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Eat, Drink and be Merry.. for in January we detox!

It's that time of year again; overindulgence, regret and resolutions.

I'm a firm believer in 'a little of what you fancy does you good', the health issues start when that philosophy is repeated for over a fortnight!

The rot starts with excess sugar intake which is very difficult to avoid; the office is full of goodies, pressies from from customers which would be rude to refuse right?

Then there's the sweeties you bought the kids for their stocking but before you know it you're out there again Christmas Eve replacing what you've 'accidently' eaten! Everyone has their guilty secrets and I am no exception.

Add to sugar insults nights out, the office party, the bulging drinks cabinet in readiness for entertaining and before you know it you've gained half a stone before Christmas day even arrives.

Is there any wonder we all feel sluggish, depressed and full of New Year's resolve in January?

If you read my previous blog about the importance of light you will understand how using your Christmas time off to get out in nature and increase exposure to natural daylight can help you to avoid weight gain, low mood and digestive problems.

Another thing you can do to help limit the damage is to reduce your intake of processed foods. Supermarkets are full of attractively Christmassy packaged snacks aimed at tempting you to fill your basket from the 'seasonal' aisles... save your money, don't fall for it and make your own treats. Home made with love is much more economical, helps save the planet AND is so much better for you.

Not only that, but fun in the kitchen is something many families have lost due to time constraints and a lack of skills which in days gone by were passed down from older generations.

I will always remember my Mum making fresh mince pies to celebrate decorating the Christmas Tree the weekend before Christmas. One of many family Christmas traditions I continue to enjoy to this day.

As we get older it is memories of Christmas we cherish, not how much special food we bought from Tesco's (other supermarkets are available and just as guilty), or that extra last minute gift we felt the need to buy as we didn't think we'd bought enough already.

In January we turn our focus on what needs to change; be that body shape, health, bank balance or the habits which will positively impact on those things.

The trick is not to make too many changes at once, be gentle with yourself.

I see so many people go 'all-in' for a 7 day juice detox from January 1st.. whilst the intention is admirable it simply isn't a good idea after 2 -3 weeks of over indulgence!

To embark on such a difficult task is set to make you feel very unwell the first week in January and probably won't last beyond 2 days.

I advise you commit to making small changes to your diet and lifestyle in the first few months of the year which will still have health promoting benefits and they are more sustainable long term.

  • Cut back on carbohydrates, we eat far too many in the western diet. You can get apps which will track your intake of macronutrients. Sugars, bread, cereals, cakes, biscuits and sweets are all major sources of carbs. Limit to around 100g daily. This will allow for the inclusion of plenty of vegetables and whole grains to support energy requirements for most people. Obviously if you have a very active job or lifestyle you may need to increase this. Most apps will give you suggested levels according to your given activity levels.

  • Get outside in natural daylight and move more. See my previous blog for more info on this.

  • Drink more water. Most people are chronically dehydrated without realising it. To detox your body of harmful toxins you need to consume a minimum of 2 litres a day depending on body weight and activity levels.

  • Go to bed earlier and switch off gadgets at least an hour before bedtime. Make your last meal at least 3 hours before bedtime.

  • Eat more plant based foods. That doesn't necessarily mean go 'Veganuary' (and actually, if your idea of going vegan is to buy more processed food because you don't know how to prepare balanced vegan meals, then don't!). Simply adding an additional fresh vegetable to each meal helps too.

There is so much you can do to prepare your body for a real detox and trust me, you will suffer less for it.

In January I am starting a weekly webinar to help people get on the right tracks to better health in 2024. I'll be discussing many different topics and will have a live Q&A and discussion at the end of each session. January's topics will include toxins (and testing for them), weight loss, digestive problems and food intolerances.

Just go to my website to book.

How about giving the gift of health to a loved one with one of my eGift cards?

In the mean time go easy on yourselves and enjoy the run up to Christmas!

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