As I sit here scoffing my sixth chocolate chip cookie and planning yet another sugar detox starting tomorrow, I thought now would be a good time to share my tips on aiding a good old cleanse!
Remove all processed foods from your diet, artificial sweeteners, colours, flavours and sugar. These all put demands upon the body and many processed foods contain so many synthetic and artificial ingredients (quite often far removed from any natural origin), the label looks more like a chemistry experiment. I also find when I remove these types of food my mood lifts instantly!
Start the day with hot water with juice from ½ squeezed lemon in, it stimulates the liver to cleanse and kick starts your metabolism.
Eat good quality protein. This is essential for several liver pathways that eliminate toxins. Include eggs, oily fish, white fish, organic grass-fed meat and poultry, brazil nuts and sunflower seeds.
Up your fibre intake. Fibre helps to “sweep” the intestines of accumulated waste and also aids in the removal of toxins through the bowel. In addition, the good bacteria that reside in the gut feed from certain fibres, which encourages their growth and helps to regulate bowel movements. The beneficial bacteria also ferment the fibre to produce molecules that support the bowel and other areas of the body. Good fibre rich foods include fruit, vegetables, oats, nuts, seeds, lentils and beans.
Take part in regular intermittent fasting – this is where no food is eaten for set periods of time. There are many types of intermittent fasts and these include eating in an 8-hour window and fasting for the remaining 16 hours. Fasting is known to enhance a process called autophagy – this is natural self-cleansing that cells go through to help them to eliminate “junk” that builds up. If you have existing health issues please do check with your GP before doing intermittent fasting.
Dry skin brushing. Using a long-handled brush with natural bristles, make circular motions upwards and brush your entire body. This helps to stimulate lymphatic flow and move toxins for excretion. Skin brushing is best done before a shower – after showering apply a natural oil such as coconut oil to moisturise the skin.
And finally, this will help to manage your sugar cravings the first few days. The best way to keep your blood sugar under control is to eat meals that include good protein. Good proteins include lean poultry, oily fish, white fish, eggs, quinoa, lentils, beans, chickpeas, tofu, tempeh and nuts. Ground almonds or protein powders can be added to breakfast or used to make a protein-rich smoothie. A hardboiled egg, hummus or nut butter can be incorporated into snacks if they are required. Cinnamon has also shown benefit in regulating blood sugar and cravings.
Go on and give it a try, even for just a few weeks, and see how good you will feel! The key is to plan your meals, particularly when working from home, if you have healthy food ready to eat in the fridge, you are less likely to grab those cookies!