If you are anything like me over the holidays you totally overdo it. When I say “it”, I mean legitimately everything. I overate, I drank (more than I should), I overspent, I over partied, I was overjoyed ;). And I don’t regret one second, bite, or drink of it. But because of all the holiday cheer and fun that I have, January tends to be a bit of a tough month.
Last weekend I had a New Year’s Day brunch with my girlfriends and we were all talking about needing to detox after this holiday season. Which made me think that maybe the blog should be about a January detox!
Now when I say detox, I don’t mean like doing a juice cleanse, or to eat only kale, or consuming chicken broth with a side of air and ice chips. I’ve been there, done that.
- It totally sucks, 2. I hated it and 3. It’s the worst thing ever.
I am not going to share anything like that with you because I don’t believe in it and those extreme’s just do jive with me. I find that the holistic slow and steady approach works best for me so that’s what we are going to talk about today.
I also want to add that I am NOT a nutritionist, or doctor, or anything really.
I am just a millennial who has tried multiple diets, multiple detoxes and wanted to share with you what has worked best for me. If you have any real questions or concerns, consult a real doctor or practitioner, not Emily Audibert. =]
Now let’s begin!
To start, what’s even involved in a detox?
It’s pretty simple and can be explained in two steps.
When going on a detox we work on eliminating the toxins from our body. Real shocker there. Some of those toxins include alcohol, coffee, refined sugars, saturated fats, and I add in all processed foods here.
Refuel your body with all the pure, healthy goodness that it needs to recharge.
That’s legit it. Removing the bad and refueling with the good.
Obviously, that’s the simplified version, and I will go into the “how-to” part, but if you don’t want to read anymore that’s really all you need to know. That’s all a detox is. Detoxifying your body of the toxins that we put in it, by eliminating those toxins, and focusing on the good stuff that will help our body repair itself.
To those of you who still care about how to go about this, read on. =] To those who don’t, hope that helped!
Now onto the “how-to”…
Let’s start with what to eliminate or reduce.
- Alcohol – Alcohol is a depressant and can have really negative effects on many aspects of our bodies. Our liver, brain, heart health, and body weight are all affected by the amount of alcohol we consume and how often we consume it. That doesn’t include the diseases and psychological issues that the consumption of alcohol can bring on or increase.
Those are all reasons on WHY we should give our bodies a break from it after we consume way more than we typically would over the holiday.
If you can eliminate this for the month, I would highly suggest that you do. Unfortunately, sometimes that can get difficult with pre-scheduled events that we may already have on the calendar. So if you can’t be completely dry, try to really limit your intake for the month. Maybe only drink one night if you have an event or make “spritzers” which is a small amount of alcohol or wine with seltzer.
- Coffee – Coffee is a stimulant that is processed in our gut that stimulates our central nervous system. We want to eliminate, or reduce, coffee in a detox because coffee can interfere with the natural detoxification process in our liver.
For me, getting rid of coffee is incredibly difficult. I truly just enjoy the taste of it and look forward to it every morning, so getting rid of it entirely would be tough for me. Though, what I will be doing, and what I would suggest to my fellow coffee lovers do, is to reduce the amount of coffee you drink. Maybe only drink 1 cup instead of 3, or just have that first couple of sips and the don’t finish the rest.
- Refined Sugars, Saturated Fats, Processed Foods – Sugar, Saturated or “Bad” Fats, and Processed foods all have negative impacts on our bodies. There are studies that show saturated fats link to bad heart, that sugars affect all parts of your body negatively, and processed foods – aka anything we buy in a package – likely has a combination and a large amount of sugar and saturated fats in the food.
If you are trying to detox your body and fill it with healthy goodness that will replenish and rejuvenate your insides – a bag of wavy lays and french onion dip just isn’t going to cut it. So just cut that shit out for a month to allow your body to heal itself.
*Note: For the coffee and alcohol, I offer to reduction verse an eliminate because I would rather see you try or attempt a detox rather than not do it at all because it sounds too difficult. Detoxes are good for our insides.
Our bodies want to help and heal us, and doing a detox allows us to do so.
The point is to do the best that you can every day, and if you mess up, just pick it right back up, get right back on the path, and try again.
With that said, your detox will be what you make of it. Like anything in life. If you go all in and give it your all, you will get better results and will feel better in the end. But something is better than nothing. So just give it a shot.
Now that you know what to cut out, it’s time to talk about what goodness to add-in.
As a general rule of thumb, try to think of focus on eating mainly “whole foods”, and having vegetables in every meal. If you do that and try to fill half your plate with veggies, you are off to a great start.
“Whole foods” are foods that are as close as possible to their natural form. I try to think of that as anything that is NOT in a package or modified in some way.
Examples are eating whole grains instead of processed refined grains in pasta and bread. Eat real fruit and not fruit snacks. Cook whole vegetables and don’t rely on supplements. Make a grilled chicken thigh and not a chicken nugget. Real food. You want to try to only eat real food.
When thinking about the day by day play out of what to eat, below are the foods you want to focus on in each food group. These foods are all filled with nutrients and vitamins that help detoxify your liver and gut.
Vegetables: All vegetables are great, but you may want to try to add the below vegetables into your meal plan while on a diet. Onions, garlic, kale, beets, radishes, artichokes, cabbage, brussel sprouts, cauliflower, and broccoli.
With fruit: Apples, lemons, berries, pomegranate, and pineapples.
Healthy fats: Almonds, chia seeds, nut butter, olive oil, and avocados.
Whole grains: Rice, quinoa, sweet potatoes, oats (steel cut and rolled), and winter squashes.
Legumes: Lentils, cannellini, and black beans.
Animal protein: wild cold-water fish like salmon, organic turkey or organic chicken.
Those are just a handful of ideas of foods to try to eat during the detox.
There it is folks. All that you need to know about a simple January detox…
If you do give this a whirl, remember WHY you are doing this every day during this very long month.
You are doing it help your body heal itself. You are giving your body and your organs the rest and recovery time that it needs to continue to work hard for you every day all year long.
It really is a gift to yourself.
Stayed tuned for my blog on different recipes to try during a detox!
All my love always,