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How To Detox In The New Year, Without Being An Asshole About It

If the festive season was a fragrance it might smell like egg nog and bad decisions. The beginning of a new year often brings with it the desire to remedy some of the more outlandish life choices we have been making, such as living off nothing but glazed ham for three days and that weird kiss with Paul at the Christmas party. At a time where we are looking to start fresh, set goals, and feel our best for the year ahead it can be tempting to go balls to the wall with fad diets and excessive exercise. Don’t. Whether we are putting in a conscious effort or not, our body is in a constant state of detoxification, but there are many things we can do to enhance this process. Detoxing is about giving your body some R&R, supporting your liver and kidneys and feeling optimal to do big things in the year ahead. No one wants to hear you complaining about your lemon water and maple syrup meal plan. Should you want to give your system a reset, here’s how to go about it. 

Don’t Deprive Yourself

This is not the time for juice cleanses or a charcoal fast, a menu I can only imagine is served in hell. We are aiming for whole, plant based foods that will nourish you and your body. Eat until you are satisfied or try eating until you feel 80% full, a common dietary trend in ‘blue zone’ countries which are well documented for being the healthiest, happiest and living the longest.

Eat More Plants, Less Of Everything Else

We are aiming to up our micronutrients. Plants that are especially helpful in aiding our bodies detoxification system are bitter greens such as kale and watercress. Beets produce nitric acid which aids in blood flow throughout the body. Taking a break from meats and heavy protein can allow your body to optimise its digestion, however protein is still essential for phase two detoxification, so it’s important to have some, plant based complete protein sources include hemp and quinoa.

Cut Out (Ok, Or Down On) Caffeine & Alcohol

Caffeine and alcohol are especially harsh for your liver to process, making these an especially important no-no, or less-less, during a detox. If no caffeine at all sounds like a truly cruel and unusual punishment, try drinking matcha instead. It is high in antioxidants and increases energy with less crash than coffee. Try switching to kombucha when you feel yourself reaching for a drink for a boost of probiotics or if it really and truly is wine time, switching to red wine as it contains resveratrol, an antioxidant that supports your cells from free radical damage. 

Do Some Gut Repair

Eating whole, unprocessed foods with plenty of dietary fibre will aid in a healthy gut, as will fermented foods such as sauerkraut. Bone broth is one of the most powerful foods for gut repair as it contains collagen and glutamine which repair gut lining and support gut integrity. Supplement with probiotics, digestive enzymes and zinc.

Hydrate

Drinking plenty of fluid will aid in digestion and improve energy levels. Adding lemon helps with nutrient absorption which can assist with bloating and acts as a mild diuretic. The average person requires around two litres a day, more if you are exercising or in the heat. The rule of thumb calculation is 0.033 litres of water per kilogram of body weight.

Get Moving In The Morning

A brisk walk in the morning helps get your digestive system going and improve your cardiovascular system. This is also a great time to take some time out to centre yourself and reflect on the day ahead. Exercise and dry brushing are great ways to move our lymphatic system which supports blood flow and enhances detoxification.

Try Slow Carb

The Slow Carb diet appears in Tim Ferriss’ book ‘The 4 Hour Body’ and encourages trading refined carbohydrates for slow releasing legumes. Dietary fibre helps bind internal toxins and moves them through your gastrointestinal tract. Other great sources include chia and flax seeds and psyllium husk.

Show Your Liver Some Love 

Your liver is a powerhouse when it comes to detoxification, having over 300 functions which include storing vitamins and minerals, filtering the blood and deactivating toxins. Systems your liver needs some love include caffeine cravings, feeling irritable or having a ‘liver roll’ under your bra line. Your body will thank you for a break from alcohol and caffeine. Blueberries, beetroot, broccoli and cauliflower are all liver loving foods, which you can further supplement with turmeric and vitamin A.

Three Day Detox Plan

Day One:

Upon Waking: Hot Water w Lemon, Turmeric, Cider Vinegar & Black Pepper

Breakfast: Gluten Free Bircher Muesli 

Lunch: Salad w Pumpkin, Quinoa, Black Beans, Avocado, Spinach, Linseeds, Kale, Watercress Sauerkraut w Apple Cider Vinegar and Lemon Dressing

Dinner: Zucchini and Pea Fritters  w Side Salad

Snacks: Bone Broth, Mixed Nuts

Day Two:

Upon Waking: Hot Water w Lemon, Turmeric, Cider Vinegar & Black Pepper

Breakfast: Coconut Yogurt w Blueberries, Sunflower Seeds & Almonds

Lunch: Salad w Chickpeas, Cauliflower, Avocado, Red Onion, Linseeds, Spinach, Kale and Watercress w Apple Cider Vinegar and Lemon Dressing

Dinner: Pumpkin and Turmeric Soup w a Side Quinoa Salad

Snacks: Bone Broth, Mixed Nuts

Day Three:

Upon Waking: Hot Water w Lemon, Turmeric, Cider Vinegar & Black Pepper

Breakfast: Smoothie w Spinach, Kale, Cucumber, Celery & Blueberries

Lunch: Salad w Beetroot, Carrot, Broccoli, Butterbeans, Quinoa, Almonds, Sunflower Seeds, Spinach, Kale, Watercress & Saurkraut w Apple Cider Vinegar and Lemon Dressing

Dinner: Vegan Chickpea Tikka Massala

Snacks: Bone Broth, Mixed Nuts

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