Why do a detox cure?
I already knew by mid-December that I would want a detox cure in early January, since the whole month had essentially been a baking and feasting party. So: What could be better than starting the year with a good dose of #selfcare?
True, under the current circumstances, there hadn’t been too many occasions for the habitual Pre-Christmas social drinking and eating get-togethers – in fact, I only had two mulled wines! Despite my whole neighbourhood turning into an open-air Christmas market with all the bars selling cocktails and mulled wine to-go … before the lockdown …
But still: When it came to sweets I had already surrendered by mid-month, always knowing that things would change in just a few weeks and that I would then treat my body (and mind) right again. Till then, all the chocolate, cakes and biscuits were quite delicious and my cravings almost obsessive, but slowly I began to notice that not only my body but also my mind were beginning to suffer with all the sugar rushing through my blood, making me feel tired and not quite as energetic as usual. My face turned pale and my skin oilier than it usually is. I didn’t feel grounded and not truly myself.
Alkaline fasting with Basenfasten, a method by Sabine Wacker
This really had to end. And it did: as promised, by the 3rd of January. The method of choice: alkaline fasting according to Sabine Wacker (also known as „Basenfasten”), which I have already regularly done for years now. It’s a very gentle kind of fasting, and not even really fasting as you continue to eat. All you eat though, is fruits, vegetables, some nuts and seeds, meaning: only things which are metabolised alkaline and thus deacidify and detox the body.
Alkaline fasting serves to detoxify the organism, or rather to balance our acid-base balance. What is behind it?
In order to do its job, each organ needs a very specific acid-base environment which our amazing body usually creates this all by itself.
The acids produced by the body which are of no further use, are excreted through breathing, sweating and other metabolic processes, e.g. in the lungs and kidneys. But sometimes it gets too much for the body to handle as we also take in acids through the food we eat. An unbalanced diet can thus lead to over-acidification. The body then stores the excess of acids in the connective tissue, which shows in bad skin, tiredness and even depression. Therefore, it is very important for our physical and mental health to take in enough alkaline substances to keep the acids in check.
When you have a good connection to your body and its needs, it becomes super easy to act accordingly. Which is also why I quickly gave up the idea of turning it all into a juice fast. Berlin winter is already tough enough as they are – it’s a time when my body needs all the energy it can get and I don’t want to put it under too much strain.
Alkaline fasting: The hard facts
If you want to try it out for yourself, here’s a brief overview of what you need to know about the method:
What can I eat and drink during the detox cure?
Whether something is alkaline or acidic does not depend upon its taste. It’s about how it is metabolised by the body. That’s why even very sour fruits such as citrus fruits or tomatoes are also considered alkaline.
- Fruit and vegetables (no cereals = no grains, no rice)
- some nuts such as almonds, fresh walnuts (no hazelnuts)
- seeds and kernels
- cold-pressed high-quality oils (e.g. olive oil, sesame oil)
- lots of water (please filter or buy glass bottles, if the tap water is not pure enough)
- Diluted herbal teas (drink a total of at least 3 litres a day)
What else is there to be considered?
- Duration: usually between 5 – 7 days, but you can also just do one or a few days. Then you may not need the enema (see below).
- Intestinal cleansing (e.g. with an enema) is also part of the cure and should be done on the 1st, 3rd, 5th and 7th day.
- Exercise should be practised in moderation every day. If you are otherwise in good shape and exercise regularly, you can continue to do so. Those who usually don’t work out should carefully put together a gentle programme of walking, yoga and other soft sports.
- Get enough sleep!
- Detox mentally: What’s good for me, what not? Let go of everything that is not good for you. Don’t start fights or arguments during your fast, as they might make you mad and sour.
- Alkaline fasting is not a diet cure and you should not expect to lose a lot of weight rapidly.
- A hot water bottle on the liver and kidneys can be very pleasant to support the organs.
- Treat yourself to wellness! Pamper yourself with a warm bath with fragrant bath additives or make yourself a cleansing face mask to support the detox.
The top pro’s of alkaline fasting from my point of view:
- Alkaline fasting requires (almost) no preparation! Depending on the length of the cure, you can simply freeze the acidic contents in your fridge, should you decide to do one super spontaneously.
- No preparation day, no breaking the fast, no build-up days.
- You can eat what you like (as long as it’s alkaline) until you are full.
- For a fasting cure, it’s a really social method: you can still meet friends and cook or share a cup of tea. Even if this is limited at the moment …
- It’s fun to get creative when you can only cook alkaline. Now that the days don’t offer so much variety, it can be especially nice to conjure up colourful dishes with lots of love and then really enjoy them.
You can find more in-depth info and details on the alkaline detox cure „Basenfasten” in this older article: „Fasting. Juicy pleasures instead of fast food.”
Review of this last detox cure:
This time, I detoxed for 7 days and it was a really nice experience. Again. As always. I had no cravings and now feel healthy, clean, energised and beautiful inside and out.
