The Halloween sugar fest is over and Christmas is coming, it’s time to detox so we can go into December healthy and ready for holiday season. Here are the rules;
1. Get these probiotics;
Start off with 1- 2 capsules per day, see how you feel after a week, you may want to increase to 1 with each meal. These are the only probiotics I recommend. (No affiliation) This culture is almost 100% survivable in the gut, through the entire digestive tract. It is a coloniser and does really amazing and well researched work in your gut to effectively change your microbiome. My veggies already contain this culture and other complementary and equally effective strains, so generally I just eat my own fermented veggies but for detox time we want to give our systems an extra boost.
2.Get this tea
Start each day with a cup of warming, spiced tea. I really like the organic detox blend by Pukka which contains aniseed, fennel, cardamon. These spices are very invigorating and have the effect of preparing your digestion and getting it moving and ready for food. If you’re not keen on this type of tea have some hot water and lemon instead.
3. Shop with your detox in mind
Read the detox plan through and buy what you'll need in advance so you're not caught short with your hand in the biscuit tin. So i'll be putting lots of veg on my list this week, quinoa, wholegrain rice, non dairy milk, and treats like raw chocolate that don't contain refined sugar to make life easy for myself for the next few weeks.
Focus on these 3 things;
1. Ditching the white stuff.
So no refined sugar. No white refined carbs, wholegrain stuff is fine in moderation. No lactose so either go dairy free (my preferred option) or have lactose free equivalents which are very easy to find in the supermarkets now and a lot easier to digest.
This should be light on carbs as they turn to sugar, and high on good fat and protein - so the breakfast I mentioned in my Spring newsletter, the coconut chocolate milkshake with a handful of nuts, would work well. So would some scrambled eggs and mushrooms made with grass fed butter and / or coconut/MCT oil. A vegan alternative to that would be a tofu and mushroom scramble made with the oils referred to.
I personally like a really nutrient dense smoothie and a handful of nuts for breakfast because it's easy to make while i'm getting the kids breakfast ready and then drink while i'm doing the school run. If I have more time I like quinoa porridge, with almond milk and a little bit of maple syrup as this is low GI.
What about lunch?!
*If you have some weight to lose you can follow the dinner guidance for your lunch too. Personally I like to have one meal a day where I can just have what I want (subject to the no white stuff rule!) Also lunch should be your biggest meal as that’s when your digestion is at it’s strongest.
3. Evening meal
This should be your lightest meal of the day as it is time of the day when your body is getting ready for sleep and generally slowing down and not burning calories. So half your plate should be non starchy veggies, a quarter of the plate protein and a quarter carbs.
Save some of your veggie space for a forkful of one of my kimchis or sauerkraut as this will really help your digestion and decrease bloating because it is full of digestive enzymes as well as probiotics.
Finish your evening meal by 7pm ideally. 8pm absolute latest each evening, then nothing til the next morning. When you eat is actually as important as what you eat. This allows your body to digest everything before sleep.
*note - this is the time of the day I really struggle with because once I’ve finished work, putting the kids to bed, cleaning the kitchen etc there is nothing I want to do more than slump in front of the tv with chocolate. What I’m planning for the evening as soon as I’ve finished doing all my jobs is to do some meditation, some gentle yoga and maybe have a bath. This puts me in the mindset of health rather than slumping and eating :) Also interestingly lowering stress has a massively positive effect on your microbiome. It’s not all about the food.
Some Bonus Tips
If you’re looking for a nice low GI alternative to sugary treats I do nice raw chocolate truffles. You could have a couple after lunch or dinner. They’re pretty rich so a couple of these with a cuppa does the trick nicely.
Another surprisingly effective way of improving gut health and helping your body to shed toxins is with movement. Think short and intense ie hitt workouts, or long and slow ie yoga. Long periods of intense exercise will stress your body and drain your adrenals and the focus here is healing.