Just how toxic are you after the Christmas period? Outsider’s triathlon Adam Kelly and Nathan Beuck of Zest Fitness in Bray share their secrets of the detox diet that they have developed for their clients – and the benefits to be gained.

Although many of us active types keep good overall health, many of us are carrying too much fat around our middle but are in denial because we take part in sport. If you have an average waist size of 37 inches for a male or 32 for women then you are more at risk from diseases such as obesity, diabetes and back problems – even if you are active.

The history of detox

Detox is an ancient and primitive method of restoring health by denying the body too much of one food source. In the past, this may have happened thanks to nature’s cycle. For example, for most primitive people, late winter/early spring was a time when foods were sparse. This time would then have been followed by a period in late summer when large amounts berries were eaten, together with what other plant life was in ‘fruit’, topping up vitamins levels that may have been low after winter. Before food imports into Ireland, we ate seasonally and only foods that were available and growing, taking in some naturally preserved foods too. Now that we have a ready supply of foods from around the world we tend to have too much of every food all the time.

Why detox? 

Toxins are also present in the body’s fat stores. So by doing a detox, you can help shift some of this excess weight and at the same time educate yourself about healthy foods. We all regularly read about detox in health mags but rarely consider doing it, let alone knowing how to do it safely or the benefits it will provide us. It is often treated with suspicion in Ireland, but here is your chance give it a go with the detox diet that we have developed for ourselves and our clients at Zest.

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Who should detox?

Active people especially need to detox as they take in much higher volumes of foods and therefore act like a filter trapping more potential toxins in the body’s fat and around your organs. These toxins may not leave the body, ever, until you detox.

Fasting may be likened to giving your body a ‘spring clean’ from the inside out. When we eat a lot of trans and hydrogenated fats, additives, colorants, additives and preservatives in our food, along with the herbicides, fungicides, pesticides and rodenticides thrown into food chain, our digestive and detoxifying systems get stressed and overworked. The liver and kidneys are the main targets for the detox diet and fasting. The reduction of food, especially those with unhealthy fats, can help the liver clean itself out and allows the ‘kupffer cells’, the rubbish collection guys in your liver, do their job unhindered.


detox smoothie

Who shouldn’t try a detox diet?

We advise anyone considering a detox diet to consult medical doctor first to be sure that

the diet will not react negatively with any prescribed advice or medicines. Pregnant or nursing women, and children shouldn’t go on a detox diet. People with anaemia, eating disorder, diabetes, kidney disease, thyroid disease, auto-immune disease, cancer, terminal illness, certain genetic diseases and other chronic conditions should only do so under the supervision of their primary care provider. This programme is not intended for alcohol or drug detoxification.

Benefits of completing our detox diet

  • Improved energy
  • Deep more, peaceful sleep
  • Improved digestion
  • Increased concentration & focus
  • Presses a virtual ‘reset’ button in your body
  • Weight loss

 The Detox

Pre-detox week

The week before you detox cut, out starchy carbohydrates (bread/pasta/rice/potatoes) as much as possible and totally eliminated sugars from your diet. Also cut down on coffee and tea as these contain caffeine which many people are actually addicted to. This should help your transition into the four-day detox.

Preparation is the key to a successful detox. You need to buy ALL the ingredients listed, as well as have a blender and a juicer.

The four-day detox

This detox programme is best done as part of a group, so round up a few people to do it at the same time. Update each other on side effects and positive effects as your progress, and you will find that you are often feeling the same way as others.

Possible side effects

You might experience all, some or none of the following symptoms when you follow this programme: headaches, dizziness, light-headedness, strong pulses in your head and chest, body temperature may decrease one degree per day during the fast, headaches, body aches, nausea, shivering and/or fever, irritability/short temper and excessive sweating, to name a few.

 Why the side effects?

