The holidays are a wonderful time to create remarkable memories and to reflect on cherished memories created during previous years. Along with the holiday bliss, there are also banquets of delicious meals. As the holidays come and go and you begin to wind down from parties, you may feel like it’s time for a little rest or detox. There are a variety of techniques you can try to help detox and get your body back on track. They range from dietary additions or changes to adding some physical activity to your daily routine. However, the first thing you want to do is to stop putting toxins into your body. You can start by cutting out refined sugar and processed food from your diet. Then, you can incorporate the following suggestions to your lifestyle to help your body detox naturally.
Introduce Green Smoothies Into Your Diet
Green smoothies provide a wide variety of vitamins, minerals and other nutrients that your body needs to remain healthy. Try adding fruits that promote cleansing of the body such as apples, blueberries, leafy greens, avocado, lemon, ginger and other superfoods like chlorella and turmeric.
If you are not a fan of eating fruits or vegetables, try drinking them instead. It’s also a good way to include more fruits and veggies into your children’s diet. For a quick and flavorful green smoothie, try this Pineapple Spinach Green Smoothie.
Drink Fresh Juices (cold-pressed or made at home)
A glass of freshly pressed green juice is an excellent way to start your morning. It hydrates the body while nourishing and detoxifying it. Juices are best consumed on an empty stomach. Greens are best but beets or carrots are also wonderful, especially when herbs like parsley, cilantro or ginger are added into them. Just make sure they are mostly made of vegetables instead of fruits. Juices can be very high in sugar so it’s something to watch too. Look on the label if you buy it.
Note that I am not referring to fruit juices or packages of boxed juices. I’m talking about the kind of juice you get in juice shops and the ones you make at home with a juicer (not a blender!).
Cut Down Sugar & Processed Foods
Processed foods and products containing refined sugar are high in carbohydrates. When you consume a diet high in these sugars and carbohydrates, your body uses these to create energy. When your sugar levels are low, you feel tired and sluggish. Not to mention, countless studies indicate that a diet high in refined sugars and carbohydrates contributes to weight gain, diabetes, blood pressure, and cholesterol issues.
Try to limit fried foods, processed foods, and refined carbohydrates while maintaining a diet rich in vegetables, fruits, grains, and healthy proteins. Admittedly, sugar can be hard to forego, especially when the last few months have included a host of meals containing pie, cake, cookies, and candy. When you need some thoughts on how to beat the sugar cravings, take a moment to read this article on 12 ways to beat sugar cravings.
Eat Fresh Fruits and Vegetables for Vitamin C and Fiber
Vegetables are rich in antioxidants and contain natural anti-inflammatory characteristics. You can choose to eat them raw or cooked but try to make your plate as colorful as possible and eat 4-5 servings per day. You should consider dark leafy greens, Cruciferous vegetables (e.g., broccoli and cabbage), carrots, beets, onions, peas, squashes, and salad greens as they are rich in fiber and vitamin C. Fruits, like vegetables, are high in carotenoids and flavonoids which are antioxidants with naturally occurring anti-inflammatory properties. As with vegetables, you can go with fresh or frozen but be colorful and eat 3-4 servings per day. Healthy options include berries, peaches, oranges, grapes, cherries, apples and pears among others. An added bonus is that these fruits all have a lower glycemic index than tropical fruits, so they are a healthier choice for individuals with diabetes or sugar issues.
This recipe for Curried Red Lentil Soup combines a savory curry flavor with a host of legumes and vegetables that are high in antioxidants.
Stay Hydrated with Water
You have heard over and over that you need to drink water, and it is true. About 60% of your body is made up of water, and it’s known that most illnesses start from dehydration. Also, the more water you drink the more your body can flush out the toxins from your body. If you do not like the taste of water on its own, try adding a squeeze of lemon juice or some herbs or berries to it. Upon waking, make sure to drink a big glass of water, at room temperature. It’s an easy, natural way to detox, alkalize and hydrate the body.
Get Good Sleep
Your body needs sleep to reset, recover, and restore. Inadequate sleep can lead to a host of issues, including a reduction in your immune response, reduction in clear thinking, and challenges related to stress and emotional responses. Try getting at least 6 or 7 hours of sleep every night. Do you get enough sleep each night? Here are 10 tips you can try to improve your sleep.
Practice Deep Breathing
Taking a few moments for yourself can work wonders for your mind and your emotions. Find a quiet place away from the hustle of the day, and sit with your thoughts. The benefits of meditation are well documented. Taking 5 or 10 minutes to yourself can help to alleviate stress and re-center your emotions.
Daily Meditation can also be soothing, relaxing, and strengthening for your mind and spirit. If you are unfamiliar with meditation or struggle to achieve relaxation on your own, try a guided meditation. There are many available on the internet.
Exercising is one of the best ways to detox, lose weight, relieve stress, elevate your mood, and improve your health and sleep. From walking outside more, running on a treadmill, doing yoga, or ice skating or skiing, there are a variety of exercises you can try this winter. What’s important is not to choose the right activity but getting started. Pic something you ENJOY and get started. You can always adjust along the way. Plan it in your calendar, make exercise a priority. And try enjoying the outdoors. Fresh air is amazing for your body and mind. Take the opportunity to practice deep breathing outside too.
There are a few supplements out there that can support the body’s detoxification. I like to use activated charcoal to bind to poisons, heavy metals and other toxins, and flush them out of your body. You can also support the liver by using herbs such as milk thistle or silymarin; the vitamins choline and inositol to break down fats in the body and prevent from fatty liver disease; the amino acid L-Glutamine to heal a leaky gut, or the antioxidant glutathione which has powerful anti-inflammatory and detoxification properties. Probiotics are also helpful to boost your digestive and immune system, and decrease inflammation.
The holiday season can add an extra layer of stress to your day. It can add challenges, both emotionally and physically. Many of us find that we eat or drink things we normally wouldn’t during this season as we are enjoying our time with family and friends. Now that the holidays are over, it is time to help your body get back to feeling its best, and for you to get back to your best self. The tips above are a few suggestions to nourish your mind, body, and soul for when you need to holiday detox.