Diwali festivities are over and the one thing that we dread is the weighing scale. Indulgence has been at its peak and all that we probably need right now is to detox and cleanup. For a lot of people, the word detox conjures up images of struggles with alcohol, caffeine, sugar laden and processed food, but detoxification is a natural process. Your body knows how to clean and flush out toxins. It’s one of the most basic automatic functions. Just as your heart beats nonstop and your lungs breathe continuously, your metabolic processes constantly get rid of accumulated toxic matter through your liver, kidney, colon, lungs, lymph and skin every day. But during the festive season, we tend to overload our systems.
A good detox and clean-eating plan boosts your natural cleansing systems and encourages your body to get rid of chemicals and toxic by-products. The consequences of poor eating habits, pollution, environmental chemicals, hormones and usual suspects like cigarettes, alcohol and caffeine need to be flushed out from our systems on a regular basis for overall wellness and vitality. Give your body the right nutrition to cleanse and spring back.
Remember to be gentle. Detoxification is not only about elimination and abstaining. It takes at least 3-4 weeks for any new lifestyle change to become a habit. Try to follow these guidelines and you will end up with greater energy, improved overall health and rejuvenated long term glow.
1. Start your day by drinking warm water with half a lemon squeezed in or a cleansing herb tea.
2. Say goodbye to empty calories, sugar laden foods including soft drinks, ice cream anything that contains sucrose, or high fructose corn syrup and artificial sweeteners.
3. Cut out all refined grains, breads, white flours, pastas, rice cakes, biscuits, cakes and crackers.
4. Drink at least 8 glasses of water every day. Squeeze in some lemon juice or add some mint for an extra dose of freshness.
5. Keep chopped raw vegetables handy for any pre-meal munchies, dip them in hummus or raw almond butter for an extra nutrient boost.
6. Include fruits and vegetables with a low-glycemic index, and make a point of eating different types and colors. Have at least one salad per day with dark green leaves. Steam, sauté or grill vegetables as a side dish to fish, chicken or pulses/beans.
7. Start your meal with some raw foods to get your enzymes going and your digestive system primed.
8. If you are a non-vegetarian, eat cold water fish at least 3 times a week.
9. Use olive oil as your primary cooking oil. Other than that cold pressed coconut, mustard, and desi ghee (in moderation) are some of the best oils for cooking.
10. Use herbs (fresh & dried) and spices to flavor your foods.
11. Snack on seeds and nuts.
12. Chew each mouthful slowly, focusing on your food, and eat until only about three quarters full.
13. To keep blood sugar level stable, don’t go longer than four hours without eating.
14. Add some form of protein in every meal. This balances out blood sugar levels and will curb unwanted cravings.
15. Eat with pleasure and savor every mouthful.
Follow these easy tips and you are sure to get the best results. Like I always say, “What you eat today, you wear tomorrow- and not just on your hips!”