When my friend Sam pointed out how many times I’d had Maryland cookies for dinner lately in one of our podcast episodes, things started to make sense.
I’ve never been a stranger to the chocolate box, but thus far I’ve had a quick metabolism to deal with those naughty binges. I don’t eat badly all the time, but there’s been a slip of epic proportions… for about five months. Cue mega bloating, my first ever bout of burning, body-covering eczema and some signs of seriously bad digestion. You’ll be happy to know I’m going to spare you those details.
Before my skin went crazy, I knew I wasn’t making good choices, and had been mindful about making some healthy changes. I just kept telling myself I was too busy to get organised and actually do it. Now it’s critical I do something about it. So here we are: my unhealthy girl’s detox guide.
Literally nothing will help you more than H2O
You know it. I know it. But day after day, there I am drinking endless mugs of Tetley and stopping my water consumption at one glass. Not cool.
Give your body the hydration it needs, and good things will follow (not least glowing skin and healthy nails). Buy a great big bottle of water – like the 1.2l things – and tell yourself you’re not allowed any of your favourite drinks until you’ve polished it off.
If you really hate plain water, switch to sparkling or add low sugar cordial. NO TEA UNTIL YOU’RE ALL DONE.
Aloe vera water is surprisingly good
Not that it should replace tap water, but aloe vera drinks are very soothing to the tummy and can help reduce bloating.
I was very sceptical of the stuff until I read Laura from Wholeheartedly Healthy’s very honest review of it. Also for some reason I had in my head that it’d taste like vapour rub. It’s actually sweet and refreshing – grab a bottle now and again. Green tea is also great for this.
Use detox products you trust
Don’t spend all your hard earned cash on expensive products with “detox” flashed across the label. I mean, if you’re already super healthy then sure – adding flaxseed and supplements to everything is a great next step to keep in tip top condition. But much of the time, shop-bought “detox teas” or “detox juices” can’t hold a candle to good, wholesome, clean food and drink.
Don’t be pressured by meal plans
If meal plans don’t work for you, don’t use them.
I know everyone seems crazy on them at the moment, and not having your weekly meal plan ready to go on a Sunday night is bordering blasphemy as far as the internet is concerned. But if making those plans is putting a pressure on you, you’ll just ignore it or pull away from it. Particularly if you’re making a concerted effort to break bad habits right now.
If you need to, just take this one meal at a time. You can still make good choices incrementally. I’ve found Hello Fresh boxes a really great way to keep eating healthy dinners when I can’t be arsed to do all the planning that goes with it.
Take healthy snack stashes everywhere
Packets of almonds. Dried fruit. Naked bars. Homemade smoothies… anything that’ll keep you reaching for a chocolate bar before you get on your evening train!
Be full, not frugal
A detox does not mean going without. It means thinking about what you’re putting into your mouth (now then) and sticking with it to see if this is what your body needs. When you’re hungry, eat, but better. Don’t let yourself go hungry under the guise of a detox – that doesn’t work for weight loss either, and will just lead to unhealthy bingeing. There are loads of detox diets out there, and if you want to give them a try that’s fine, but be aware that they don’t work for everyone.
Basically, if you’re nice and full up on good stuff, you’ll feel great and you wont want to ruin it with Cadburys.
Be inspired by awesome bloggers
Here’s a list of some of my favourites – the very few people who have an effect on my life choices:
- Wholeheartedly Healthy – Laura used to write for us on HTC, popping in with handy tips on how to live better through healthy foods and exercise. Her personal blog, Wholeheartedly Healthy, is a bible for this. Make sure you sign up to her newsletter and get her awesome freebie articles!
- Get The Gloss – One of my favourite places to find a little personal focus and more realistic approaches to health, beauty and work. Get The Gloss has really great healthy eating articles that don’t entertain fads or unrealistic expectations. Well worth checking out.
- Healthy Living London – The one I resort to when I go mental and actual want to do some exercise, also a great help when you want to eat out somewhere healthy in London town.
You do have to listen to your body. I know I didn’t and I wish I hadn’t left it so long before taking action to look after it properly. If after a while something still doesn’t feel right, head to the doctors and make sure everything’s ok.
Unhealthy girls! What does a detox look like to you?
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