I’m teaching a workshop next week on how to “Detox from Winter, and Clean up Your Diet for Spring” so I thought I would share a few tidbits from my workshop with my loyal blog readers.
If you’re feeling a bit sluggish from winter it’s not just in your head. Winter lends itself to toxic buildup for a few reasons:
1. Less active in the winter because of the cold weather & lack of daylight
– Exercising engages the lymphatic system, and causes us to sweat; both help rid the body of built-up toxins
– Exercise is also really important for healthy digestion (they call it a bowel “movement” for a reason!), which also rids the body of toxins
2. Shortage of fresh local fruits & vegetables
– Raw fruits & veggies are full of fibre & digestive enzymes, which are important for proper digestion
3. We eat more comfort food
– Because of the cold weather; we’re naturally drawn to warming, cooked comfort foods such as red meat, pasta, baked goods, red wine, cheese, coffee & tea
– These types of foods are difficult to digest & contain chemicals; both of which lead to toxic build-up
Overall, months of being less active and consuming hard-to-digest foods lead to toxic build-up.
Why are toxins so bad?
Toxic build-up can cause:
– Weight gain,
– Bloating and gas
– Skin issues such as: acne, bags under eyes, puffiness, eczema,
– Depression or lowered mood,
– Fatigue, and
– Brain fog
If you can relate to any of those symptoms it may be time for spring detox.
My spring detox is not something extreme like only drinking juice or just having cabbage soup for 7 days. It’s all about eliminating those hard to digest, toxic-building foods & chemicals and replacing them with healthy alternatives. That means for 7 days you have to cut out the following:
– Animal protein, ie. red meat (pork, lamb, beef) & poultry (chicken, turkey)
– Refined flour & sugar, ie. white bread, white pasta, muffins, cookies, etc.
– Over-cooked vegetables, ie. boiled broccoli
– Alcohol & caffeine: chemicals that clog up your liver
– Dairy, ie. yogurt, cheese, milk, ice cream
You’re probably wondering what’s left to eat?
Healthy alternatives to toxic-building foods
1. Vegetarian protein & fish vs. meat protein
– Legumes + whole grains, ie. beans + brown rice = a complete protein (all 9 amino acids)
– Mushrooms: meaty texture
– Eggs: perfect protein source
– Nuts & seeds: protein & healthy fats
– Fish: lean protein & healthy fats, ie. wild salmon, white fish, sardines (squeeze with lemon & sea salt, and add to salad)
2. Whole grains & healthy carbs vs. refined carbohydrates
Whole grains & healthy carbs from vegetables have not been refined, and still contain all their amazing vitamins, minerals and fibre.
– Quinoa, brown rice, whole wheat or brown rice pasta, buckwheat, oats
– Sprouted bread
– Sweet potatoes, squash and root vegetables (turnip, parsnip & rutabaga)
3. Natural sugar vs. refined sugar
100% natural and contain vitamins & minerals
– Coconut palm sugar (safe for diabetics), unpasteurized honey, real maple syrup
– Dates, raisins, apricots
4. Raw fruits & veggies vs. overcooked
Raw food is full of digestive enzymes, and vitamins & minerals that haven’t been lost during the cooking process
– Raw fruit & vegetables for snacks, ie. papaya & pineapple are high in digestive enzymes and lemons & beets are cleansing to the body
– Salads and lightly steamed or stir-fried veggies for dinner
5. Natural flavored water vs. alcohol
Drink a lot of water during a detox to flush out toxins
– Fill a pitcher with water and add lemon or lime slices, berries, cucumber, pineapple or watermelon
6. Herbal teas vs. caffeine
– Mint, ginger, chamomile
7. Non-dairy options vs. dairy
– Almond or coconut yogurt
– Almond or rice milk
Detox aside; incorporating these healthy alternatives in your diet more often is great for overall health. You can still include animal protein, dairy, alcohol and caffeine in your diet, but it should be in moderation, and white carbs & sugar can be completely eliminated from your diet.
It’s all about learning how to make healthy choices and becoming educated about healthy ingredients. Making healthy choices everyday leads to living a healthy lifestyle. It’s not about dieting or short-term results; it’s about long-term sustainable change.
If you’re interested in doing a detox and need some guidance; feel free to contact me for a free, 15-minute consultation.