Detox Before The Retox
With the festive season just around the corner, many of us are probably already immersed in a hectic social calendar focused around lots of food and drink. In other words indulgence…... However, after the fourth consecutive night out partying with friends, family and work colleagues, that familiar sore throat appears and before you know it you have a full blown cold and are laid up in bed feeling sorry for yourself.
But it doesn’t have to be like that! These tips will have you sailing through Christmas and heading into 2015 positively glowing. Just by making a few simple changes, you can eat and drink ‘clean’ to avoid the worst after-effects of the festive celebrations. It’s as easy as Ready – Steady – Go!
Get ready! Boost your health and energy levels in the run up to Christmas
- Too much coffee can make us feel wired and tired so replace your regular cuppa with antioxidant rich green tea with lower levels of caffeine. Avoid anything decaf as harsh chemicals are used in the decaffeination process.
- Alkalise! Everything in the body works better when we are slightly alkaline; 7.36 on the pH scale to be precise. Start each morning with a mug of warm water with the juice of half a fresh lemon, a thumb size of grated ginger and 1 tsp Manuka honey to cleanse, alkalise and boost the immune system
- Wean yourself off diet drinks containing aspartame
- Resist the urge to eat stodgy food in the evenings as this will put on weight and make you feel sluggish. Instead opt for steamed wild salmon or chicken with green vegetables such as steamed kale and broccoli
- Reduce or cut out ‘white’ carbohydrates in your diet for a couple of weeks at the beginning of December. White rice, potatoes, pies, pasta, pizzas and anything containing white sugar are all devoid of nutrition, spike blood sugar levels and turn to fat when eaten in excess.
- Try to get 8 hours sleep a night. Electronic devices in the bedroom upset our natural sleep rhythms so switch off the TV at the plug and do not use your mobile phone as an alarm. Cool air circulating around our heads improves sleep so keep a window slightly ajar
- Want to fit into that perfect little black party dress? Then bathe regularly with Epsom Salt baths. Models do this before fashion shows to remove excess water in the body. Throw a few detoxifying handfuls into the bath and soak for 20 minutes two to three times a week
Steady! Maintain that healthy glow over the festive period
Drinks - Opt for clear spirits instead of wine, lager or beer. Vodka does not contain congeners, sulphates, yeast or other substances that may contribute to a horrible hangover. Mix with fresh lime and soda water rather than diet drinks containing aspartame. Choose Champagne over Cava or Prosecco as it contains naturally occurring bubbles instead of those induced by yeast. And remember to match each alcoholic drink with a glass of water, especially if you want to avoid a hangover. You could of course stay with soft drinks if you want to be really healthy!!
Canapés - Avoid anything that looks greasy or deep fried. Eating too many spring rolls, cheese-laden delights or chicken wings will just pile on the weight. Instead opt for simple olives, vegetable crudités or protein type bites such as parma ham with melon or lettuce boats filled with stir fried beef strips. Rice crackers and plain popcorn are a better choice than salty crisps or nachos with fat laden dips! It's hard... we know!
Hangovers - Milk Thistle is the herb of choice for protecting the liver from alcohol. Take a Milk Thistle supplement before you go out and when you get home as well as the next day. Alcohol depletes nutrients in the body so take a good multi-vitamin daily. Since alcohol is an irritant to the digestive tract, take 3,000mg of fish oil (Omega 3) in capsule form before going out and afterwards to combat inflammation.
Go Party! Tips for the big day
The average person consumes around 6,000 calories on Christmas Day! If you don’t want to gain weight over Christmas then a little restraint will pay dividends later on. Avoid overeating by starting your day with some smoked salmon and poached eggs to fill you up. Turkey is a very lean protein source so just eat plenty of vegetables with it and hold back on creamy mash or cheese laden dishes. Have some fresh fruit and yoghurt for dessert and you are almost there. Later, opt for cold meats with salad and keep way from the sausage rolls and trifle. If this sounds a bit drab just remember ‘a moment on the lips….
And Relax! Take some time out to replenish your energy ready for 2015
The festive season can be hectic. However the period between Christmas and New Year can provide the perfect opportunity to retreat from the hustle and bustle and take some well-deserved time out. Getting away for a few days can also refresh and revive energy levels with new surroundings to inspire you (and no washing up to do). A spa or hotel break can provide the peace and quiet, pampering and relaxation that you need to set you on a great healthy path into the new year.
Sue Davis is our Resident Naturopath at Lifehouse Spa & Hotel and runs residential wellbeing retreats all year round including Detox For Life, Nifty at Fifty, The Fast Break based on the 5:2 diet and Weight Loss Work-out Week.
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