Carol Vorderman's Detox for Life
So...Carol Vorderman 'went down two dress sizes without counting calories' but does the plan actually make any sense and can us mere mortals benefit from following it?
We bought copies of her book and video to check them out for ourselves.
The video was the first to be brought out and details the plan and includes the stories of three 'guinea pigs' (aka normal women!) that followed Carol's plan. Some criticism levelled towards the video (although it was generally very popular) included the fact that there weren't enough recipes or suggestions of what food you could eat - so Carol (and her Detox guru) brought out the book.
We're going to review the video first, and then the book. Keep scrolling down the page or click here if you want to go straight to the book review.
The video is an introduction to the Detox plan and an inspiring, easy way to get you going on the plan. It may not answer all your questions (that's why the book was brought out) but it does provide before pictures of Carol - and the Carol 'after' who is presenting the video.
The video introduces you to the plan - no tea or coffee, no meat or fish, nothing containing wheat, and no dairy products. However, you can make substituations. If you miss your bread you can substitute rye bread or oatcakes for normal bread - you can substitute rice milk for normal milk etc. No calorie counting. Eat when you are hungry and don't weigh yourself between the first day and the last day of the plan.
The most interesting part of this video, however, are the 3 video diaries in which we get to see exactly what it's like for 3 normal women to follow the plan: a single mum, a single career girl and a married woman. They tell it like it is - including the difficulties of the plan. Apparently you may get a headache after a couple of days on the plan but this is due to giving up caffeine! You may also find you go to the loo more - again, due to drinking more water!
Basically, the video is a good starting point to get you motivated and plonk into the VCR every time you need a bit of an ummph! The book will answer all your unanswered questions about the plan.
Overall verdict: ***
The video isn't going to answer all your questions about this plan but, if you watching rather than reading, or if you want some inspiration and a bit of a kick up the bum to get you going on your detox and a shove in the right direction this is a useful purchase. And once you've got going - all the questions you have can be answered by the book! (We bought both and think they compliment each other well. But if you can only afford one - get the book).
We give the video 3 out of 5 stars. A good start, interesting to watch but not enough information.
The Book Review:
First off - here's a run down of what the book includes (click on the links for more information):
The introduction is quite brief. It talks about Carol's weight fluctuations and the increase and drop in her dress sizes over the years, before and after the birth of her children for example. It also talks about yo-you dieting and how the detox plan is different because you don't have to count calories.
This section is where you get to read the comments of the 3 guinea pigs that were in the video. This is probably the only disappointing section of the book because you don't get to see any pictures of them or really get to know them. However, there is plenty about them on the video so that's always an option if you want the motivation that 'normal women' can do it!
All about Detoxing
This is an interesting, short section about why you should detox, do you need to detox and what the detox diet will do for you. It also talks about 'Your body's own detoxifiers' and the foods that help those body parts. e.g the skin plays a role in getting rid of toxins via sweat, skin oils or via the shedding of dead skin cells! You can help your skin by eating fruit and veg, drinking water and using 'essential oils' (e.g flax oil, walnut oil) in your cooking.
Simple principles of the Detox Diet
This is one of the most useful sections and basically spells out what you should and shouldn't eat while on detox. It tells you not to count calories, not to weigh yourself, to eat foods in their natural state, tells you what to eat, what to avoid and has a checklist. It also lists alternatives you can have instead of wheat, dairy products and sugar.
It also tells you what the 'Detox superfoods' are and why they are good for you.
Time for action
Right - now we know what we can and can't eat what do we do next? In this section there is a checklist of essentials (such as a steamer, blender etc), details on how to prepare and cook your food, and information on exercise, dry skin brushing and relaxation.
There is also a useful shopping list so you know what to get at a glance!
The 28 day Detox Diet Plan
This section is the heart of the book. On each page is a suggested menu for the day and all days are covered 1-28. There is a breakfast suggestion, a lunch suggestion and an evening meal suggestion. There is also a new detox tip at the bottom of every page.
Where a meal suggestion is a recipe there is a reference to where you can find that recipe in the book.
An example of a day's suggested menu:
Fresh fruit medley (apple, melon, grapes, kiwi)
Grilled tomatoes and sesame seeds on non-wheat bread toast
Hot pasta with vegetables (see recipe on page 111)
Rice with grilled vegetables (see recipe on page 114)
Mixed nuts and seeds, e.g. walnuts, brazils, pumpkinseeds, sesame seeds
Fresh fruit, e.g. peaches, raspberries, apples.
Sounds obvious - is obvious! Every recipe that is mentioned on the daily plans are listed here. Some of them even sound quite yummy like red pepper and almond dip or guacamole or asparagus and lemon soup and avocado and walnut salad. When you read the recipes it suddenly seems like detox isn't such an evil thing as it sounds!
There are loads and loads of recipes. You really can't fault the book in this section. There are even juices and smoothies!
Another criticism levelled at the video was 'what do you do when you've finished the 28 days?' This section talks you through how you can use the principles you've learned on the detox for the rest of your life - while not sticking rigidly to the plan and incorporating a few treats into your eating habits.
This section also includes suggestions for packed lunches for people who go to work, tips on eating out and how, when preparing family meals the rest of your family can benefit from the principles of the plan.
This section includes a breakdown of the food groups and how you should eat a selection of food to incorporate all the food groups. It also talks about supplements that may be useful during your 28 day detox and has a table of the essential vitamins and minerals, what they are needed for and the best food sources.
Overall verdict: *****
The book is cheaper than the video AND it has all the information you need to start your detox from scratch. It has a nice, clear, attractive layout - it is well written and it is easy to understand.
If you like to follow a diet plan to the 't' you can start with Detox Day 1 and follow their meal suggestions and carry on through to day 28 or you can make up your own day plans by picking and choosing.
There are loads of recipes and they actually seem quite tasty. The book is filled with lots of informative information and rather than it seeming like some kind of wacky 'fad' to detox it all makes good sense and seems to be a really quite healthy.
Our only criticism would be the lack of pictures of the 3 guinea pigs and not enough details of their experience with the plan (though that's all in the video so we can't have everything I suppose!)
We give the book 5 out of 5 stars. Clear, well presented, sensible information on how to detox for 28 days.
We have also reviewed another detox book. See below for more details:
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