After all of the indulgence of Christmas I thought it would be the perfect time to share a little bit of advice with you guys on how best to detoxify your body and get feeling on top of your health after the festive season.
How is everyones liver feeling after Christmas and new year? I know mine has taken a bit of a beating over christmas with foods that I wouldn’t usually eat and more alcohol than I would usually drink. This is something that can’t always be avoided especially over the party season and anyhow its fine to indulge now and then, however following a few of these tips will ensure that you are back to optimal health before you can say green smoothie.
One of the easiest things that you can start to do right away that will speed up the liver detoxification process is to drink warm lemon water first thing in the morning and throughout the day. The phytonutrient in lemons called ‘Limonene’ stimulates phase 1 and 2 liver detoxification pathways, ensuring that all those pesky toxins are flushed out in no time.
One of my other go to detox tips is to invest in some milk thistle. You can buy it in tincture form or tablets. I prefer the tincture as it is more easily absorbed by the body than a tablet. You just add about 20 drops in to a small amount of water and knock it back. It’s especially good if you know you will be having a heavy night to take this before you go out and it really does work wonders in preventing hangovers. Milk thistle works by speeding up the livers processing of the poisons that we burden it with constantly, not just with alcohol but with chemicals and pesticides in foods, environmental toxins, household pollutants etc. It’s safe to say that over Christmas milk thistle has been my saviour.
Actually milk thistle is that good that it is prescribed in europe for lots of serious liver conditions such as mushroom poisoning, alcoholic cirrhosis, chronic hepatitis, drug and alcohol-induced liver damage and acute viral hepatitis just to name a few! This just goes to show how powerful and potent milk thistle is at rescuing our poor old livers.
If you are planning on doing a detox in January then there are a few things to bare in mind when doing so.
Most people immediately think of a juice fast as a really good way to detoxify the body, however one of the most crucial things that our bodies need to aid detoxification is protein. Protein is needed for optimal energy, recovery and repair therefore it makes no sense at all in cutting out this vital food group while on a detox. And yep you guessed it there isn’t a great deal of protein to be found in a juice.
So along side your delicious green juices which are fabulous for detoxing because of their antioxidant and phytonutrient content, remember to include some protein in there too. When I say protein I’m not talking about masses of red meat, I’m talking about a handful of nuts added to your smoothie, or some vegan protein powder (I use sun warrior).
Other good sources of vegetarian protein include beans, lentils, brown rice, oats, tempeh, seeds and eggs. Quinoa is another great one because it is a complete protein containing all of the essential amino acids, unlike many other grains. If you are a meat eater then choose lean cuts of organic poultry or organic grass fed beef. You can eat these foods in abundance on a detox, it doesn’t just have to be juices.
The focus should be on eating lots of fresh organic fruits and vegetables with protein at each meal. Also consuming things so that they are minimally processed so that they retain their enzyme and vitamin content. Aim for 9+ portions of fruit and veg a day during a detox- generally only two of these being fruit in order to minimise excessive sugar intake. Try to eat the rainbow! Each different colour of a fruit or vegetable contains different phytonutrients that have different properties and health benefits, therefore consuming all of these colours will ensure that you are getting all of these health benefits. The aim is to alkalise your body by reducing acid forming foods such as meat, gluten and dairy and include more alkalising foods such as fruits and vegetables. A very quick way to alkalise your body instantly is to include a greens powder in to your daily regime such as wheatgrass, chlorella, spirulina etc. There is a green mix that contains all of these and more on the shop section of the website.
What you need to be avoiding during your detox is caffeine, alcohol and processed food. Try to replace normal tea and coffee with herbal teas that are great for stimulating liver detoxification such as dandelion tea, green tea, as mentioned earlier hot water with fresh lemon and also with fresh ginger. Make sure you are drinking at least 2 litres of water per day.
Here are a few of my favourite detoxing meal ideas:
Steel cut oats with almond milk, fresh berries, nuts and seeds
Spinach and kale omelette
Vegetable and lentil soup
Spinach and broccoli salad with black beans and houmous
Zoodles with homemade pesto, tomatoes and pine nuts and seeds
Protein of choice with lightly steamed broccoli and courgettes
Raw salad with seeds, baked sweet potato and homemade houmous.
Pepper and spinach fritatta
Brown rice with raw broccoli, avocado, chopped cashew nuts and olive oil
Raw cacao and avocado mousse
Homemade coconut milk ice-cream
Fresh fruit with coconut yoghurt
Happy new year, happy detoxing!
I hope your 2016 is filled with good health, happiness, adventures and wonderful memories.