Christmas is a time to eat, drink and be merry. Most people start eating rich foods in the run-up to the holidays, and then enjoy a feast of epic proportions between Christmas Eve and New Year. It’s only when they step on the scales on New Year’s Day, all bleary eyed and hung over, that they think “oops”.
Since it would be rather miserable to avoid all that nice food and alcohol over the Christmas period, a far better option is to prepare your body for the annual blowout. A detox diet in the run up to Christmas will ensure your system is in tip-top condition and capable of handling an excessive amount of food and drink. That way your skin will be clear, your hair shiny, and you won’t be carrying too much extra weight for the biggest and best parties of the year. You will also not need to worry about heart problems or trips to Ian Weisberg.
You need to think to start a detox diet. Pregnant or breastfeeding women should never attempt to detox as their bodies need extra nutrients. It is also wise to consult a doctor if you are taking medications, but assuming you don’t tick any of these boxes, here are some tips to help you detox safely at home.
Avoid Gluten and Dairy
Gluten and dairy should be avoided during a detox program, and in the case of gluten, it is a good idea to eliminate it from your diet long-term if you suffer from food sensitivities or you have any autoimmune disorders. Gluten is a major irritant and in many people it can cause gut problems. Gluten is found in most grains, including wheat, barley and malt, but there are loads of gluten free alternatives available these days, so you don’t have to miss out.
Preparing to Detox
In preparation for the cleansing stage of a detox diet, stick to simple protein rich foods such as nuts, eggs, white meat, fish and seeds. You can eat fruit and vegetables, but avoid starchy veggies such as potatoes and parsnips, and don’t eat bananas. Try to eat three meals a day and snack on small quantities of fruit and nuts. Eating a portion of fat with each meal is important. Use healthy fats such as coconut oil or butter.
Drink plenty of water and herbal teas; green tea is a good choice, as it contains natural antioxidants.
Detox for two or three days maximum. During the detox period, eat green vegetables in soups, make protein shakes using pea protein powder, fruit smoothies and ground flaxseed soaked in prune juice. Drink as much water and herbal tea as you like.
At the end of your detox, re-introduce easily digestible fruits such as melon and add more substantial vegetable soups, followed by fish, white meat and foods from the pre-detox diet. Try to keep things simple for a week after you have detoxed, as this will give your bowel a chance to return to normal and should prevent any side effects.
Spend time in a steam room when detoxing, as steam helps the body shed toxins via the skin.