‘Detox’ has, ironically, become a dirty word in some healthy living circles. It’s often seen as a drastic and unsustainable way of dealing with excessive food indulgences. However it’s those food indulgences, particularly over the Christmas and New Year period that can leave you feeling like crap. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with wanting to pay a bit more attention to how you eat after the holidays so that you feel better in yourself, I just don’t think you have to go on a juice fast to do it! There is something that could be said for increasing the amount of certain foods you eat and avoiding or reducing some other foods for a period of time to give your bodies digestive system a bit of a break. Here is a fad free, simple approach you could use to ‘detox’ this January: 

Eat a shit tonne of veggies

vegetables

Veggies are just awesome. They make you healthier in pretty much every way you can imagine! There’s loads of ways you can incorporate more vegetables into your diet, so no excuses!

Loads of water

It’s an obvious one, but yes, drinking more water really does make a big difference. You can take all the detox pills and potions, but ultimately water will do so much more for your body then they can, plus it’s a lot cheaper. Keep a water bottle with you all the time and aim to drink at least 1.5 litres a day.

Limit caffeine – and ‘upgrade’ it

organic dairy free coffee

The jury is still out on whether caffeine is good or bad for us. Personally I think a little is ok, but the form in which you get it in, and the amount, is more important. Ditch the lattes and cappuccinos for home made organic coffee with unsweetened almond milk or coconut milk and stick to one cup a day. Switching to green tea or herbal is even better of course! 

Have a dry month

red wine

Go sober for January, it’s only one month after all, and your body will thank you for it!

Reduce, or eliminate refined sugar, gluten and cow’s milk dairy

winter salad

These tend to be the foods we eat most of over Christmas – refined sugar in the form of chocolate, sweets and desserts, gluten in party foods, breads, pastries and cow’s milk dairy in cheeses. All these foods can lead to you feeling sluggish, so reducing them or eliminating them for a sort time will benefit your body, especially your digestive system.

If you need something sweet, instead of sweets try fresh or dried fruit, and swap cow’s milk dairy for diary free alternatives like unsweetened almond milk or coconut milk. Sheep and goats milk products are easier on the digestion as their molecules are smaller, so try cheese like feta and sheep milk yoghurt. Don’t be tempted to raid the gluten free product aisle either, rather than getting gluten free processed foods, opt for whole foods that are naturally gluten free such as brown rice, sweet potatoes and quinoa. If you normally eat bread, giving that kind of food a break anyway will work wonders. If you are desperate for chocolate, opt for 70% dark chocolate, or even better, refined sugar free raw chocolate. Use honey or maple syrup instead of sugar as a sweetener.

The key thing to remember is that it’s not what you eat in December or in January that matters, ultimately it’s what you are eating all year round that counts! A ‘detox’ in January is fine, but it won’t fix anything if you slide back into bad habits on the 1st February. Just think of this as a period of extra focus, and then get into good sustainable habits that are balanced – gluten, dairy, sugar and alcohol are ok in moderation after all, we all need some treats!

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