Like everyone else, I have reluctantly accepted that the holiday season of excess is now over. As much as I love a good party, I also know when it’s time to wrap it up and restore my body to its best (you know, so it’s ready for the next round of self-indulgence!).
While I can tell you the best products to use on the outside to keep ourselves looking great, it’s even more important to beautify ourselves from the inside. That said, I don’t believe in going from one extreme to the other – we’re not going from indulgence to punishment! My idea of detox is easing back into a healthier lifestyle by being kind to our bodies, so here are some tips that I’m following to detox after the holidays and stay healthy throughout the year:
Go au naturel
A good rule of thumb is “If it doesn’t look/taste like it did when nature made it – cut it out of your diet.” That includes processed food, dairy, fats and sugars. Instead, refresh your body with plenty of fresh fruit, vegetables and whole grains and embrace healthy cooking habits like steaming and grilling to retain the nutrients in food. Swap those sugary snacks for nuts and fresh fruit or veg, and drink herbal and green teas instead of your regular tea and coffee. Green tea is an especially potent antioxidant that’ll purify your body, limit the absorption of fats and increase metabolism. Lemon also has incredible health benefits – as well as aiding digestion and boosting immunity, it also accelerates and maximises the absorption of nutrients from other sources, so adding lemon to your food and drink is an easy way to be healthier.
Drink more water.
A lot of us misguidedly think that drinks containing water count towards our intake, but those drinks usually also contain excess sugars, caffeine and other nasties. From bad skin and fatigue to poor digestion and weight gain, so many of the problems we deal with regularly are caused by dehydration, so it’s essential to keep our bodies cleansed and hydrated.Keep a bottle at your desk or ensure your glass is always filled to ensure you’re drinking water regularly. Contrary to popular belief though, avoid drinking half an hour before and after meals – it may make you feel full, but it’ll also dilute your digestive enzymes and interfere with the proper digestion and absorption of nutrients.
Start your day with a green juice or smoothie.
This may sound like the latest fad, but it’s one that makes good, healthy sense. A green drink, made with vitamin-rich green fruits and vegetables, is an excellent way to get a pure hit of your five-a-day first thing in the morning. Hollywood nutritionist Kim Snyder explains, “Blending helps make greens’ full spectrum of nutrition readily available to the body. Nutrients are encased inside plant cells and getting their benefits requires these cells’ walls to be ruptured.” As well as giving you your vits, the drink will also aid digestion, promote weight loss and cleanse your blood – it won’t be long before you start seeing the benefits in your hair, skin, nails and figure. Win! We love Kim’s Glowing Green Smoothie, which is easy, tasty and – trust us – totally addictive.
Get your 8 hours
As if we need an excuse to get more sleep, right?! But between working long hours, taking our work home and our generally hectic lifestyles, many of us are scrimping on sleep. A lack of sleep has major implications for body function, and affects our memory, moods, weight and immunity. All the detox tips in the world aren’t an adequate substitute for deep sleep, which our bodies need to recharge and work properly. Start 2012 by addressing the reasons you might not be getting enough sleep. Bad habits? Kick em to the curb! Have a relaxing bath and just go to bed! Stress? Tackle those issues or for a quick fix, keep a notebook by your bed and write down all your worries – sometimes it helps just to get them out of your head till you can deal with them. Buzzing? Cut out all caffeine and electronics pre-bedtime. The caffeine’s an obvious one, but recent studies show that artificial light from illuminated screens like TVs, computer monitors and other devices with back-lit screens inhibit the production of melatonin, a brain hormone that’s essential to sleep. Ban these from the bedroom and get some rest!
In short: eat, drink, and sleep your way to a healthier 2012. Doesn’t sound so bad, does it :D
Love, Meera x