So after 29 days of parties, truffles, cookies, cocktails and lots more, you may be feeling a little bloated, puffy and generally not good. My tip for day 29 of 31 Days of Healthy Ways to Enjoy the Holidays More is to try a whole foods detox for 3 – 5 days. If the holidays have gotten to the better of you, a gentle detox might be what you need. Our bodies naturally do plenty of detoxing for us and in general our liver, kidneys, skin and lungs do a fantastic job of detoxing but you can help support them in doing their job by giving your body easy to digest foods packed with good nutrition.
Helping your body detox with whole foods can give you more energy, clear up your skin and reduce the inflammation that your body might be experiencing from too many acidic foods this time of year.
For 3 – 5 days focus on eating whole unprocessed foods and don’t eat processed foods. Easy peasy!
Focus on eating: vegetables, fruits, seeds, nuts, fresh pressed juices and smoothies, whole grains
Foods to avoid: processed food (packaged), wheat, dairy, alcohol, caffeine, meat, sugar, artificial sweeteners, food coloring, preservatives (if there’s an ingredient list and you don’t know what some of the ingredients are – skip it)
Some meal ideas
Cook a big batch of quinoa, amaranth or wild rice, stir in fruit and cinnamon for a delicious breakfast or serve it with pumpkin seeds, avocado, baby kale & diced carrots for a satisfying lunch. Make dinner a baked sweet potato topped with chopped raw broccoli, bell peppers and a few walnut halves & hemp seeds. Snack on fresh fruit or fruit and vegetable smoothies. Make salads with lots of raw veggies and top with half an avocado, chia seeds and lemon juice and olive oil. Drink lots of water, add a squeeze of lemon or lime. Eat naturally fermented foods like Kimchi or Sauerkraut (Bubbies is a decent commercial brand) for a little probiotic boost for your gut.
For adding flavor/seasoning
Try lemon juice, himalayan or celtic sea salt, reduced sodium tamari (wheat free soy sauce), hummus (preferably homemade), extra virgin olive oil, spices, balsamic vinegar, apple cider vinegar. If you absolutely must use some sugar – 1 tsp of real maple syrup or raw honey is ok. Add a tablespoon of dried fruit – cherries, cranberries, apricots (look for unsulphured ones with no added sugar in the ingredients)
If you’re someone who eats a lot of takeout, freezer meals, canned or boxed foods, put them aside for now. No bread, cheese, milk, chicken tenders, coffee or candy. If you are worried about caffeine headaches, try some ginger or peppermint tea, both are soothing on the digestive tract but also have been shown to reduce the severity of caffeine withdrawal headaches. If you rely heavily on sugar and are expecting to have a hard time giving it up for a few days, cook some sweeter vegetables like carrots, parsnips and sweet potatoes in a little water – eat the vegetables and drink the broth. The sweetness will satisfy that craving.
Listen to your body. Make sure you are eating enough while still focusing on eating clean. If you find you are super hungry while detoxing, take a look to see if you are missing fat and protein. You may need to up these a little to get through it. You may even find that you enjoy eating this way and want to continue after your detox. Keep it up and you’ll be feeling better soon!