Pam. It’s also very difficult to deal with other people pressuring you like you said and the sheer temptation of being in a restaurant or grocery. Another big issue is cooking or at least preparing lots of meals/snacks. I had become quite lazy in my meal preparing at home. I have to put much more effort into planning, shopping and prepping now. I have allowed myself one “cheat” day as I wanted to feel like it wasn’t so restrictive. I’m thinking I will stop having a cheat day. Every time I do the very next day my joint pain is massive. I don’t think that is a coincidence. Joint pain control is what’s keeping me going. I may not keep this up forever, but I will be eating gluten free from now on for sure. I still have 5 more weeks left in my challenge. Thanks for sharing your experience with others. I hope you can help change even one person’s health.

Reply

Christina Greve April 16, 2013 at 5:59 am

Wow Amy, you are so strong eating like that, taking care of your health! Thank you for sharing the Paleo diet, I´ve never heard of it, so I´m excited look into it :-)

I agree that preparing the food can be time consuming. I shop almost everyday – carrying big bags of heavy vegetables home. When I juice 2-3 liters I need a lot of veggies :-)

The juicing takes time as well, but that´s why I juice so much at a time. Then I have two days off from preparing it.

Going to restaurants is one of my favorite activities, I´m a foodie too…lol.. and it´s easy to get frustrated – last time I went with my family, there were absolutely nothing I could order (usually there´s a thing or two), so I ended up drinking a glass of water. Let´s just say it´s a great way to test your mood swings and patience :-)
But I refuse to let it ruin my mood and our cosy time together!

Hugs/ Christina

Reply

Nässelblom & choklad April 16, 2013 at 5:38 am

Wow, you did this detox for 21 days! Good – the first week must have been hard. I usually eat quiet healthy (lots of veggies, beans, eggs and fish but no meat), but far away from this menu. I would like to try this but think it’s complicated when you have children, but it seemed to work out well for you. Maybe I shall try a middle way eating vegetables and fruit but no cereals, pasta and sweets, because I want to eat food when I eat with my family. The sweets are not a problem but I know I will miss the coffee…..Good work and very inspiring photos! /Eva

Reply

Christina Greve April 16, 2013 at 5:47 am

Thanks Eva. Not eating the same as my family at dinner was hard the first few days. I was feeling a little sorry for myself in the beginning of each dinner…lol.. but when they started to complain about how they have eaten to much – I was reminded that I did want to feel that full again. And it helped me continue.

Hugs/ Christina

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Marta April 16, 2013 at 6:38 am

Finally… this morning I started my first detox after reading your story :) I’m still drinking the last sips of your Green Morning Smoothie ;) hahaha … :) I’m surprised how much I love the taste!

I have been thinking about doing this for such a long time now, however there never seem to be the right moment to start. I have been working such a long hours recently, and I needed my coffee and even the smallest piece of well deserved chocolate…everyday ;) Right!!!

I generally lead a very health lifestyle, eat loads of veggies, workout… plus the coffee and chocolate ;) However I can also suffer from severe bellyaches, sleepless nights, fatigue … I’m ready to change that!!! Christina thank you for that extra push …. I needed it ;)

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Christina Greve April 17, 2013 at 2:04 pm

Dear Marta, I´m excited to hear how it goes :-)

I know you can do it!

Hugs/ C

Reply

Karena Dixon April 30, 2013 at 5:49 pm

Well done! I’ve tried different detox’s over the last few years. I think I’ll incorporate some of your yummy ideas! Beautiful photos and I just love the way you’ve laid everything out in this blog post.

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Christina Greve May 1, 2013 at 8:22 am

Thank you Karena :-)

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Kyla May 20, 2013 at 2:21 am

I love your beautiful photos! What size reflectors are you using in the set-up above, if you don’t mind sharing?

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Christina Greve May 20, 2013 at 11:24 am

Hi Kyla

I´m not sure, maybe they are 120 cm in length. A really good size for both still life and portraits :-)

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michael November 15, 2013 at 9:37 pm

Do u do regular green tea or is it decaf?

Reply

Christina Greve November 18, 2013 at 12:43 pm

Decaf during the detox is important :-) Drink any tea you like as long as it is decaf.

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Radostina December 13, 2013 at 9:51 am

thank you, dear Christina,
Love your ideas and photography.
hugs from prague

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Christina Greve December 13, 2013 at 11:38 am

Thank you dear Radostina :-) Btw are you coming to the bloggers conference in Copenhagen?

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Naomi December 17, 2013 at 7:29 am

Hello !!! I’m constantly trying for 3 years to loose weight but everytime instead of loosing im adding ! After reading your detox plan I got really inspired and I’m ready to follow every single tip that you shared with us. I hope it will finally make me feel different ! Thank you so much ! Xxx

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Lucia Shilling March 30, 2014 at 9:19 pm

Your 21 days of detox sound easy to follow, however, 21 days for me might be hard to do, but I will give it a try.

Thank you.

Reply

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