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New Year! Time for new start!

Young woman sitting back on a chair with her hands behind her head relaxing

As another year turns, January is always a great time to start afresh and ‘clean-up’ in certain areas of your life. To many people, this means losing some weight, starting or re-starting a fitness regime or having a more structured internal cleanse.

Clean up your mind!

You might not necessarily believe that a clean mind should be a top detox tip! However, in order to make lasting, sustainable and effective changes to your body and life, you also need to adopt a positive and ‘cleansing’ mind set. State your life goals of what you want to achieve during 2022 but also be realistic about your body too. For example, saying I want to lose 28 kilos in weight during January is not realistic or healthy. Much better to make January just the beginning of a much healthier eating pattern that will take you through the year and beyond. So, target 2022 to be the year that you make those lasting changes.

Clean up your diet!

Obviously this is a key part of any detox routine. THE most effective dietary change you can make is to kick the sugar. Sugar in all its forms just encourages weight gain and provides empty calories; cakes, biscuits, sweets, chocolates and pastries all need to be dumped. However, if you struggle to eat your cereal or porridge without a little sweetness, then look for natural sweeteners such as xylitol or stevia, which are readily available in the supermarkets, and are calorie free.

Another benefit of clearing out the sugary foods is that your mood will be so much more positive and your energy levels will soar. Sugary foods just upset blood sugar balance which is the main reason for energy dips.

Clean up your body!

One of the keys to any detox programme is correcting the acid/alkaline balance; the body should be more alkaline than acid. Indeed, sugary foods and drinks, alcohol, processed foods and stress all create acidity in the body. This, in turn, leads to poor detoxification, low energy, blotchy skin and an inability to lose weight. However, when you load up on fresh vegetables, particularly the cruciferous variety, being broccoli, cauliflower, kale and sprouts, together with berry fruits, you’ll be re-balancing the body. Additionally, having a vegetable juice each day to include carrot, kale, beetroot, celery, cucumber, with some ginger and apple to flavour, will also help to alkalise the body. However, you need to eat plenty of fresh vegetables in order to gain full benefit of the fibre and nutrients.

Clean up you liver!

The liver is your main organ of detoxification and the one that takes most assault from Christmas excesses. However, it’s also the only organ that can re-generate, so now’s the time to get it back into full working order. Everything I’ve talked about will help to detoxify the liver. Additionally, drinking dandelion tea or coffee and adding parsley to your cooking (or juices), as much as possible, will really help.

Most importantly, the herb Milk thistle helps to re-generate and repair liver cells and is also a powerful antioxidant. In fact, it’s the most liver-loving herb there is. Take a course of Milk thistle

capsules for the next two months to really get your liver back on track. But make sure you choose a brand bearing a THR symbol so that you can be sure of the herb’s purity and efficacy.

Clean up your drinks!

I’ve talked about the food but what about the drinks?! Obviously, alcohol is laden with sugar and just provides empty calories. Additionally caffeinated drinks such as coffee, tea and cola are stimulants which upset blood sugar balance. Whilst these may not be high in calories, they will compound fat storage. Most importantly, they put a strain on the liver – your main organ of detoxification that needs a break right now!

Green tea is one of the best hot drinks you can choose; it’s packed with antioxidants to help quench those damaging free radicals, but it also helps to feed the beneficial bacteria in the digestive tract. This is particularly effective if you’re suffering from bloating and wind after all the rich Christmas food!

Clean up your bowels!

And on the topic of the digestive system, the bowels are clearly a very important part! Indeed, regular bowel movements are key to any detox plan; the bowels can become sluggish with too much rich and sugary foods. However, including plenty of fibre in the diet from wholegrains such as oats and brown rice, as well as beans and lentils, is key. Additionally, ground flaxseeds, are great for sprinkling on cereals or porridge, and drinking some aloe vera juice is also amazingly cleansing and detoxifying. And don’t forget to also drink at least two litres of filtered water daily.

Clean up your exercise routine!

As well as burning up calories, exercise moves lymph around the body; lymph is the fluid that removes toxins from the tissue space around the body cells, but is reliant on exercise to move. Fast 15 minute intensive ‘blasts’ in the gym are incredibly effective. However, if that seems a step too far then a brisk 50 minute walk will really boost the lymphatic system but it will also burn calories and enhance your mood and motivation

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