The level of symptoms you experience depends on your body’s ability to metabolise the toxins that are present. The more toxicity, potentially the harder it will be on your system. Along with the toxins we ingest, some other things that add to our toxic load are exposure to environmental pollutants like petrochemicals, exhaust fumes, paints and thinners, household cleaners, hair and make-up, fire retardants in beds/carpets and airplanes, heavy metals like mercury from fillings, fish and vaccines.

Basically, anything that is not an organic substance has the potential to do you harm and can increase your toxic load. Expect the worst! Even those of you who exercise regularly, eat mainly organic diets and live generally healthy lifestyles, have had a lifetime of exposure to many of the toxins mentioned above. 


kiwi smoothie detox

Four-day detox menu

Use these broths, juices and smoothies during your four-day detox and exclude all other foods except raw fruit and vegetables. Water and herbal teas are allowed. Dandelion tea is especially helpful for liver function.

detox for triathlon


  1. Drink at least 2 litres of water per day with a pinch sea salt.
  2. Use herbal and detox teas to supplement water intake. Simply use root ginger and lemon in just boiled water. Let it infuse and drink.
  3. Use any raw fruit or vegetables for snacks like kiwis/oranges/apples/celery/carrots etc

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Detox Recipes

Bieler Broth

Ingredients (makes 2 litres)

  • 4 medium squash or courgette (washed, ends removed and sliced)
  • 500gm string beans, ends removed
  • 2 sticks celery, chopped
  • 2 handfuls fresh parsley, roughly chopped
  • 1 litre filtered water with pinch sea salt
  • Fresh, thyme/rosemary/tarragon tied together with string (optional)

Place all ingredients in a pot. Bring almost to a boil, skim, and lower heat to just simmer covered for about 90 mins. Remove tied herbs. Blend into soup. Do not let the broth boil as this will destroy many of the nutrients.

Kiwi or apple smoothie

Ingredients (makes approx 500ml)

  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil
  • ½ cup fresh/frozen berries (frozen berries are much cheaper and available at supermarkets)
  • 1 kiwi or apple*
  • 1 teaspoon spirulina powder
  • 2 tablespoon of Linwoods flax and gogi berry mix
  • 400ml filtered water with pinch sea salt

Place all ingredients in the blender for 30 seconds. Drink immediately. *Any fruit can be used in this smoothie.

Detox juice special

  • 2 apples (small enough to fit whole into your juicer)
  • 1 carrot
  • 1 slice lemon with rind on
  • ¼ yellow bell pepper
  • 1 inch slice cucumber
  • 1 piece celery cut in four
  • 1 inch stem of broccoli (throw the rest into the chicken broth)
  • 1 inch slice raw beetroot

Before turning on your juicer, place in one whole apple and add the other ingredients on top. You may have to cut the carrot to fit. Finish with last apple and turn on machine and push through.

Nathan’s organic swamp juice

Ingredients (makes approx 500ml)

  • 1 scoop of Sun Warrior Raw Vegan Protein Powder (or good quality protein powder)
  • 1 banana
  • 2 tablespoons of Linwoods flax seed and gogi berry mix
  • 1 teaspoon Eskimo oil (any fish/cod liver oil)
  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil
  • 1 teaspoon spirulina powder
  • 300ml filtered water with pinch sea salt (400ml if using protein powder)

Place all ingredients into blender for 30 seconds. Drink immediately.

Chicken broth

  • 1 organic chicken carcass (raw or from a roast)
  • Peel of four potatoes (throw away the white flesh)
  • 3 carrots, chopped
  • 4 celery sticks, chopped
  • 1 bunch parsley
  • 2-3 cloves garlic
  • 2 tablespoons vinegar (this helps draw minerals from the bones)
  • Filtered water with pinch sea salt to cover carcass

Place all the ingredients into a large pot and bring to just under boil. Cover and simmer for two hours minimum. The longer you leave it, the more that is extracted from the carcass. Allow to cool. Skim the fat off the top and strain into a glass container. Extract the veg, blend and add to the broth. Keep in fridge and reheat (but never boil), as needed.


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