It’s that time of year!
January often marks the time when people feel motivated to embark on new beginnings and fresh starts to better themselves.
The saying “New Year New You” is commonly referred to and reflected in increase gym memberships and attendance and new restrictive diets.
A cleanse is an easy “reset” to offset the overindulgences from the last few months of parties, holiday baked goodies, eggnog and perhaps a few too many glasses of champagne. But does a cleanse mean you have to fast, and drink offensive tasting juices and starve for days in order to feel better?
Kudos to those that have the discipline but for many people a few simple changes to your current nutrition can offer beneficial effects to digestion, energy and overall health. Not only is it something sustainable past the common 10-30 day cleanse but practices you can apply beyond that.
1.) Lemon water: Enjoy a glass of room temperature water with ½ fresh squeezed lemon each morning when you wake up. The liver works overtime as we sleep and one of its main functions is detox. The alkaline ash produced acts as a gentle flush encouraging our body to excrete these toxins. Keep a glass beside your bed and consume it upon waking up, on an empty stomach before breakfast for maximum results. Don’t worry, it won’t having you running to the toilet, it’s very gentle!
2.) Stay away from refined sugars. It sounds obvious but giving into those 3pm sugary snacks can have negative effects on your waistline as well as digestion. Our energy dips around 3pm and you body is smart to crave foods that will increase blood sugar levels quickly. Instead reach for a protein source to keep you fuelled the rest of the day and your blood sugar leveled.
3.) Go dairy free. Whether you have a sensitivity or suspected intolerance or not, eliminating dairy from your diet can improve digestion and remove that uncomfortable bloat. Dairy is an inflammatory food and often consumed to ensure proper calcium needs and bone health especially for women who are more susceptible to osteoporosis. Ironically enough, dairy is acidic and calcium leaching and can actually wear down bones as our body works to maintain a healthy pH level. The RDA for adults is 1000 mg which can easily be met with a large leafy salad made with kale, collard greens, almonds, white beans and topped with figs – yummy!
4.) Stay hydrated. People often ask, how do I know how much water I should be drinking? Everyone is different. Learn to listen to your body. If you are feeling thirsty, chances are you are dehydrated. To ensure you don’t “forget” to drink water, try keeping a bottle on your desk, in your bag or in your car. Increase your water intake if you are enjoying diuretics like coffee and alcohol. If your urine is clear – chances are you are well hydrated. Brownish dark yellow hues are colours we should keep for your parent’s old 70’s basements.
5.) Lymph brushing. Not nutrition related but it feels good and encourages the elimination of cellular waste – essentially increasing detox. Choose a high quality dry brush, starting from your feet and make your way up the body always brushing towards your heart to stimulate circulation. It also contributes to decreased stress and better digestion and can reduce cellulite. If all these reasons aren’t convincing enough, just having smooth soft baby bottom skin should be!
Enjoy the benefits from these few easy tips and cleanse not just for January but for life!