Q: Help! I’ve drank far too much mulled wine and I’ve stopped counting how many mince pies I’ve had since Christmas! I need a fast, simple to follow and health-boosting detox to kick off my healthy new year! – Pippa, London.
A: After the Christmas binge January is a great time to give your body a clean and rest. Psychologically it’s the start of a fresh new year, and physically it follows a period of over-indulgence and, probably, an amount of unhealthy eating and drinking. So start the New Year by giving your body the chance to make the most of the opportunities ahead.
Detoxing has many benefits – it can enhance your energy levels, aid weight loss, clear the skin and improve digestion.
Here’s eight easy steps to help you get started on your healthy new year:
1) Avoid black tea, coffee and alcohol. Instead drink herbal tea, for example nettle is great at supporting the kidneys.
2) Drink at least 1 litre of water per day – ideally more. Keep a bottle by your desk and sip regularly – you’ll be amazed how easy it is if you drink little and often.
3) Drink fresh juices, e.g. carrot, beetroot, apple and cucumber as they are fantastically nourishing and cleansing.
4) Avoid processed foods e.g. ready meals, savory snacks and biscuits. Instead eat food in its natural state. Cook it by steaming, lightly boiling or poaching – this way you will keep most of the goodness in the food (and retain the full flavour).
5) Chose organic food in order to minimize your intake of toxic pesticides. Even if you can’t make every item organic, do the best you can – it will make a difference
6) Eat at least five portions of fruit and vegetables per day – ideally more. At lunchtime and for dinner, aim to cover at least 60 per cent of your plate with vegetables and eat as much variety as possible
7) Reduce your consumption of animal products. Avoid dairy and replace milk with soya or nut milks. Lentils, beans, quinoa, seeds and nuts are good protein alternatives
8) And finally, you can support the Detox process by getting a good night’s sleep, trying Yoga or Pilates, treating yourself to a massage or infrared dome session (in order to sweat out the toxins) and exercising regularly.
By looking after your body at the start of the year you will give yourself the best chance to stay healthy in the cold months ahead and enjoy life to the full!