After the Christmas excesses we are bombarded with pressure from media about diets and detoxing.
Firstly, it is insulting; it is suggesting that there is something wrong with you, when you are perfectly wonderful just as you are. It doesn’t take much intelligence to recognise when you have overdone it on the naughty foods and drinks and to know how to cut back.
Secondly, for those of us living in the Northern Hemisphere it can be dangerous at this time of year to suddenly start dieting and detoxing. This is the time of year when we tend to get the snow and very cold weather. Our immune systems may already be lowered because of Festive excess and we may be tired from travelling and entertaining, and then we have to go back to working full time! If you suddenly reduce calories and nutrition you are leaving yourself susceptible to every virus that may be going around. (For a significant change in diet you need warm weather with lots of supportive sunshine – not icy winds, snow etc). Drastically dieting or detoxing in cold weather can compromise your immune system considerably.
The Spring/Summer is the best time to consider a diet or detox, when the winds are warmer and there is more sunlight.
Also, your body already knows how to detox naturally and perfectly. No outside special diet or detox product is going to improve the body’s own innate ability. So stop listening to the sales hype and start listening to your own body.
Our body knows how to sweat when it needs to; the skin is the largest organ in our body and our biggest way of detoxifying. Therefore we should allow ourselves to sweat if we are hot and especially if we have a slight fever (it is the body’s way of ‘burning out’ the infection, taking cold remedies will only drive the infection in deeper and will take longer to shift it).
Antiperspirants, in my opinion, are extremely dangerous for natural health. They block the pores in the armpits (the lymphatic system which is linked to breast health) to prevent the body from doing what it needs to do naturally. I stopped using them years ago and I can tell how healthy I am by my perspiration, if I seem a bit smelly under my pits then my body has become toxic due to what I have been eating or drinking (or failing to eat and drink, like enough water). I can change that within a day. I sometimes use a natural deodorant if I am doing to an exercise class or going out for an evening’s dancing and know I will be sweating, but I never use an antiperspirant. Oh and by the way, you know the stains you sometimes get on your clothing around the underarm area? That’s not caused by your perspiration; it is caused by the chemicals in the antiperspirant combined with your natural sweat. When you stop using chemical laden products in that area, you will not have any underarm stains on your clothing again.
Also our body knows when it needs to poo to get rid of what it no longer needs. Are you pooing 2-3 times a day? When food goes in one end then something will also need to come out the other end! If you are pooing less than once a day, then you are constipated and need to be more aware of what you are eating and drinking to ensure that your body’s natural processes and functions are working at optimal level.
There are natural ways to support and help the body at this time of year and most of it is commonsense. If you have overdone it over the Festive period, these simple guidelines can help you to get back into a more healthy routine.
When you have overindulged on sweet stuff, alcohol, rich food etc your body’s Ph goes out of whack and you become overly acidic. You need to eat and drink the right things that will help reduce the acidity in your body (which we know can lead to diseases) and balance the Ph with alkaline foods and drinks.
I am often complimented on my skin (and it’s not bad for a woman in her mid 50s) and my secret which I have been doing since I was in my 20’s is that the first drink I have in the morning is my Lemon Drink as I call it. Lemons unlike other citrus fruits are alkaline not acidic.
Lemons are packed with Vitamin C; they are like captured sunshine that we can use all year round. (Please ensure that you only use organic fresh lemons, they are so much sweeter than the GMO versions and never use the artificial stuff in the plastic lemon, which is full of chemicals, as it will not provide any nutritional benefit at all).
Lemons are the only citrus fruit that are alkaline and they have a negative molecular charge making them anionic just like the healthy digestive enzymes in our bodies, this combination makes the humble Lemon the perfect detoxification product. Lemons help to produce the bile necessary to digest food properly and absorb nutrients from our food. Lemons rebuild the liver (and let’s face it after the Festive season it needs all the help it can get!).
So my secret formula for great skin, great digestion and elimination and to maintain a healthy Ph in the body is the following:
First thing when you get up in the morning
Boil the kettle and allow to cool.
Put a thick slice of organic lemon into a mug and a squeeze of its lemon juice.
Add the cooled boiled water that will still be lovely and warm to drink.
Drink and enjoy.
Wait at least an hour before eating or drinking anything else (this gives it time to work and to start cleansing your system).
My busy life means that I do not always manage to do this seven days a week but I can guarantee that at least five days a week I do manage to do this. In fact, I miss it if I don’t, as my digestion/elimination just doesn’t work as well. And as I mentioned, one of the great benefits of doing this is fabulous skin! (And a heck of a lot cheaper than some of the face creams out there).
