Two weeks ago I put myself on a juice detox. It was a 5 day detox as I wanted to kick start my new healthy eating regime as I found I had started to go a bit wayward with my eating habits. It was extremely hard and after 3 days I found that I started to cheat a little bit and added in some yogurt and fruit. As soon as the detox finished, I basically carried on as I was before so the end result was I had spent a lot of money to end up exactly where I started. Now I’m not ruling out juice cleanses as something that can be used to kick start a healthy eating regime but I certainly wasn’t mentally prepared for it.
The problem with harsh detoxes is they can be extremely restrictive and lead to dangerous deficiencies and basic biology shows that the body needs to detox efficiently every day and not just the odd week here and there. Balanced healthy eating is the way forward.
Here are my top dietary tips that will ensure the body is sufficiently nourished so the body can function efficiently and with energy.
Go for Low Calorie Density Foods
Fill up on veggies such as broccoli, cabbage, sprouts, kale, onions, garlic (some of these foods can affect people with IBS so consult a nutritionist of you have concerns). These foods can be consumed in big volumes and are packed with goodness but without too many calories. Nutrient dense foods include fish, seaweed, spinach, salmon. Other foods to consider that are nutrient dense are nuts and avocados. These foods provide good essential fats but are high calorie so should be consumed in small amounts
Eat Plenty of Fibre
Aim for 5-10 portions of colourful veg or 2-3 fruits per day. Nuts, seeds and wholegrain carbs and pulses are great too, bearing in mind that only a small quantity is necessary. These foods help to remove toxic waste from the body. Soups, big salads and casseroles are the easiest way to get this all in.
Drink Herbal Tea
Try switching your coffee for a herbal tea. If the thought of that turns you off, just remember that it takes 21 days to form a habit. The first few days may not be too exciting but after a while, your taste buds will change and your body will adapt and enjoy the new way of doing things. Fresh lemon and Ginger are a wonderful way to start the day.
Support your digestion
With the current climate, it’s more important than ever to build a healthy immune system. Improve your good gut bacteria by including fermented foods such as kefir, sauerkraut, kimchee and kombucha
Have a back up healthy snack drawer
We all love to snack and although it’s best to stick to three healthy meals a day, there will be times when the snack attack monster rears up! During low blood sugar times it is almost impossible to resist and it’s during these times that we are hard wired to crave sugar. Do yourself a favour and have some readily available healthy snacks. These can be sweet or savoury. There are some really healthy protein rich bars out there and you can also prep little pots with small amounts of nuts and raisins or cut up carrots and cucumbers. Prepping for the snack attack is the way forward as it will stop you popping down the shop for a packet of biscuits.
Use common sense
We all know which foods are generally good for us and which ones have absolutely no nutritional value what so ever. Before you reach for the pastry or biscuits, ask yourself- how is that going to make me feel long term. It goes beyond what the scales say. Eating well and nourishing your body with vital vitamins and minerals will not only reduce your waistline, you’ll feel more energised, your immune system will be stronger, your skin will be clearer, you’ll sleep better and have tons more energy.
Keep it clean and keep it real!