Has the festive season left you with little energy to tackle those healthy New Year’s resolutions? The smart thing is to have a good clean out. Not just of your digestive system, but your entire body.
But this time forget the calories, put away the scales and start focusing on what really nourishes your body. As a licensed nutritionist, I’m something of an expert on the facts and myths of detoxing, so I created the perfect plan to optimize your body’s natural detoxification abilities by eliminating certain toxins while feasting on nutrient dense whole foods. The Clever Kitchen’s free 3-week Detox Plan kicks off January 22nd and gives you all the tools you need to rid your body of accumulated toxins and holiday excess. We hope you’ll join us (more details below), but meanwhile you can give yourself a head start by adopting these powerful yearlong strategies:
- Play more
Does working out at the gym stress you out? Then just stop. Over-exercising contributes to adrenal fatigue and premature aging. You’ll get more benefits and enjoyment if you make exercise fun. Stress ultimately slows your metabolism and keeps weight on, while play energizes you while you sweat out toxins. Get outside and have fun. Take up golf. Go hiking with friends. Dance. Movement that is fun and laugh-inducing is good for you. You’ll do it more often and it will release the beneficial, metabolism-balancing neurochemicals of pleasure, including dopamine, oxytocin, and endorphins.
Proper sleep is essential for health. Too little sleep depresses your immune system and makes you more vulnerable to cancer and degenerative disease. Go to bed at the same time and sleep in a room that is completely dark. Logging 7-9 hours of quality sleep, every night, is necessary for your body to balance hormones, which affect your mood, metabolism and insulin sensitivity. Your brain also disposes of waste, essentially detoxing and clearing out unnecessary neurochemicals while you sleep.
- Watch your thoughts.
Many of our thoughts are habit. Replaying the same old tapes can have negative effects, especially when it comes to our bodies, our abilities and our self-esteem. Humans have a “negativity bias” built into our brains. This means your brain, left to its own devices, will default to the negative, to try to protect you from mistakes. This constant focus on the negative can put you into a stress state and increase cravings for comfort foods. What’s more, you won’t feel you deserve the amazing, energized and healthy life that awaits you when you are kind to yourself. Meditation and yoga are excellent ways to help you rewrite those old tapes and put you in a state of positive awareness.
- Go on a media detox.
What you see has an enormous impact on your health, confidence, and cravings. We are constantly assaulted by images of how we should look. Magazine covers and social media showing skinny models and perfectly toned professional athletes put us into “compare and despair” mode. Turn off the river of self-hate-inducing images by going on a media detox. Eliminate the TV programs, celebrity magazines and anyone on social media who makes you feel bad about yourself, even for a moment. Turn it all off. This will help you start listening to your own body and feeling better about how YOU look and feel, rather than comparing yourself to false images.
- Remove the “Toxic Four.”
When it comes to detoxing, it’s very important to remove foods to which you are intolerant of or sensitive. The four common foods that cause the most problems are: wheat, dairy, sugar (including alcohol and artificial sweeteners), and caffeine. Removing these for at least two weeks will allow your hormones to balance, resulting in easy, natural weight loss and balanced moods and energy. Gradually reintroducing them after your detox will help you understand how each food affects your energy, digestion, skin, and mood.
Your mother was right – chew your food! Digestion starts in your mouth with the mechanics of chewing and the enzymes in your saliva. If you swallow half-chewed food, your stomach can’t break it down properly, causing bloating, gas, and bacterial overgrowth. So, chew, chew and chew! This allows for better digestion, metabolism and of course, “elimination” too.
January is the perfect time to think about cleaning up your diet and losing a little weight. You can do both by signing up for The Clever Kitchen’s easy to follow 3-week detox and weight loss plan that begins January 22th. Why not join us for our Detox lunch at Starsnbars on January 16th and get all the details? Check out The Clever Kitchen’s Facebook page for more information and sign up free as a member of our Detox group – where all your detox questions will be answered!
Looking for a healthy snack that is gluten-free, allergy-friendly and detox-approved? Enjoy guacamole with a flax cracker, celery sticks, red pepper slices for an afternoon snack.
- 1 small tomato, chopped
- 1/4 bunch cilantro, chopped
- 2 avocados
- 1 small red onion, diced
- 1 small garlic clove, minced
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- sea salt + black pepper to taste
- dash of cayenne pepper (optional)
1. Split the avocado in half and twist apart. Remove the pit. Scoop out the avocado meat with a spoon into a bowl. Add the red onion, garlic, cumin, salt, black pepper and cayenne (optional). Mash with a fork.
2. Add chopped tomato and cilantro. Mix thoroughly and serve immediately. Note: It is best to serve the guacamole immediately. However, if you plan to serve the guacamole within the hour, squeeze a bit of lemon juice to retain the bright green color of the avocado.