Well I hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas and New Year?
I thought I’d write a blog on detoxing as no doubt a lot of people will be thinking about this after all the festivities. I wanted to give you some do’s and don’ts of detoxing so you can make your own minds up about what to do for optimum health and well-being after all the fun of the festivities.
So here they are:
1. Make sure whatever diet or detox you pick you are getting a good balance of healthy fibre, carbohydrates (brown rice, oats, sweet potatoes and quinoa), proteins, fats and vitamins and minerals with every meal. Failure to do this could result in you snacking, feeling unwell, not sticking to the diet or detox at all, or more importantly, having a knock on effect with your overall health and well-being. I know a lot of people are doing juice diets these days but remember you need fibre (to move the toxins through the digestive system and maintain good bowel movements which is key to detoxification) carbs, protein and fat for things like energy, brain function and to stop your body depleting you of your reserves of these and making you unwell.
2. Make sure you don’t skip meals, this effects your blood sugar levels, your hormones, metabolism and overall health and well-being. Any weight lost achieved like this rarely stays off.
3. Avoid weight loss products (food and drinks) that claim to be sugar-free, fat-free, low-fat and low calorie, as these are stuffed full of sweeteners, chemicals, trans-fats and salts. If you want to eat butter you’re better off just having a smaller serving of butter rather than a low fat margarine.
4. Drink plenty of water, at least 2 litres a day. This will help flush through all those Christmas toxins more than almost anything else you could do.
5. Cut out or cut down the caffeine, this is pretty toxic to the body unless in small doses (preferably green tea) and effects the metabolism and blood sugar levels and is also giving the body one more toxin to try eliminate.
6. Try and have at least one smoothie and/or juice a day (with plenty of fruit, veggies, nuts, seeds and maybe a little bit of raw protein powder added in as well).
7. Stay clear of any diet or detox that claims you will lose more than 3lbs a week. Losing more than this in a week isn’t a healthy way to lose weight and it almost never stays off when if comes off so quickly. Losing weight slow and steadily may be boring but it really is the best and healthiest way to lose weight and keep it off.
8. Cut out or cut down gluten and wheat products. It is believed as many as 1 in 3 of us have an intolerance to gluten. Eating gluten when intolerant to it will make you feel bloated, gassy and will take a lot of energy for your body to try and process it.
9. Substitute bad carbohydrates (like white flours, whites rices, white potatoes and white pasta) for good carbs (sweet potatoes, oats, brown rice, brown pasta, quinoa, buckwheat and gram/rice/spelt flours.
10. Take regular Epsom salt baths (or Himalaya salt baths). The magnesium in these will help draw out toxins (as well as general aches and pains) from the body.
11. If you are doing a detox then remember you will need to support your body with the elimination of the toxins you drudge up from your body otherwise all you’ll do is absorb a lot of them back into your system again. You can do this by taking milk thistle or charcoal supplements, burdock, nettle or dandelion tea, drinking plenty of water, eating plenty of fibre and veggies.
12. Eat as many raw and fermented foods as possible and consider adding a raw protein drink to your daily regime. These are packed full of essential enzymes, which we mostly lose once food it cooked. This will help with digestion, absorption of vitamins and minerals and overall health and well-being.
13. Try to eat plenty of seeds, nuts, fish and legumes. These are packed full of good proteins, fats and omegas. Remember to either soak or grind down seeds to release the oils inside them and soak nuts for a minimum of 2-3 hours (some a lot more) to release the enzyme inhibitors in them so you can not only digest them better but you absorb more of their goodness.
14. Trade in processed sugars for honey. Honey is good for regulating blood sugar levels as well as many other health benefits and does not effect your body in the same way processed sugars and sweeteners do as it’s completely natural, so the body doesn’t react to it like it’s a toxin.
15. Eat plenty of naturally detoxifying foods, these include lentils, broccoli, turnips, grapefruit, oats, cucumbers, sunflower seeds and hemp seeds (as well as most veggies).
16. Try starting your day with a warm ginger and/or lemon water or tea as this will help to simulate the metabolism and detoxification and is very alkalising. When we have over indulged our body can become very acidic, so eating and drinking alkalising foods and drinks will help your body become healthier, stronger and detoxify more effectively. Lemons, grapefruits, limes, vinegar, fermented foods, ginger, cucumber are all very alkalising within the body.
17. Exercise helps stimulate the metabolism and eliminate toxins, this also makes you feel more energised, focused and, of course, burns calories. Try exercising for 20 mins a day, 5 days a week. Consider taking up Tai Chi, Qi Gong, Pilates or Yoga as these not only help detox the body but the mind as well.
18. Treat yourself to regular reflexology and massage treatments to help shift toxins and use saunas, steam rooms and hot steamy baths to help sweat out toxins.
19. Take a really good probiotic daily (one with at least one billion friendly and multiple strains of lactobacillus bacteria in). This will help with digestion, enzymes levels, absorption, intolerances and yeast overgrowths caused by overindulging and stress.
20. Try using natural cosmetics and hair and skin care products. Did you know that we absorb up to 60% of what we put onto our body? Using more natural, safe and less toxic items helps reduce the toxic load of our body. When your body cannot eliminate toxins it often uses fat cells to store the excess (especially around our middle, which also effects our hormones).
21. Substitute kitchen and bathroom cleaning products for a vinegar solution (2 parts water, 1 part vinegar, 20-30 drops of citrus, clove, tea-tree or pine essential oils and half the juice of a lemon – shake well before each use). This reduces the need for nasty chemicals in the home, as we absorb a lot of what touches our skin and we also breathe these chemicals in.
22. If you think you may have a yeast overgrowth then consider following a yeast/candida die off diet rather than any old detox diet. Yeast overgrowths cause a whole host of health issues as well as effecting your hormones, hindering weight loss, weight gain around the middle and the yeast itself produces even more toxins as it grows. With the way we live our lives these days is is believed as many as 70% of us suffer from a yeast overgrowth.
23. Consider detoxing your mind as well as your body. Take up daily guided meditation, this will not only help with stress and anxiety, but with sleep and body image and all of this will have a knock on effect on the metabolism and detoxification.
24. Think positively about yourself, so rather than focusing on things that you see as negative about yourself focus on positive things instead. Positive self talk really does have a huge impacte on your overall self image and thought processes, thus creating a less toxic mind.
25. Practice gratitude. When we look for the positive in our daily lives rather than the negative we start the ball rolling for a positive mind set. List 25 things you are grateful for every day and you’ll see in no time at all how much better you feel about your life, the people in it and the world around you as you create and reinforce positive pathways in the brain.
26. De-clutter and detox your home, this will make you feel better to be in your home, free up space (in your house and in your mind for new things and people) and give you some exercise. Look at de-cluttering one cupboard or space each day, this way you slowly chip away at it without it being overwhelming for you, you’ll be surprised how quickly and easily it gets completed and how much better it makes you feel to be in your environment and your head.
Hope you all enjoy a healthy, happy and energising 2014!