After an indulgent holiday season, you may be looking forward to a fresh start. Here are 5 reasons you need to detox this January. Gym memberships are popular, a myriad of diet plans are being googled, and the ink on your New Year’s resolutions is not yet dry. And, although it might sound painful, a January detox is a great way to kick start your new health and fitness regime. However, a detox can conjure up images of colonics and shakes, days of eating nothing but liquids and living off a strange combination of hot water and spices; however, a January detox is a huge jumpstart for your health and a reboot for your sluggish metabolism. It’s fun, easy to do and a direct route to feeling fabulous and full of vitality - and will drop those extra pounds you may have put on over the holidays.
1. Detoxing Stops the Mood Swings
While cutting out sugar, booze, caffeine, cigarettes and other treats might sound like a depressing prospect at this dark and chilly time of year, detoxing can actually help to make you feel happier. When you eat sugar, drink alcohol and smoke, you are playing with your brain chemicals. Every hit of the sweet stuff will send your blood sugar levels soaring, causing them to crash later on; this insulin roller-coaster is likely to make you feel tired and irritable. You wake up feeling fatigued, complain of brain fog, notice digestive issues such as gas and bloating, even some heartburn, You have allergies, headaches, often feel nausea after eating or find that you are not really hungry for meals. A detox can help heal you quickly. Most of us don’t connect what we’re eating to how we feel. Similarly, if you use coffee to get you going; the temporary high you get from caffeine will wear off before long, leaving you edgy and irritable as you crave your next fix. You will begin to feel much better as you break with old habits, making a detox the perfect way to start the year by getting on the road to health.
2. Detoxing can Accelerate Weight Loss
I’m surprised when I talk with a client who is trying to lose weight and is still working on the premise of eating less and exercising more. We are taught that all we need to do to lose weight is reduce calories and increase output. And if it were that easy - we would not have health problems let alone a tendency to put on weight. Its not about eating less - its more about what we eat. Our high fat, high sugar diets increases inflammation, and we now know that inflammation causes belly fat and blocks your ability to feel full, inflammation is what causes disease. A detox is a great start weight loss, however, it’s only a temporary measure; it’s a way to kick-start the metabolism and make you into an efficient ‘fat-burner’. We store our toxins in our fat, so it’s important we can move those toxins out of the body. A January detox undertaken before a new nutritional program that’s right for your metabolic type can help to kick-start your weight loss.
3. Detoxing can improve your skin
Dr. Pratima Raichur, an Ayurvedic skin specialist says quite plainly in her book “Absolute Beauty that “The dietary principles for staying young and beautiful are universal: keep the colon clean and the digestion strong.”
All skin disease including acne, wrinkles, rosacea and eczema is due in part to inflammation created by toxins. Once toxins have collected in the intestinal tract, dietary changes alone cannot restore balance because the toxins themselves inhibit the absorption of nutrients. If you try to ‘clean-up’ your diet without first cleaning the body of toxins, this good food will not be absorbed properly. So, if you have skin problems, it is essential to detoxify the body internally before you try to balance your diet. A January Detox can have a very positive effect on the complexion leaving it clear, smooth, revitalized, dewy and glowing.
4. Detoxing can make you feel more energized
It’s hard to stay healthy in today’s world; we have too little sleep, too little exercise, too much bad food, too much stress, and not enough time for ourselves. To achieve optimal health, you must remove the digestive toxins pooled in your body and focus on producing ojas, a sanskrit term for the vital energy of life. When you have ojas you feel wonderful because it's a reflection of your body and mind getting the nourishment it needs. It makes sense then that to stimulate and generate ojas, you need a diet that concentrates on sattvic foods. These are foods that the body can easily digest to release ojas. The most energy generating foods are those found in an ayurveda detox, mostly seasonal fruits and veggies, mung beans, and nuts and seeds. A January detox will start to nourish you in a way that will tip the scales in favor of energy and you’ll soon enjoy increasing levels of greater well-being.
5. Detoxing Can Improve your Immune System
A compromised immune system makes us vulnerable to colds, flu, and even severe diseases such as cancer. The liver is responsible for trying to breaking down and process toxins. When you reduce the toxic load on the liver through detoxification, you are in fact supporting your immune system.
Weekend January Detox
Now you know the 5 Reasons you need to Detox this January - this simple weekend detox diet is a weekend gift you can give yourself for health. The main staple of this diet is Kitchari, a nourishing mix of rice and lentils (see below). One weekend will make you feel better - but it is only a step in the right direction. However, all of these ideas and more—plus a step-by-step plan of how to make them work for you—are in my phenomenal 21-Day Anti-Inflammatory Cleanse. The best way to reset your life is a simple month long customized detox. If you’re inspired to detox, end your food addiction and your sugar and carb cravings, and renew and reboot your health to get back to balance, check out the Anti-Inflammatory Cleanse
January Weekend Detox:
Say No to: Sweet fruits, juices or vegetables; breads, cookies, pastries, sweets, dairy, cheese, fried food, canned food, nuts, alcohol, oils, salt, sugar, legumes or grains (except kitchari).
Say Yes to: Herbal teas, ginger, cardamom, fennel, cinnamon, aloe
Water: At least 6-8 glasses a day
Fruits or Fruit Juices: lemon, lime, grapefruit, pomegranate
Steamed Vegetables: Broccoli, beets, carrots, fennel, kale, spinach, cauliflower
Vegetable Juices: Celery, parsley
Kitchari: Have up to one bowlful whenever you feel hungry throughout the day.
- 1 cup mung beans
- 1 cup rice
- 3 tablespoons ghee
- 1 inch fresh ginger
- ¼ inch cinnamon bark
- 5 whole cardamom seeds
- 5 whole cloves
- 10 black peppercorns
- 1 teaspoon cumin powder
- 1 teaspoon coriander powder
- 1 teaspoon turmeric powder
- 2 cups veggies from above list (steamed).
Wash the rice and mung beans and put aside.
Put the ghee in a steel saucepan and heat on a low flame, add the ginger,cinnamon, cardamom, pepper and spices and saute lightly.
Add rice and beans to the pan and saute lightly with the spices. Add 5 cups water and cook till the rice and beans are soft.
Daily self-massage with sesame oil.
Aromatherapy practice: Morning steam with essential oils of rosemary, eucalyptus, or lavender. Add 4 cups boiled water to a stainless steel bowl. Add a total of three drops of essential oils. Cover head and bowl with a towel while leaning over and inhaling deeply. Three to five minutes will do the trick.
Eat 10 soaked and peeled almonds before breakfast.
Sip herbal teas throughout the day.
Gratitude Journal: Write a list of at least 20 things you are grateful for.
Drink 1/2 cup warmed milk (organic cows/almond/rice/oat) with a pinch of nutmeg.
Even though detox's are popular this time of year - they are not right for everybody. Want to see if a January Detox is right for you? Let’s set up a time to chat. Take a look at my online scheduler and find a time that works to see if this will work for you!
See you on the road to health,