I use the term ‘detox’ lightly. This isn’t a pre-Christmas crash diet or crazily restrictive juice plan or anything like that. It’s just some of the things I like to do to make sure my body looks and feels it’s best before big occasions. Christmas can be a time of excess, and most of us tend to eat and drink quite a lot. With tubs of Quality street and Cadbury Roses littering the majority of coffee tables in the UK it’s certainly difficult to avoid excessive amounts of sugar. The same applies to alcohol, the festive period is a time of celebration and alcohol goes hand in hand with that for a lot of us. I’m not saying we shouldn’t enjoy ourselves over Christmas and indulge a bit, but there are some things that will help our bodies prepare and recover a bit quicker from the festivities.
Milk thistle is a great natural remedy you can take a few days before you are planning on drinking alcohol, it’s very good for the liver and its natural properties aid the livers ability to recover. It’s not going to be any miracle hangover cure if you decide to drink a bottle of Champagne but it could make your recovery slightly better. Herbal teas especially peppermint tea is fantastic for digestion and can reduce bloating, great to drink if you are planning on wearing a tight-fitting outfit for Christmas day and also good to drink in the evening of the day to help your body cope with the indulgence. Herbs like Fennel and Nettle are also known for their detoxing properties and most supermarkets and health food stores sell blends that combine them all. If you are a breastfeeding mum it is important to avoid Peppermint as it can dry up milk supply and check before consuming any herbs at all as they can affect breastmilk. Green tea is another great beverage that is full of anti-oxidants and known to help with bloating that can be good to drink in the run up to Christmas.
Water, water, water. Water is fantastic to prevent water retention and bloating. By drinking a lot of it you flush toxins out of the system which can help clear up problematic skin and puffiness. Some studies state that by increasing your water intake you can lose weight, some of this is likely to be water weight but drinking more water is one of the best things we can do for our bodies. Not just at times of indulgence but always. I have a 1.5litre bottle that I carry everywhere with me and aim to fill it up twice during the day. Adding things like fresh lemon or lime slices and things like mint or cucumber can make your water more appetising if you find it a bit boring.
Apple Cider Vinegar, I use the Braggs brand with ‘the mother’. Apple cider vinegar is amazing for you, I will be writing a whole post entirely devoted to it in the future because I think it is so good. I drink a teaspoon diluted in water in the morning and evening, it’s fantastic for aiding digestion and preventing bloating. It’s also good for reducing blood sugar levels if you have overindulged a bit. Exercise and healthy eating So it’s now a mere six days until Christmas, how much difference is six days of good nutrition and working out going to make?! Well actually it could make a lot. I don’t mean a crash diet where you just eat lettuce and start running five miles a day but starting a healthy regime where you are drinking lots of water and eating healthy and nutritious food is going to be the best thing you can do for your body. And it will thank you with good digestion and therefore less bloating in you party dress. Less toxin will build up in your body which helps problematic skin and the appearance of cellulite. Exercise improves blood flow and circulation around the body which means our whole body is receiving fresh, oxygenated blood which will give us a healthy ‘glow’ and moving the body can also kick-start the lymphatic system and prevent water retention and puffiness. I find that I just ‘feel’ better, more well and my body feels cleaner when I am eating well and in particular reducing the amount of salt, sugar and processed foods in my diet.
Christmas may be approaching at a scarily fast pace but it’s not too late to make some small changes to your diet and lifestyle that will leave you looking and feeling your very best on Christmas day. More to come soon on recovering from Christmas over-indulgence and starting that ‘New year, new me’ healthy lifestyle!
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