pre-christmas detox
Health

Pre-Christmas detox

It makes sense to try and cut down and eat healthily at this time of the year before the excesses of Christmas begin. Follow our advice to get your body ready for the festivities.

The smart way to withstand the inevitable festive overindulgence is with a pre-tox (a pre-detox!) nourishing your body from the inside out by eating and sleeping your way towards the party season. What is a detox? Detox regimes vary in how extreme they are but they usually involve some extreme deprivation for a few days or even weeks –banning alcohol, chocolate and crisps in favour of water with a slice of lemon, herbal tea and juices, soups.

Getting your body in shape for what is to come means you can relax and enjoy the festivities without worrying about the effect it is having on your body. Here’s our advice on doing a pre-Christmas detox.

Be careful

Very little research has been done on the various detox diets available; therefore there is no scientific support for or against any of the diet’s claims. We do know that certain components of detox diets are very healthy, such as:

● Focusing on fruits and vegetables. Everyone knows fruits and vegetables are healthy choices. Fruits and vegetables are low in calories and are full of vitamins, fibre and antioxidants.

● Reducing calorie intake. When food groups such as meat and dairy are eliminated from a person’s diet, calorie intake will be lowered. If you are overweight, you probably consume too many calories, so reducing calorie intake will likely lead to gradual weight loss. Many of these diets, however, reduce calories too much, which can lead to muscle loss and put the body in starvation mode, leading to a slower metabolism. Your body’s way of detoxifying

● Our bodies filter out toxins on their own on an ongoing basis. The liver, lungs, kidneys and skin all work to detoxify our bodies. When nutrients and other substances enter our bodies, their first stop is the liver, which filters out and eliminates harmful toxins. The kidneys also filter out waste by creating urine. The skin allows us to sweat out toxins, and the lungs help us filter the air we breathe.

Our bodies are about 70% water, so it makes sense that staying hydrated by drinking plenty of water will help us stay healthy. But to date, there is not enough scientific evidence to support the idea that drinking water flushes out toxins.

Safety concerns

If you decide to go on on a detox, be sure to talk to your doctor first. Certain people should never use a detox diet, including children, pregnant women, and diabetics. Also, vigorous exercise should be avoided during these diets since calorie intake can be severely limited.

How to do a home detox:

1. Boost your fibre

Fibre is really important to help the motility in your colon to make sure you’re eliminating. If you’re detoxing but not eliminating, you’re actually creating more problems [in your system. There are two kinds of fibre that help promote regularity. Insoluble fibre, found in leafy greens like spinach and kale, helps keep things moving through your intestines. Soluble fibre, which comes from foods such as apples, pears and beans, helps bulk up the contents of the bowels.

2. Drink water

Increasing your fibre intake means you’ll need also need to stay hydrated to keep your bowels moving regularly. Don’t go overboard, though — drinking too much water isn’t healthy. To determine how much water you need each day, divide your body weight in half and converting that number to ounces. For example, a woman weighing 140 pounds should aim to drink 70 ounces (2 litres) of water each day.

3. Cut back on sugar

Every carbohydrate we eat breaks down into a simple sugar — that’s how we digest it. It is a good idea to avoid or cut down on processed sugars during a detox because it’s a substance we tend to over consume. It may seem tough to cut back on the sweet stuff, but the increased amount of whole grains, fruits and vegetables you’ll be consuming should help curb your sweet tooth.

4. Exercise

So you’re eating fresh and seasonal fruit and vegetables, no longer ‘snacking’ and you are downing water by the gallon, but if you really want to see results you’ve got to exercise too. A great place to start is walking. Get off the train, bus or train a stop early and walk the rest of the way to work; walk up the escalators; take the stairs and not the lift; use your lunch hour to take a walk round the neighbourhood; just get your body moving!

