Well, thank goodness January is over! The media was as ever, groaning with recommendations to ‘go dry’, detox or stick with your New Year resolutions to get slimmer and fitter – it’s enough to make you stick your head under the duvet and not come out until May! However, many people launch headlong into some sort of super-strict detox at this time of the year so here are a few tips on how to make it work for you without feeling dreadful for days on end!
The liver is a very hard-working organ but whilst it is never happier than when we give it a bit of TLC, it can have a bit of a knee jerk reaction if it doesn’t get the nutrients that aid the detoxification process which is complex to say the least. It involves two phases and if the first phase happens too fast, toxins can be released into the blood stream causing headaches, fatigue, bad breath, brain fog and the rest before the second phase kicks in and does its best to control the mayhem. A healthy liver will likely limit the onset of the above symptoms to just a few days but if you are determined to go cold turkey, consider a liver support supplement to give your perhaps over-stressed liver some assistance. I like Nutri’s Multi Liver Formula which offers a combination of vitamins, minerals and antioxidant nutrients but you may prefer to simply take a Milk Thistle Complex in liquid form which can be taken with water, Vogel do a good one.
Clean Up Rather Than Detox
I prefer a clean up to a detox which causes a great deal less stress within the body and is easier to stick to. Not for the faint-hearted, I confess but a good and nourishing clean up diet can be followed for as long as you wish without the need to hide yourself away or say “no” to every invitation that comes your way and if weight loss is your goal, can reap some mighty rewards. I generally recommend waiting until spring when we start to feel a little more positive before launching into a fairly demanding dietary routine but that’s probably because I can’t exist without a little comfort in the darker months but you may be bolder than I am! Try this for size if you are game.
Have a Soak in the Bath
When did you last have a bath? I am not suggesting that you are not squeaky clean on a daily basis but showering has become the norm nowadays and luxuriating in a bath is now a bit old hat! If you have a bath or can beg a friend or neighbour to let you use theirs for half an hour, go for it, pour a load of Dead Sea Salt Crystals in whilst running the taps and luxuriate happy in the knowledge that you are aiding not only detoxification but also giving your whole body a revitalising boost.
- The magnesium content of the salts combats stress, reduces fluid retention and slows skin ageing, the potassium energises the body and helps expel toxins.
- The sodium is important for lymphatic fluid balance and helps the immune system function properly.
- The bromides help relax and ease muscular aches and pains.
- The sulphates are necessary for the secretion of bile from the liver, helping to neutralise toxins.
- And, you are likely to have a fabulously restful night’s sleep if you adopt this little habit late evening – what’s not to love?
Daily Dose of Fats
Many detox diets are devoid of or desperately short of fats which is both short-sighted and negligent. The liver loves a daily dose of fats from the diet but it likes some more than others. Omega 3 fats are anti-inflammatory and mild to chronic inflammation is as big a health disrupter to the liver as it is for every other body organ so it essential that we include these. Seeds and a few nuts are great sources and a good way to hit healthy levels is to treat them as toppings to soups, stews, vegetables, salads and snacks. Here is another neat trick, particularly when you are trying to lose weight as fats are filling and fabulously good for stemming sugar cravings:
- Dry fry a handful of walnuts and a handful of pecans, 2 tablespoons of flax seeds (linseeds), 1 tablespoon each of pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, hemp seeds and sesame seeds over a low heat until they are just toasted (keep shaking the pan and don’t let them burn)
- Grind the whole lot in a spice grinder or with a mortar and pestle until they are well broken down but not too powdery.
- Transfer to a sealed jar (preferably dark glass), store in the fridge and have a couple of tablespoons per day.
- Mix into a small carton of natural yoghurt or cottage cheese, add to a smoothie, add to a salad dressing or simply scatter over a colourful selection of steamed vegetables.