December is a month of socialising, parties and overindulging in less-than-healthy food and drinks as we embrace the festive season.
Our jam-packed social calendars can make it tough to watch what we eat, work out, get enough rest and care for our bodies as we try to fit everything in.
If you’re feeling a little run down and sluggish, Dr. Naras Lapsys, an accredited dietician and longevity medical practitioner from The Wellness Clinic, has created a 14-day plan to help you detox and start the New Year afresh.
Cheers to feeling happy and confident in the New Year!
The key to feeling refreshed and energised is always hydration – our body uses water to clear waste products, so it makes sense to start your detox by drinking plenty of water.
If you’re having a tough time staying hydrated with plain H2O, ice cold filtered water, still and carbonated water are all great options. Keep a water bottle or jug of water on hand and sip frequently. If you exercise often, you will need to drink even more to replenish the fluid loss.
One of the many roles of the liver is to break down and eliminate harmful substances like alcohol and toxic chemicals from your system.
So on the second day of the new month, be kind to your liver, consider cutting back on your drinking for a week or even a month.
Not all calories are created equal. Different foods go through different metabolic pathways in your body. They can have vastly different effects on the amount of calories you burn.
The breakdown of fatty toxins can only work effectively in the presence of sulphur. If you want to lose weight or get in shape, include more sulphur-rich foods like broccoli, cabbage and cauliflower to your diet. When cooking, you can use more onion and garlic in your cooking to bring your sulphur levels up.
Whether your New Year’s resolution is to give up drinking or to lose more weight, it all starts with getting more sleep. A study conducted by researchers from the University of Hertfordshire found that our failure to commit to these resolutions each year stems from fatigue.
Participants of the study who had less than seven hours of uninterrupted rest each night were far more likely to lack the willpower to fulfill their goals. Also, getting that 7-8 hours sleep per night will not only refresh you but may even reduce your risk of Alzheimer’s disease.
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Don’t let the word detox fool you into thinking you need to starve yourself to feel better, sometimes it’s not about not eating but what you eat.
Glutathione is a potent antioxidant that aids detoxification. Foods rich in the mineral selenium, helps the body to produce glutathione.
Nuts and seeds, especially Brazil nuts are good sources of selenium and can easily be added to salads and smoothies.
Exercise is an important component of any detox plan. Physical movement allows the body to breathe, stretch, circulate and perspire. Ensure that you drink plenty of water so your body can flush out the toxins.
Instead of processed or refined foods, go with whole foods. Fruits, vegetables, beans, legumes and whole grains are examples of whole foods that haven’t been altered from their natural state.
They are rich in fibre and micronutrients. Try to make sure that every meal contains a good proportion of whole foods to give your digestive system a well-earned break.
Sweet treats often have little to no nutritional value. They are inflammatory and can wreak havoc on your digestive system, zap your body of energy, and become addictive over time.
By easing up on such foods, your body will naturally improve digestion and energy levels, and will learn to crave natural whole foods instead.
Like a broom, insoluble fibre aids in digestion by cleaning out our intestinal track. They also add bulk to our stool and helps move food through the digestive tract.Think whole grains, zucchini, onions and dark leafy green vegetables.
Reboot your system with probiotics. Probiotics are the beneficial bacteria that live in your large intestine, that help with digestion and help strengthen your immune system.
They also attack toxins for elimination and assist with detoxification. Unpasteurised Yoghurt, kimchi, miso, kefir and kombucha have lots of good bacteria and encourage better gut health.
When your body is always at a state of metabolizing food, you leave it with little time to do anything else, including detoxifying, cleansing and healing.
By having three square meals a day, without snacking in between, you are allowing yourself time to fully digest your food. Plus you leave time for your body to detox and repair.
Don’t forget to detox your mind too. Pick up a journal and pen down things that you are going to let go of in the New Year.
They could be toxic thoughts and conversations, negative self talk, or fears that are holding you back from achieving your dreams. You can also meditate and take a deep breath if you find such thoughts popping into your mind.
Try an app like Calm or Headspace to start you off on your mindfulness journey.
Doing so will give your body time to register that you’re eating, prep you for proper digestion, and will allow your body to hone its natural hunger cues.
This will teach you to eat when your body needs, and to stop when you feel full. Put the fork down between bites, savour your food and limit distractions like using your phone or watching TV when you’re eating.
When you are stressed, your body naturally reacts with a fight-or-flight response and cortisol (a stress hormone) is released.
As your body fights the stress, it is left with little time for detoxing, cleansing or digesting. To better manage your stress, try to engage in activities like yoga, meditation, or watching a funny movie; whatever works best to diminish stress and anxiety.