In 2016 we heard a lot about ‘clean eating’ but what does it actually mean and how do you make it part of your everyday life? At this time of year, it’s easy to jump on the bandwagon of any seemingly healthy detox you can get your hands on, but did you know that the body detoxes itself all of the time? So rather than paying a lot for the latest detox supplement or health programme I thought I would share some tips to help you stay healthy, eat clean and support your body to detox all year round. After all detoxing is just removing waste and toxins from the body. There are five major organs involved in the elimination of waste from the body: the lungs, skin, colon, kidneys and liver.
The body cleans itself naturally but only if it is given the chance to do so. The key to detoxing the body is to be kind to it, you really are what you eat. If you put in healthy nutritious food then your body will be able to process the foods quickly and easily, enabling you to use what you need and remove what you don’t. Personally, I try to follow an 80:20 rule, after all no one can be perfect all the time. This is where you eat well 80% of the time and over the week allow for 20% leeway for eating out, treats etc. It doesn’t mean having a chocolate bar and packet of crisps every day.
So, what is clean eating, and how to you make it part of your lifestyle?
For me clean eating is about making and eating as much fresh food as you possibly can, it’s not about cutting out food groups altogether. It’s not a fad diet, counting calories or depriving yourself. It’s about making healthy, informed choices, eating tasty food and avoiding processed foods as much as possible. It’s ok to go out for a meal every now and then and have something you really fancy as long as you don’t do it all the time. If you are making foods from scratch then you know how much salt, sugar and fat is in it and equally important how many portions of vegetables, protein, and carbohydrates there are.
I love fresh juices and smoothies so I try to have one a day, however one or two a week is perfectly fine. It needs to fit into your lifestyle and not be a chore. The key to a healthy juice is to make sure that you don’t have too much fruit in it to avoid a sugar high followed by a low. I use mostly vegetables and add a piece of fruit to sweeten along with an avocado to make it super creamy and packed full of essential fatty acids.
We often hear about antioxidants and the latest ‘super food’. In my opinion the key is to ensure that you eat a balanced diet by having a colourful plate of food at every meal. It is unlikely that any one ‘super food’ will be able to provide you with the wide variety of antioxidants your body requires. For example, if you ate nothing but blueberries for a week you would have a bad tummy and be sick of the site of them! It’s good to include ‘super foods’ in to your diet but variety is just as important.
Including an extra portion of vegetables into every dish you make is a great way to make small changes. Last night I made Thai curry and out of interest I counted how many portions of vegetables I put into it. There were 8 different types of vegetables included and each one was the size of one portion of vegetables. This meal fed 3 people giving them nearly 3 portions of the recommended daily intake of vegetables in one meal.
Exercise is important to help the blood circulation, stimulate the lymphatic system and remove toxins from the muscles and fatty tissues. Exercise has to fit into your daily routine otherwise you will always be putting it off. You don’t have to spend hours on a treadmill or do hundreds of sit ups, little and often works well too. Rather than spending hundreds of pounds on a gym membership that you never use why not take some time this January to explore what you like to do and find time to fit it in. Can you park further away from work and then take the stairs instead of the lift? How about going for a walk at lunchtime. The exercise will not only improve your circulation but the fresh air will also help to clear your head making you more productive in the afternoon. Personally I love yoga I’ve found that not only has it improved my health and fitness but it has helped to calm me down and reduce my stress levels. I started doing 10 minutes every morning and really noticed the difference, now that I’m a yoga teacher I do longer sessions every morning and I do find that one of the best things to do is to build in breathing and stretches into my day.
If you would like to find out more about how to support your body throughout the year then do get in touch, I run regular workshops, retreats and yoga classes as well as tailor made 1:1 nutrition consultations.
Contact me by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or call 07738 160 575