With Spring only 1 day away in Australia, it’s that time of year when we start freaking out about our not-so-healthy diet choices over the Winter months. Well, the warm weather is coming and there’s nothing we can do about it – our hemlines are about to get a lot shorter and our tops a little more cropped.
With this in mind, it’s the prime time for people to jump on the detox/teatox/juice cleanse bandwagon, so let’s just start by saying that your body is a machine that is made to detoxify itself every day. This is exactly what your liver is for!
Put very simply, our liver goes through a series of phases to convert a ‘toxic’ chemical (think caffine, hormone spikes from excess sugar and processed foods, alcohol, sugar, saturated fat, drugs etc.) into a less harmful one. This is one of the reasons we require antioxidants (green tea, green vegetables, matcha, goji berries) to counter-act the free radicals the liver produces during this process. Now we see that the problem can be if we have too many of these bad or toxic items in our lifestyle and not enough nutrients to support our body’s natural detox pathways then our liver is under increasing pressure to work harder.
Remember that dairy, sugar and gluten are all inflammatory substances to the body. They cause SO many different reactions, and every body is different, but if you suffer from things like tiredness when you wake up, feeling groggy and foggy during the day, bloating, rashes, bad skin, bad breath, brittle nails, psoriasis and ezhema or arthritis it’s a good idea to try cutting them out completely even just for 2 weeks and see how much better you feel! You may not need to eleminate them completely after that, but cutting back to once or twice a week can make a big difference
So, what can we do about it without having to go into full ‘crazy, juice cleanse/detox mode’ for 5 days straight?
Start with making these small changes and tweaks to your diet and lifestyle now and your body will thank you for it, and start to balance itself out and detox more efficiently all by itself!
- As above, cut out for 2 weeks or at least cut back on, gluten, dairy and sugar
- If you eat a lot of processed foods, try to cut out at least one meal a day that would normally be processed and make it yourself! It could be as easy as swapping breakfast to a yummy fruit salad, green smoothie or throwing together a quick salad for lunch (plus you will save money on buying lunch every day!)
- Swap your high carb items for lower carb options…think quinoa instead of rice, sweet potato wraps instead of whole meal wraps and quinoa noodles or zoodles instead of pasta (Kmart has spiralizers for $5!)
- If your drink alcohol a few nights a week, try to cut back to just 1 or 2 nights a week, and cut out the weekend binges!
- Swap your dairy milk to nut or rice milk. At least in bigger meals like oats or mashed potato etc. and keep the dairy in take down to a small splash in a tea
- Try to cut out half your sugar in your coffee
- Make healthier snack choices, especially if you are working a 9-5 desk job and aren’t moving around a lot to work off that sugar packed muffin you just reached for! My favourites are an apple or banana with a teaspoon or 2 of natural peanut butter, some carrot and capsicum with hommus or a tablespoon of coconut yoghurt with a handful of nuts and a sprinkle of chia seeds
- Up your water intake to flush out those toxins and keep you hydrated and your skin wrinkle free! Try adding in some lemon or berries to your water if you find it hard to drink
- Still feeling like that afternoon or nightly sweet treat? Make a healthier option!! My mug cake is a definite go-to for me, you can get the recipe here
Remember, it’s up to you. If you think a 3 day juice cleanse is what you need, then go for it! But remember they are extreme and if you do lose weight, you need to continue a healthy and achievable lifestyle after this to keep the weight off. I would advise looking at an extreme detox or cleanse as a way to give your digestive system a rest, rather than trying to lose weight.
And you don’t have to encorporate all of these all at once, but just by making a few of these small changes you will notice a difference in your body and your mindset…and if that little bikini calling your name isn’t enough to curb some bad habits, then I don’t know what is!!
– image from Lorna Jame