During your detox

GO FOR

✔ Water consumption, at least 1.5 litres of fluid a day (but also don’t overdo it – too much water can be dangerous)

✔Fresh fruit and not from concentrate fruit juice

✔Vegetables: preferably raw, steamed or juiced

✔Nuts (unsalted), seeds and pulses

✔Fresh fish, preferably grilled or baked

✔Brown rice and rice products, wholewheat bread

✔Garlic and herbal teas like ginger, peppermint and thyme

AVOID

✘ Dairy products

✘ Red meat

✘ Processed or convenience foods

✘ Tea, coffee, alcohol — they dehydrate

✘ Sweets and chocolates

✘ Smoking (or try to cut down at least) and avoid smoky environments

✘ Food containing preservatives, colorants and sugar

✘ Bread, wheat, biscuits, cereals

✘ Salt — use organic herb and spicy herb seasoning

✘ Sweet, carbonated drinks

Good luck and don’t forget to enjoy the festivities when they come round!

More like this:

Cut the crap and embrace healthy eating
10 easy weight-loss tips
5 fab sugar free snacks

ASK LOUISE

Q My son is 18 months old and has just started saying his first words. It is an extremely exciting time in our house and my husband and I are eager to encourage his speaking as much possible. What advice would you give us on how we can foster this without bombarding and confusing him?

AThere is nothing better than hearing your baby begin to talk. All the hard work you have put in over the last two years is coming back tenfold.
Toddlers will vary significantly with ability and speed of which they talk however a guide would be about 50 words by 2 years of age. The most important thing to watch for is that your baby/toddler is cooing and babbling and begins to string sounds together like “Mama/Dada” They should have a wide range of speech sounds and like to imitate you and things they hear.
There are many ways that you can promote Speech and Language development at home:
1. Slowing down your own speech and taking time over conversations with your little one. Every day is a new experience when you are 18 months, nappy changes, bath time, baking a cake brings endless opportunity for you to interact and offer new words for them to hear and repeat. Make eye contact, smile and use exaggerated tones to keep things interesting and fun for your tot.
2. Review the toys that you have on offer to your tot and ensure that they give plenty of open ended play opportunities. Role play is a wonderful way to allow children to take the lead. Kitchens with lots of plates, cups and pots. Fill the pots with dry pasta and allow your child to cook and serve you. Playdoh, painting, gardening and sandpits are also great for allowing your child to take the lead and babble about what they are doing. Read plenty of books together and point and allow them time to answer any questions that you ask.
3. Limit screen time. Overuse of televisions and iPads do not give your child opportunity to interact in a two way manner.
4. Ask your child lots of open ended questions “What’s that?” “Where are we?” Point at things they know the answer to for boosting confidence (Car/ Car, etc.) When they don’t know the answer, explain it to them. Limit baby talk and speak clearly with good pronunciation, remember you are the teacher and they will copy you.
If you are concerned about your child’s speech and language development, be sure to speak with your GP or developmental Health Nurse. They are very skilled at understanding the difference between speech delays and spotting something that may require professional attention.
Enjoy watching their little brains absorb the world around them and listen to what they have to say. It won’t be too long before they won’t stop talking to you, asking “Why Mummy/ Daddy?” every 5 minutes….

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ASK JESSICA

Q. I’m would like to start an exercise programme that will benefit my emotional health as much as my physical health, but I don’t know which type of class would be best. Should I consider choosing from yoga, pilates, tai chi, or could you recommend a class, please?

A It’s great that you have decided to get into exercise. The benefits to you are going to be great. You’ll sleep better, have more energy, better skin, reduced stressed, not to mention all the amazing physical benefits of your clothes fitting better, and looking healthy, trim and toned! My advice to you would be to try them all. Even if some don’t offer pay-as-you-go sessions, if you get in touch directly with the instructor, they will almost always let you try it out first to see if it’s for you. All of the above things that you mentioned are great for mental health, so it really will be a personal preference as to which you go for. On top of the classes you mention, all forms of exercise will give you great mental rewards so consider the not so obvious interval training sessions, bootcamp, and circuits too, as you will also feel on top of the world after a class like that.