If you are feeling a bit toxic, continue to drink warm water during the day and you will feel much better by the following day. And yes, it will make you pee more than usual, but then that is the whole point.
Add garlic, ginger and Turmeric to some of your meals over the next few days.
Garlic cleans the blood and is a natural detoxer and purifier.
Ginger warms the digestive system helping it to work better, is antimicrobial (keeps bugs away and helps eliminate parasites in the digestive tract) and is anti-inflammatory (which helps bring your body’s Ph back into balance)
Turmeric contains Curcumin, which is anti-inflammatory and a fantastic support for the body
Eat more greens, they cleanse the gut, keep you regular, give you iron, calcium and other essential minerals (a lot of greens especially cruciform are better lightly steamed than eaten raw).
A daily walk to get some light and much needed Vitamin D at this time of year.
Wrap up and get outside for at least 20 minutes a day. You need the light at this time of year (especially your pineal gland); it doesn’t have to be bright sunshine either. The shorter Winter days mean that we are not getting enough exposure to light and this can lead to depression, SAD syndrome etc. Simply getting out for a short walk each day will greatly help.
It also helps to get your sluggish lymphatic system going which helps the body to naturally work more efficiently including detoxing what it doesn’t need.
It also shifts your energy so that you feel more energetic and positive in yourself.
If you suffer from liver problems such as Gilbert’s Syndrome then you may benefit from using a Milk Thistle combo to help support the liver as you get back into healthy eating and exercising again. (I recommend Vogel’s, which you can get in most healthfood stores, and pharmacies like Boots, also some supermarkets now stock it).
Your body naturally detoxifies as you sleep, therefore good sleep is essential for good health, natural detoxification and elimination and good energy the next day. If you are not getting enough sleep (or enough good quality sleep) then your body is not able to do what it needs to properly during the night. And this can also cause weight gain because the cells are not able to go through their full processes at night. (I specialise in helping people to get good quality sleep, so if you need any help with this please contact me).
Drink plenty of warm water, it is really is the best and most effective detoxifier.
Do not drink chilled water; in Traditional Chinese Medicine they never drink anything colder than the internal organs of the body because it has a detrimental effect. And I must say, I totally agree with this, when buying bottled water when I am out I always ask for one that has not been put in the fridge.
So save your money on expensive products for detox and diets and follow the above guidelines for being naturally healthy at this time of year.
A note about diets
If you have gained a few pounds then the only way to shift them is through exercise. Exercise speeds up your metabolism helping it to burn fat. Drastically cutting calories fails every time. This is because mentally, you automatically feel that you are being deprived of what you want and you will end up eating something naughty or binging. Also what you focus on you get more of, therefore if you are permanently focused on food and worrying about calories etc you will become obsessed with it and it becomes counterproductive. Stop worrying about food and start enjoying it. Buy fresh, organic produce and eat real food (don’t waste your money on low fat products, they are full of chemicals and are not real food, so you will never feel fully satisfied). Eat real foods and drinks that have real – not artificial – ingredients in them. Exercise is your key to weight loss anything else is a waste of time and money.
Another aspect to weight gain can be something out of balance physically, i.e. your hormones. If you suddenly gain weight that you cannot shift, do see your doctor and get some tests done to rule out anything medical.
Also emotional upsets can cause us to hold onto weight. Once we resolve the emotional issue then the weight tends to drop off naturally and without us even having to try. (I specialise in helping women with this and have seen them lose inches in the process!)
Invite vitality and wellbeing into your life this year. Make friends with your body; put it first before anything else that you do. Honour your body and wellbeing daily. I promise you that you will achieve more, enjoy more and be more successful in 2013 if you do.
P.S. Yes I do believe that New Year’s Resolutions are a complete waste of time.
Everyone excitedly writes out their list and within a few weeks have fallen off the wagon or lost interest. I have yet to meet someone who 12 months later achieved every Resolution on their list.
Why put yourself under that kind of pressure? Each day that our eyes open is a bonus; we have been given another day to live our lives the way that we want to.
Sure, if you feel you need to become a little more disciplined in an area of your life, then enjoy working towards that but do not feel pressured by it.
Think of the outcome you want and then work your way towards that (and if you need any 1-2-1 support, then please feel free to contact me).
I have not made a single resolution for 2013, there are some changes that I want to make in my life, to my daily practices and ways of working and some will require discipline (which is always a little challenging for me lol!). I will enjoy it, as it will stretch me in new ways. Resolutions require commitment, if you don’t think you can commit fully then don’t bother, but if you do fancy a personal challenge it might be fun trying right?
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