It is challenging to be healthy when you are on holiday with your family and friends and you don't have control over all the food you eat. Here is the strategy for you to use throughout the holidays so that you can eat the food you love guilt free.
The definition of detox is to 'rid your body of any toxins by abstaining from toxic substances for a certain period of time'. Globally, the most popular time for detoxing is the start of a New Year when you decide it is time for a clean start.
Detoxing implies focusing on cutting things out that you usually eat or drink in order to purify your body. However the catch with this is that you can’t ever ‘cut things out’ because your habits have been engrained sub consciously over your life time from when you were a child.
So realistically is there any point cutting foods and drinks out altogether when you already know that you will eventually migrate back to your old habits 30 days into the new year - when you head back to work or the kids go back to school.
A smarter approach is being conscious of what you are consuming and balancing it.
Most metabolic processes that your body conducts happen in cycles and on feedback loops. This means that when you have to much of one thing your body will send you little indicators by making you feel bloated, making you feel tired, affecting the way that you sleep or causing you to crave redundant foods to mask how you feel.
Seven years I go when I was coaching people how to be healthy and eat guilt free I faced a challenge that a lot of my corporate clients were social eating (and drinking alcohol) while entertaining during the 2011 Rugby World Cup.
I helped them navigate their social time eating by creating a term called "pretoxing" instead of detoxing. Instead of picking up the pieces when the wheels come off so to speak it works by balancing the redundant food and drink with more nourishing food and drink instead of cutting it out. This also meant they could do this permanently and it wasn’t a diet.
‘Pre-toxing’ describes the action of preparing your body before you eat and drink the food you love that might not be as clean as your usual mid year cuisine.
The key is being conscious of how much water content and nutrients you are gaining from the meals that you eat when you are drinking alcohol. It is common to find yourself in situations where you can't control what food is provided for you such as holidays and camping at the beach.
How do you do that you ask?
Well it is actually really simple. It is about getting back the balance in your body so that you feel better. A bit like recharging your smart phone battery and upgrading your software in the hard drive of your computer.
Toxins are created in your body naturally as part of your metabolism. If you were wanting to detox your body, you would focus on eating foods that are alkaline in nature. This is why there is such a craze currently around cutting out sugar, gluten and dairy because they are also acidic producing foods.
Alkalinity of food is how it increases or decreases the acidity levels in your body and is measured by pH (the concentration of hydrogen).
The theory is that the more alkaline your food is the less destructing it will cause during digestion. It has been found that when the body is in a more alkaline state it can heal itself more efficiently.
The confusion however is that your digestive tracked has a gradient of acidity to help with digestion process. So it has been thought that certain foods can alter acidity levels by diluting them for example - drinking water with food.
However the biochemistry of the body operates by homeostasis a process that controls the acidity of your digestive tract (as well as your body temperature).
Like your smart phone the body has operating systems the body is also has systems to balance out changes that happen in the body.
The issue is when we tip the balance too far one way (or the other) it requires a lot of energy to recorrect the balance.
It is when this cannot be recorrected that inflammation and bloating can occur. This is another alarm system the body uses to stay well.
So it is natural to want to go from one extreme to the other when you are not feeling good. However you are also working with your sub conscious eating patterns so no diet is ever going to work.
One key ingredient in keeping your body operating well is eating food that has a high water content. Not only does this help flush the toxins from what you are eating and drinking over the holiday period it also balances the healing processes of your body.
When your body is optimally hydrated it is nearly 70% water. So it makes sense that we are what we eat. However if you were to only eat foods that were 70% water you would be left feeling hungry so there is a little bit of magic to help these foods keep you fuller for longer and optimise your digestion. It is called the science of satisfaction.
Every guilt free recipe uses this formula to help keep your body be healthy inside and out. When I was coaching clients privately I taught them this formula and many felt better within a week of eating the recipes. Others reversed their risk of type 2 diabetes, reversed hypertension (that is the medical word for high blood pressure), reduced their LDL (unhealthy) cholesterol and of course as a by product of eating this way they also reduced their waistline.
So I have created four fun facts that will help you this holiday period to balance your eating so that you do not need to diet when you return back to your routine.
Try these following three tips when you are on holiday so you can feeling recharged while still enjoying the food and drinks you love:
Start the day with a breakfast high in water content and loaded with vitamins and minerals. Vegetables will provide you with more water content than fruit because fruit has more sugar content so therefore lower volumes of water. So when you fry up some eggs and bacon remember to add produce like tomatoes, mushrooms, spinach and avocado to balance them.
Eat three different coloured vegetables at two out of three meals per day. Vegetables provide your body with a variety of vitamins and minerals to help replenish and repair cells. Minerals like potassium help aid getting water absorbed into your cells
Save your smoothie for the afternoon. A smoothie can be a great Summer afternoon pick up. When the kids are choosing to get an ice cream, see if you can find a place that makes the guilt free festive smoothie. Berries are loaded with vitamin C which is a power antioxidant to help your liver pretox before you put your wines in that evening and will also boost your nutrient content for the day.
Drop your caffeinated drinks on a day when you are having alcohol. Caffeine is a toxin just the same as alcohol so pick your demon for the day. Caffeine has a diuretic effect and also indirectly causes a glucose release. This can cause you to feel like sugar later in the afternoon. Choose a drink that will hydrate you rather than a drink that will take water away from you by increasing your bathroom visits. In summer, you might drink less tea and coffee but keep in mind green tea, coke products and other fizzy drinks can contain caffeine in them.
Would you like to me to help you get healthy permanently in 2019 without cutting out any food and drink you love? I invite you to book your initial consultation here
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Guilt Free Festive Smoothie
(click here for recipe)