Time to hit reset!
For many, the delicious indulgences of the winter holidays can also mean and overload on the systems of the body, especially the liver. The liver has over 500 functions, including the processing of all those tasty, rich, high fat and sugary foods and alcoholic beverages that we tend to over consume through the holiday season. We often come out the other side packing a few extra pounds, some fluid retention and bloating and some digestive complaints.. Our immune functions can be vulnerable and our energy low and sluggish. As the New Year approaches, we make all sorts of resolutions and go charging into the new year with good intentions to meet our health goals. So why not get started with a 3-5 day reset to initiate the New Year by intentionally taking some load off your liver and giving it some big love for all the work she has done to carry you through enjoying the holidays to the fullest! Here are 5 ways to reset:
1: Rehydrate with easy peasy lemon squeezy
Between the busyness and the ease of access to beverages such as eggnog, soda and alcohol, we may have neglected one of the most essential nutrients of health…water!
Start by avoiding further consumption of sweetened drinks, including soda, fruit juices, energy drinks, excessive caffeine and alcohol, all of which are taxing on the liver.
Instead, start your day with a squeeze of fresh lemon in a glass of water and challenge yourself to drink at least 1-2 litre of water through the day. Or consider brewing up your favourite herbal tea to enjoy, supporting the flushing of toxins from your system and let those happy little cells swell! There are detox and liver support teas sold commercially in grocery and health food stores that may interest you for an additional medicinal boost. Or try your own with this Nourishing Green Goddess Tea for Everyday Vitality tea blend.
Staying hydrated is essential to our over all health all year round. Learn more tips to staying hydrated here.
2: Step to the beet and turnip over that green leaf
Double down on those colourful fruits, berries and vegetables! You can look to the plant world for the best healing medicines and the more vibrant in colour, the better! They are packed with fiber, vitamins, minerals and anti-oxidants that are essential for the body, reducing inflammation and helping clean up free radicals that are lurking around from the breakdown of acidic foods in our diets.
Foods such as kale, cabbage, broccoli, brussel sprouts, spinach, beets, bell peppers, berries, apples, grapefruits, winter squash and tomatoes, just to name a few, are dense in vital nutrients that support the detoxification pathways, notably, the liver. Include as many of these foods into your breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks.
3: Herbs and spice and all things nice
There are plenty of herbs and spices that not only add a culinary lift but are also potent anti-oxidants, Spices such as turmeric and ginger have strong anti-inflammatory properties and can be added to sauces, soups, stir fries or consumed as teas, to support liver and digestive function among other things. Try this delicious Creamy Butternut Squash Soup with Fresh Turmeric and Ginger for a warming and replenishing soup idea.
Green tea is also a very notable anti-oxidant that can be added daily for its healing properties. Consider replacing morning coffee with a cup of green tea, or brew up a cup with lunch to help boost your afternoon energy. Best not to consume green tea after lunch as it does contain caffeine and may affect your sleep.
Other herbs and spices such as garlic, rosemary, cilantro, parsley, oregano, cinnamon and fennel, to name a few, also help restore digestion, increase the immune system and promote liver health.
Adding a variety of herbs and spices to your foods is a great way to boost flavour and added health benefits.
4: May the fiber be with you
Fiber is an essential part of a healthy gut environment. It adds bulk to assist in moving waste through for elimination, provides material for our healthy bacteria to feed on, slows down spikes in blood glucose, contributes to heart health and so much more. A healthy diet includes a variety of fiber rich foods which are found in plant foods such as whole grains like oats, brown rice and barley, beans and legumes, nuts and seeds and all fruits and veggies.
“White” foods such as pasta, white rice and white bread use grains that have been stripped of their outer layers and contain very little of the essential fiber needed for the digestive tract and are best to avoid.
High fiber foods also contain a variety of important vitamins, minerals and nutrients that the body needs for cellular and organ health.
5: “I like to move it move it!”
After feasting and fun, it is a good idea to ease our bodies into some gentle movement to support elimination through the circulatory and lymphatic systems, bowel and kidney functions and flushing toxins through the skin. Activities such as walking, swimming, hiking and yoga are great ways to add low intensity activity to initiate getting back on track and ready for the New Year.
Infra red saunas, warm Epsom salt baths and dry skin brushing are great ways to support the release of toxins through the skin.
Re-establishing healthy bedtime and sleeping patterns also assist in hitting the reset button. Ensuring a restful night sleep allows the body to cycle through the necessary clean up and repair functions that happen when we rest. A healthy bedtime routine promotes a healthy morning routine and sets us up for more positive outcomes through our day.
Do the hookie pookie and turn yourself around:
Changing eating patterns to include more nutrient rich foods can feel overwhelming after a lifetime of habits, comforts and cravings. Setting an intention over 3-5 days (what ever seems manageable for you) can help with a quick reset for our systems and may lead the way into adopting more long term, healthier food choices for your future self. One of the keys to taking some load off your elimination pathways is to avoid foods and beverages that can be hard on them. While focusing on the above tips, it is also important to limit avoid the following:
- Fast food, take out and restaurant dining.
- Pre-packaged and frozen meals.
- Pasta, breads , baked goods and crackers.
- Sweetened beverages, alcohol and excessive caffeine.
- Sugar of any kind, fresh fruit is okay.
- Processed meats such as bacon, hams, sandwich meats and hot dogs.
- Store bought Condiments and salad dressings such as mayonnaise, ketchup, BBQ sauce, stir-fry sauces, dressings. These are often full of sugars and additives.
- Dairy such as milk and cheeses.
- Wheat products.
- Fried foods
- White foods
Remember to plan ahead by deciding what foods and recipes you will make. Shop ahead and have plenty of accessible snacks ready to go then pull up your sleeves and get creative! There are a variety of recipes on the Wellness Warrior Blog that are cleanse friendly so have a scroll through and experiment. Happy resetting!
A simple reset after a holiday indulgence can be a great way to get back on track and a Health and Wellness Coach can assist. Contact me for a free consultation to see how I can support you!