Nutrition and dietary advice in Tunbridge Wells and throughout Kent and East Sussex
The January cleanse…
It’s seems January is the month for a ‘detox’…here’s the what, why and how.
The body’s overall health depends on it’s ability to detoxify – dry spotty skin, digestive symptoms, headaches, fatigue, and stubborn weight are all signs that you may need to give yourself some ‘time-out’. A detox is about giving your body what it needs to support cleansing and eliminating – clean foods and giving your digestion a breather.
The liver is the hero of detoxification, along with your skin, lungs, digestive tract and kidneys which all work together to eliminate toxins from your body. Sadly we are bombarded with toxins from pollution, alcohol, pesticides, food additives, prescription drugs, stress, poor sleep, and cleaning and beauty products, and our modern diet just doesn’t give us all the nutrients we need to deal with them.
A detox doesn’t necessarily mean fasting or even juicing (so you don’t have to run out and buy a juicer!). However, smoothies and juices are an easy way of having a big nutrient ‘hit’ although I would always recommend more vegetables are used with a maximum of a couple of pieces of fruit – just enough to make the juice or smoothie palatable.
To effectively detoxify we need protein and essential fats so make your meals mostly vegetables with some lean protein such as chicken, turkey or oily fish and a small amount of brown rice or quinoa, have some fruits, raw seeds and nuts each day. Soup is another way of having loads of veggies while being easy to digest. Keep your meals light and try not to eat late in the evening (ideally before 7pm) to give yourself time to digest your dinner before sleeping.
The social toxins are definitely to be avoided – caffeine, sugar, alcohol and tobacco – along with all processed and refined foods. Ideally choose organic where possible, and definitely the ‘Dirty Dozen’ which are the 12 fruit and veg that have been found to contain the most pesticides. The Dirty Dozen – always buy organic if possible:
Celery, Sweet bell peppers, Peaches, Cherries, Spinach and kale, Potatoes, Apples, Strawberries, Nectarines, Blueberries, Grapes, and Lettuce.
Taking time to relax is important whether that’s having a warm bath, curling up with a book or listening to gentle music as stress, anxiety and worry all cause toxins to be released in the body.
Exercise is also a good idea – a half hour brisk walk, swim, cycle or jog would do – but now is the time to listen to your body, if you’re really tired you need to rest!
I run a 14-day detox programme – if you would like to learn more about it contact me.