Post-Holiday Cleanse & Reset
So, the holidays are over and you’re feeling a kind of “blah”. Maybe your pants are a bit tighter than usual, energy level is low and for some reason you’re feeling a little down and foggy. The overindulgence in the holiday feasts, alcohol and extra stress of running around holiday shopping has finally caught up to you. We can all experience this from time to time, but the holidays are extra challenging with family and copious amounts of tempting food all around. The slippery slope to avoid is keeping the holiday eating to the holidays. That also means do NOT continue to eat those leftovers because “Oh I don’t want to waste food or throw it out”. Here’s a tip: let everyone else take the leftover food and drinks home with them so it’s out of your house. But if the holiday alcohol, sweets, treats, and feasts got you off track from you normal eating and exercise regime, don’t fret! We’ve got all the help you need to get right back on track and feel great again in no time!
Here’s the good news: you don’t have to panic and go on some extreme crash diet or perform endless hours of strenuous exercise to get back on track. Our bodies are amazing machines and very resilient. With a little attention, and the right action our bodies will naturally clean and detox themselves.
Here are some ideas to help you jumpstart your body reset:
Drink warm water with lemon: Begin your day with warm water mixed with 1 fresh squeezed lemon. You can also sip it throughout the day. Warm lemon water alkalizes your body, stimulates liver and gallbladder detoxification, revs up your metabolism, and curbs cravings throughout the day. First thing after you wake up - SKIP the coffee! Take your coffee break later in the morning at least an hour after waking, this will boost productivity and give your adrenals time to recover. Also, sipping on fresh green tea before and after meals will help keep your metabolism and digestive fire strong.
Focus on plant-based meals: Although you may be tempted to eat very little after eating so poorly, it’s important to focus on nourishing, healthy meals. Think: fruits, veggies, and plant-based proteins. Your detoxification organs (kidneys, liver, etc.) need lots of vitamins in order to properly function. So avoid the temptation to restrict and starve yourself, that will only backfire in the long run. But also go easy on the meat to allow your body time to clean out.
Intermittent fasting: Intermittent fasting is another great way to jumpstart your cleanse. Think about your digestive system as plumbing pipes; it’s much easier for your body to clean itself out when those pipes aren’t all gunked up with food 24/7. You don’t have to fast for days on end to get the benefits. For starters, try an overnight fast by eating your last meal in the evening (let’s say 7pm) then don’t eat until morning (7am) That’s already a 12 hour fast! As you get better you can extend the time until breakfast (9am, 11am) so you start 14, then 16 hour fasting and so on.
Yoga/Chi Gong/Tai Chi: Any of these intentional body movements are an excellent way to get your energy system back into balance, plus they boost your mood. You’ll be feeling relaxed and in your body right away. Bonus: when you stretch and twist you actually stimulate the detoxification of many internal organs!
Get out and go: Physical activity is a great way to start your day. Don't think, just go! Before you check social media, emails, texts, or phone calls, get outside for a walk, dance, stretch or go to that exercise class at the gym. Any type of physical activity that works for you is the best choice you can make to start the year off right!
Eat with intention: Eating with intention is requires some work to resist the urge to inhale your food. Sit down, take 3 deep breaths and have gratitude for the nutritious food you are about to put in your body. Slowing down and eating with intention allows your sympathetic nervous system to calm down so you can go into ‘rest and digest’ mode. This is where your organs can actually digest food and clean out toxins.
Reset your kitchen: Remove all the “bad” unhealthy foods from your house. This is a simple yet super effective way to avoid temptation. If it’s not in your house, you won’t be able to grab or mindlessly snack on junk food. Instead, keep tasty, healthy snacks on hand at home and the office. Some suggestions could be fruits or veggies (pre washed and bagged) with hummus or mixed nuts.
Eat at home often. The more you eat at home, the more you can control what goes into your meals and therefore into your body. Restaurants load meals full of sodium, fat, sugar and preservatives to make things taste better. When you eat at home, you tend to eat healthier, fewer calories and cleaner meals. Bonus: you’ll save a lot of $$ as well!
Eat light at night: Try to avoid eating too much at night. Going to bed too full could lead to indigestion, heartburn and SIBO. You want to finish dinner at least 2-3 hours before bedtime. This way your body has time to repair and restore your digestive tract, plus remove any toxins.
A good night’s sleep: It been has been proven over and over that a solid 7-8 hours of sleep is beneficial for improved mood, weight loss, detoxification, and so on… sleep is when you do total body repair and reset!