Even though the holidays are becoming a faint memory, you may still be feeling the effects; perhaps a little sluggish or depressed, maybe your skin looks dull, or you’re hanging on to a bit of holiday weight gain.
Before we left for Barbados I lead a nutrition discussion at my Mommy & Baby Fitness class where I talked about why we always feel crappy after the holidays, and how we can start feeling better by doing a post-holiday detox.
Why do we always feel crappy after the holidays?
Too Much Food
Family get-togethers, cocktail parties, holiday lunches with friends, parties at work – we are constantly snacking and nibbling, and our digestive systems can’t keep up with the volume of food. Undigested food sits in our intestines and toxins build up. Healthy digestion is one of the keys to avoiding toxic build-up.
Too Much of the Wrong Food
The holidays are known for rich foods: cheese trays, pastries, meat, chocolate & cooked foods. These foods are not only difficult to digest, but low in digestive enyzmes. Everyone has a certain amount of digestive enzymes in their body (that help to break down food for proper digestion), and these types of rich foods & over-cooked foods deplete our precious enzyme stores. The result? Undigested food, toxic build-up and poor absorption of nutrients.
Stress, and Lack of Sleep & Exercise
The holidays add a lot of extras to our already jammed-packed day. Stress, lack of sleep and exercise will leave us with a weakened immune system (who got sick over the holidays? Me, twice.), in a bad mood, fatigued and susceptible to weight gain.
How can we start feeling better?
Replace those hard-to-digest, toxic-building foods with healthy alternatives that will improve your digestion and lead to:
- Weight loss
- Clearer skin
- Improved mood
- Better Sleep
- Stronger immune system
- Mental Clarity
1. Try Vegetarian Protein vs. Red Meat
The combination of legumes + whole grains = a complete protein (all 9 essential amino acids). Try making my Tomato & Chick Pea Pasta and use hearty mushrooms instead of hard-to-digest red meat that can cause inflammation in the intestines.
2. Whole Grains vs. Refined Carbs
Sprouted bread is my favorite healthy bread choice. It’s made with raw, sprouted grains, which means it’s very high in enzymes; making it easy to digest. Silver Hills is a good brand, and is available in the freezer section of most grocery stores
3. Raw vs. Cooked Foods
Avoid depleting your precious enzyme stores by sticking to raw or lightly steamed vegetables. Add raw veggies & fruit to your morning smoothie (try my Purple Power Detox Smoothie with liver-cleansing beets & lemon juice), or have enzyme-rich fruits like papaya & pineapple for snacks.
4. Lots of Water vs. Chemicals
An overconsumption of chemicals like alcohol, caffeine and preservatives can clog your liver and lead to illness, skin issues and toxic build-up. Replace the chemicals with water and herbal tea. Make your own ginger tea with fresh ginger and boiling water. Ginger is amazing for digestive health and cleansing the liver.
5. Chia vs. Dairy
Chia seeds are a great source of calcium, fibre & healthy fats. Try making chia pudding instead of having yogurt or cereal with cow’s milk. Most dairy products out there have been ultra-pasteurized, which means they are void of enzymes, and difficult to digest.
6. Start Your Day with Lemon Water
Right when you wake up, 30 minutes before eating breakfast, have a glass of water with 1-2 tbsp. of fresh lemon juice. This tricks your body into thinking it’s eating and starts the digestion process, but there’s no food to digest so it’s starts breaking down & eliminating toxins.
My detox program lasts 7-10 days, and it includes a customized meal plan just for you. Contact me if you’re interested in starting 2015 off to a healthy start.
The best part about a detox is that you learn healthy habits that you can continue long after the detox is over! It will lead to a shift in the way you eat & live.