Reading alot of other blogs and articles over the past few weeks, it seems that so many people go on 'detox' as soon as January 1st is here. To me, this seems a bit ridiculous for many reasons, mostly because it's quite crazy that we choose to toxify our bodies over the festive season to the extent that we have to go on a drastic cleanse to make up for it. How about choosing to enjoy amazing good food throughout the year and indulge moderately during the celebratory times? Secondly, January is generally the worst month we could choose (in the UK) to go on a detox which involves too much cold food, juices and unseasonal ingredients, the basis of many detox diets. Instead, it's best to wait until the spring when the days are warmer and longer and the fresh spring greens that are natural detoxifiers start to appear. I love to do a gentle cleanse around the spring and Autumn equinoxes, when we are at balance with light and dark. That makes sense to me, although you may still feel that you are in need of some sort of nutritional boost at the beginning of this beautiful year, so here's some ideas to get you off to a super start!
- A detox is all relevant to where your diet is at before you start. If you eat junk all day normally, then a full on juice fast is going to be near on impossible. If you already eat a vegan, gluten free diet, then a day or two of juices wouldn't seem so hard! Look at what you eat at the moment and see what is not so great in it that you could cut out for a while. My recommendation for most people at this time of year, would be to simply cut out refined sugar, as it is highly addictive and harmful to the body. Sugar can easily be replaced with less refined alternatives such as honey, fruit, tree saps or herbs such as stevia, although it is good to remember that these should still be eaten in sensible portions.Overloading the body with any kind of sugar can lead to blood-sugar and other problems.
- Include lots of cleansing herbs when you feel the need for a cleanse, like milk thistle, burdock, ginger and turmeric. See my super golden detox drink below!
- Remember that warmth at this time of year is essential for the body to function, that includes to be able to cleanse itself! Juices, salads and smoothies are ok as long as they are not the only foods you are eating. Cleansing soups, stews, teas and broths are clean and waming to your system. Save the juice fast for spring!
- If you feel run down, eat small, regular meals with adequate amounts of fat and protein, and include some elements of raw-living foods to your dish such as sprouts or cultured veggies. Cut out any sugars from your meals, and make them more plant based.
- Think colour! I always tell people that if you can count at least five colours on your plate then you are doing good. So many processed meals are lacking in colour, being very white or brown! Make a rainbow of your plate and nourish all of your senses.
So Happy New Year to you. Lets start the year with the very best of intentions. New years resolutions are great as long as they are positive and realistic. I like to make mine a positive affirmation, rather than what I am going to stop doing. By doing this, we are still focusing on the negative. So make a positive phrase which you intend to live this year by. I have a few.. 'I will be a loving mumma', 'I will nourish my body and my baby daily', 'I will create and write recipes and share them with others','I will give thanks for this gift of a healthy abundant life'. What are your New years affirmations??
And now for my recipe for January! Having said that I don't do detox at this time of year, I do however like to give my immune system a boost with cleansing spices and warming teas! This recipe was inspired by a very inspiring lady who I follow on the web, Elenore Bendel Zahn, aka the greenylicious Earthsprout. Her blog is truely beautiful and she is as beautiful herself, sharing gorgeous recipes which are as tasty as they are utterly good for you. She is a very inspiring young lady as I'm sure you will gather if looking at her site. Her 'Golden detox drink' has intrigued me for a while, and I have only just got around to trying it myself. It came about from finding fresh turmeric at a supermarket and wanting to make a drink from it. I knew that turmeric was a superfood but I had no idea how amazing it was! I have listed some of its powerful properties on the ingredients page. Mixed with warming ginger, firey cayenne, cleansing lemon and healing honey, this is a super start to the day, or mid morning, afternoon or eve! I am totally addicted and am happily sipping away whilst awakening my immune system, digestion and cleansing my skin from the inside. If you can't get hold of fresh turmeric, then follow Elenore's recipe using dried dried powdered spices. Either way this drink is a winner. Thank you thank you to Elenore and enjoy the beginning of this wonderful year!
Fresh turmeric, ginger and lemon Tea
2 cups boiling water
1'' fresh turmeric, finely grated
1" fresg ginger, finely grated
Juice of 1/2 a lemon
1 tsp raw honey
Place the grated roots into a teapot and cover with freshly boiled water. Add the lemon juice, cayenne and honey and leave to steep for 5 minutes. Strain into a cup and feel the golden goodness flow!