I’m teaching a workshop next week on how to “Detox from Winter, and Clean up Your Diet for Spring” so I thought I would share a few tidbits from my workshop with my loyal blog readers.
If you’re feeling a bit sluggish from winter it’s not just in your head. Winter lends itself to toxic buildup for a few reasons:
1. Less active in the winter because of the cold weather and lack of daylight
– Exercising engages the lymphatic system, and causes us to sweat; both help rid the body of built-up toxins
– Exercise is also really important for healthy digestion (they call it a bowel “movement” for a reason!), which also rids the body of toxins
2. Shortage of fresh local fruits & vegetables
– Raw fruits and veggies are full of fibre and digestive enzymes, which are important for proper digestion
3. We eat more comfort food
– Because of the cold weather; we’re naturally drawn to warming, comfort foods such as red meat, pasta, baked goods, red wine, cheese, coffee and tea
– These types of foods are difficult to digest and contain chemicals, both of which lead to toxic build-up
Conclusion: months of being less active and consuming hard-to-digest foods lead to toxic build-up.
Why are toxins so bad?
Toxic build-up can cause:
– Weight gain
– Bloating and gas
– Skin issues such as: acne, bags under eyes, puffiness, eczema
– Depression or lowered mood
– Fatigue, and
– Brain fog
If you can relate to any of those symptoms it may be time for a spring detox.
My spring detox is not something extreme, such as only drinking juice or eating cabbage soup for seven days. It’s all about eliminating those hard-to-digest, toxic-building foods and chemicals and replacing them with healthy alternatives. That means for seven days you have to cut out the following:
– Animal protein, ie. red meat (pork, lamb, beef) and poultry (chicken, turkey)
– Refined flour and sugar, ie. white bread, white pasta, muffins, cookies, etc.
– Over-cooked vegetables, ie. boiled broccoli
– Alcohol and caffeine: chemicals that clog up your liver
– Dairy, ie. yogurt, cheese, milk, ice cream
You’re probably wondering what’s left to eat?
Healthy alternatives to toxic-building foods
1. Vegetarian protein and fish versus meat protein
– Legumes + whole grains (ie. beans + brown rice) = a complete protein (all nine amino acids)
– Mushrooms: meaty texture
– Eggs: perfect protein source
– Nuts and seeds: protein and healthy fats
– Fish: lean protein and healthy fats, ie. wild salmon, white fish, sardines (add a squeeze of lemon and sea salt, then add to salad)
2. Whole grains and healthy carbs versus refined carbohydrates
Whole grains and healthy carbs from vegetables have not been refined, and still contain all their amazing vitamins, minerals and fibre.
– Quinoa, brown rice, whole wheat or brown rice pasta, buckwheat, oats
– 100% whole grain, sprouted and natural pumpernickel and rye bread
– Sweet potatoes, squash (acorn, butternut) and root vegetables (turnip, parsnip and rutabaga)
3. Natural sugar versus refined sugar
100% natural and containsvitamins and minerals
– Coconut palm sugar (safe for diabetics; doesn’t spike your blood sugar), unpasteurized honey, real maple syrup
– Dates, raisins, apricots
4. Raw fruits and veggies versus overcooked
Raw food is full of digestive enzymes, as well as vitamins and minerals that haven’t been lost during the cooking process
– Raw fruits and vegetables for snacks
– Salads and lightly steamed or stir-fried veggies for dinner
5. Natural flavored water versus alcohol
Drink a lot of water during a detox to flush out toxins
– Fill a pitcher with water and add lemon or lime slices, berries, cucumber, pineapple or watermelon
6. Herbal teas versus caffeine
– Mint, ginger, chamomile
7. Non-dairy options versus dairy
– Almond or coconut yogurt
– Unsweetened almond, hemp or rice milk
Detox aside, incorporating these healthy alternatives in your diet more often is great for overall health. You can still include animal protein, dairy, alcohol and caffeine in your diet, but it should be in moderation; white carbs and sugar can be completely eliminated from your diet.
It’s all about learning how to make healthy choices and becoming educated about healthy ingredients. Making healthy choices each day leads to living a healthy lifestyle. It’s not about dieting or short-term results; it’s about long-term sustainable change.
If you’re interested in doing a detox and need some guidance, feel free to contact me for a free, 15-minute consultation.