Like most of you I feel I have indulged a little too much over the past few days and want to get rid of that mild feeling of malaise that always comes before the guilt of overindulgence. If you are anything like me, you want to get your equilibrium back as soon as possible, if only so you can do it all again in another week another month… seems we never learn. Anyway, to get your mind and body back to normal as soon as possible the answer is to have yourself a quick Detox, a 3 day minimum Detox that will obviously start to deal with the effects of too many calories (although it shouldn’t be regarded as a weight loss diet) and quite possibly far too many alcohol unit – but it will also help track down the old you by also dealing with any negative stress hormones that were released into your body in what, let’s face it, can be a stressful ordeal for some and an endurance test for many others.
Let’s begin by forgetting everything you think you know about a detox.It doesn’t need to hurt or be seen as some trial by fasting, laxative teas or intensive exercise sessions. Believe it or not a detox can be quite relaxing, and be an opportunity to try things, your busy lives often don’t allow enough time for. Just pure, natural, delicious food and drinks designed to carry all those toxins away. Follow my suggestions and you’ll soon start to lose that ‘can’t get off the couch’feeling and get yourself, your digestion and maybe even your blood sugar and blood pressure back on track by the end of day 3.
For the next 3 days focus on eating brightly coloured fruits and vegetables, whole grains, and beans. Antioxidants activate liver enzymes that “knock out” harmful substances and make them water soluble, so your body can get rid of them more easily. Spinach, cranberry, kale, and beetroot are super-antioxidant-rich. Onions, garlic, and eggs are rich in sulfuric compounds that help your body produce its own antioxidant, glutathione, which is especially good at ushering out toxins, including heavy metals such as mercury, aluminium and arsenic.
Not for everything – it can be expensive and not all things labelled organic are truly free of toxins or in some case are not that much better for you than non-organic. However, none organic food often contains varying levels of pesticides, almost always toxins, which can alter your bodies make-up and hormone levels. They can also be carcagenic. However, going completely organic is a big decision, but for the purposes of my 3 day detox, try and use as much organic as you can afford, or if not, pick your produce with thick skins that peel off, because they’re less likely to be contaminated.
No Processed foods
Avoid processed foods (anything with ingredients you can’t pronounce or don’t recognize), fast food, fried food, caffeine, dairy, red meat, sugar, and white flour. You don’t want to eat anything that contains the toxins you’re trying to eliminate.
Most people are pretty sick of alcohol by this time of year, but for those of you who aren’t at least try and cut it out for 3 days. You may surprise yourself and your body by just how well you feel after just 3 days without.
Up your Liquids
Drink plenty of water to help flush out toxins and keep your liver, kidneys, colon, and lymphatic system (which filters waste products from your body) running smoothly. You don’t need to drowned yourself with water but aim to drink about two or three litres a day. If you’re reducing toxins and hydrated properly you should be able to pee every few of hours, and your urine should be fairly clear
Cut Down on Calories—But Don’t Crash Diet
By sticking to 1500-1900 calories a day you may lose a little weight but still have energy. If you consume fewer than about 1250 calories, your body begins burning muscle instead of fat plus you won’t be getting enough essential nutrients like vitamins and minerals.
Start With a Hearty but Healthy Breakfast
You hear this all the time, but it is essential. if you don’t skip breakfast you are less likely to binge later in the day when you energy starts to flag. I always eat a bowl of rolled oats sprinkled with a few raisins and unsalted nuts like hazel or almond. Mix it with either yogurt (no need for low or 0% fat as the quantity is so small) or milk. Then I have a couple of slices of wholemeal or multigrain toast topped with a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil then perhaps a little jam or marmalade. You may also consider a boiled, poached or scrambled egg with your toast. * To give your detox that extra boost in the morning you can also squeeze half a lemon into a cup of warm water and drink it 10 minutes before you eat or drink anything else.
Lighten Up for Lunch and Dinner
Stick to lean protein if you can – fish, chicken or turkey or perhaps beans and eat with whole grains and plenty of vegetables or a salad either undressed or with a light dressing such as lemon mixed with a couple of drops of olive oil. Avoid sugar and salt packed readymeals and also potatoes no matter how they are cooked, at least for the 3 days.
Between breakfast and lunch have a couple of pieces of fruit or make yourself a healthy and fibre rich smoothie by throwing a few leafy vegetables like spinach, broccoli, or Kale in with a carrot or two and charge it up a little with a few spices or herbs and maybe a little fresh ginger, parsley, cinnamon or nutmeg, etc. you can also add a little fruit if you need things a little sweeter, then blend it all together with some plain yogurt.
If the late afternoon cravings kick in, go for unsalted nuts, fruit, or a small piece of chocolate if you have a sweet tooth. Alternatively, have another smoothie. If you are still hungry try something light on a rice cake.
Avoid these Foods
Cut out refined sugars, white flour and rice, high-fat meats, dairy other than plain yogurt and milk and all soft drinks and sodas—both diet and regular.
You might not feel up to a lot of exercise while you’re cleansing, but low-level exercise or simply just walking a little more every day certainly increases the effects. It keeps your blood circulating and flushes out the toxins.
Gluten Actually Helps
Some of you may lean towards a low gluten in-take, but unless this is because of a medical condition a few days intake shouldn’t be a problem because whole grains certainly do support your detox and also help remove cholesterol build up so go for a couple of small servings a day.
If you try all of these tips or just a few of them, you may be pleasantly surprised by how well you feel in just a few days. Anyway, whatever you do, take care of that body of yours because it is the only one you will ever have.
Happy New Year!