- In the first 2 – 3 days, I felt an increased need for sleep, which then slowly diminished day by day and may also be related to the time of year.
- Despite the coffee withdrawal, I didn’t have any headaches this time (which can happen when you are a heavy coffee drinker and then stop short all of a sudden).
- Due to the COVID-19 and wintertime, my days are lacking a bit of structure at the moment. And after dark, it’s not always easy for me to motivate myself to do anything – apart from sleeping, reading and splashing around in the bathtub. So I regularly fantasised about a nice cup of coffee. It was mainly the ritual which I wanted, and the creaminess of the milk. I longed for the external energy kick to get me fresh to work. The craving wasn’t bad but constant and came back daily. Yet, the good thing about such a cure is that the end is always in sight!
- The craving for sweets was gone right from the start. Despite the previous heavy sugar consumption. The sweet „muesli” in the morning (see below), fruit and some almond butter were enough to satisfy my sweet tooth.
- Cooking was really nice. First, because on days without structure it’s nice to think up and prepare delicious, colourful, varied and healthy alkaline recipes, and second, because you can make such wonderful soups from winter root vegetables!
- Since everything is closed at the moment due to the lockdown, there were no problems with social compatibility. Nevertheless, I hope that everything will open again soon!
This time I’ve been all over the place with root vegetables (potatoes, celeriac, carrots, beetroot …) and let my friend do the blender work. My menu looked like a painter’s palette and I had a brightly coloured, delicious healthy and warming soup almost every day:
Recipe for alkaline breakfast „muesli”:
One recipe I really want to share with you is the alkaline breakfast „muesli”. I’ve had this every time I do an alkaline detox and never grow tired of it. On the contrary: I always look forward to it in the morning. I just find it super delicious.
- 1 banana – mash with a fork
- 1 apple (grate with the peel)
- ½ lemon (squeeze)
- Topping: a few sultanas, sunflower seeds, sesame seeds, coconut flakes, almonds
Mix everything together and enjoy!
For the rest, I don’t think you need recipes. I trust you to be that creative. Look at what’s on offer in the shop, stick to fresh and seasonal produce as much as possible and choose what resonates with you.
Saving the best for last: the enema for bowel cleansing
The enema for bowel cleansing may be an unpleasant topic for some, but it is an essential part of the alkaline fasting if you do more than 1 day. And I promise: Once you get used to it, it won’t feel that strange anymore and you’ll soon appreciate its beneficial effects.
In fact, with my friends who are also into fasting, we love to talk about that subject. But we are weird anyway.
What’s the point of an enema at all, when I continue to eat?
Intestinal cleansing is an essential part of fasting, as the intestinal activity comes to a complete or partial standstill during such a cure, varying according to the method: with tea and juice fasting it comes to a complete standstill, with alkaline fasting it runs on low flame. In this case, what can happen is that the fresh food, perhaps unaccustomedly rich in fibre, meets old residues in the intestine, leading to unpleasant flatulence and pain.
The whole thing is really about throwing out the old possibly fermenting stuff in you. (Exvuse my French) If you don’t, you’re not really detoxing and your body has to work hard with all the remaining toxins inside you. That would be absolutely counterproductive.
The enema is best done on the first day, in the middle and on the last day. But you can also do it in between, e.g. against low moods, headaches and tiredness as it helps against these, too, and is a real miracle cure.
You can choose different methods for the bowel cleansing. I use an enema device that you can get at the pharmacy where they can explain you how to use it properly. If this is too embarrassing to you, go watch a tutorial on YouTube.
And what’s next?
After such a mild cure, you can basically continue with your life as usual. But you might want to reconsider old habits and change your meal plan a little so as to keep the effects of the cure for as long as possible.
I also realise again and again that there are many things I simply don’t want to eat right after the detox. Rather, I am slowly adapting my diet again, while closely observing my real needs and desires.
So, instead of a real coffee, I had a cereal coffee on the first morning after the cure, pimped with a spoonful of raw cocoa, some cinnamon and just a dash of oat milk. I just didn’t want the strong effect of coffee. I wanted to keep feeling my very own energy and not rely on the „borrowed kick”.
I continue to eat mostly vegan and still enjoy my alkaline muesli now and then, adding a spoon of coconut yoghurt and some oats.
To be continued …
I hope that this article has whetted your appetite! You will see that this kind of detox is really nourishing and gentle and very easy to implement and that you will not miss anything. Quite the opposite.
Also, now that all the restaurants are closed anyway, it won’t be too much of a change to cook and eat only alkaline food at home for a few days. After that, however, you can go out and order from your favourite restaurant again(#supportyourlocals). But please support those who have come up with sustainable packaging ideas (#thereisnoplanetb) or take your own containers with you.
If you have any questions, write me! And read this older article for more in-depth information and details, also on other fasting methods: „Fasting. Juicy pleasures instead of fast food.”
All the best, a happy and healthy New Year and see you soon,