It is more likely than not that you allowed yourself to indulge this holiday season! And good for you, there is no such thing as ‘perfection’ and food and drink are often a part of our traditions at this time of year. So don’t beat yourself up, just commit to some healthier choices in the days and weeks to come. Long lasting nutritional changes start with small steps.
Included in this blog post are a few recipes to help get you started.
The Apple Cider Vinegar Mocktail will curb your cravings for sugary and salty foods, stimulate your digestive function, including both activating your digestive enzymes and also promoting healthy bile flow to drain your liver and gall bladder. Taken after meals, studies have shown ACV will help balance blood sugar levels, and stimulate healthy metabolism. ACV is truly a miraculous super food. Purchase a good quality brand like Bragg’s, and be sure it contains a healthy amount of the “mother”: the floaty stuff. This way you know the product is still “live” and active. Avoid the “sterile” brands like Heinz that will more likely irritate than assist your digestive functioning. If you like, omit the maple syrup, add lemon or use flat water vs. sparkling.
The Detox Salad contains a number of different cruciferous vegetables. The cruciferous vegetables are all part of the Brassica family of veggies and include broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, brussel sprouts, arugula, kohlrabi, turnips, mustard greens, collard greens and kale. This powerful family of foods contains some of the most nutritious foods that exist on the planet. They contain plenty of fiber, act as a “prebiotic” source of fuel for good bacteria, are filled with Folate, a B vitamin good for building healthy blood and supporting the nervous system, and Vitamin K which helps blood clotting and bone health. They also contain something called Indole-3-Carbinol and D-I-M, constituents that activate liver detoxification, especially of hormones and xenoestrogens from the environment.
The Salmon Cakes are high in Vitamin D and Omega-3 essential fatty acids, which are all critical for healthy brain function and mood, building strong bones, reducing inflammation in the body, and creating a robust immunity
I really like the Cleansing Broccoli Lentil Soup for getting myself back on track after a time period of indulgence. This is a tasty and satisfying fiber-rich soup to nourish the body and soul.
Using just these four recipes you could build yourself a simple little three day cleanse.
Give yourself a nice 12 to 16 hour overnight fasting window before you consume your first solid food of the day, with at least a 3 hour window before bed of no solid food, and minimal drink – other than some sips of water or a small amount of herbal tea.
So if you normally go to bed at 10, ensure your last food/ beverage is consumed by 7 pm.
Then spare yourself of food until at least 7 am the next day. Better yet, aim to bump your first meal to 9 or 10 am. This allows your body to detoxify, digest and repair over night and well into the morning.
Feel free to start your day with a glass of the ACV beverage upon waking, to complete the digest/ detox/ repair process that was happening over night. This can be consumed within your fasting window. You may want to make this one with warm flat water, a small amount of honey or maple syrup (or none at all), and a tablespoon of ACV.
Consume a serving of this at least three times during the day, for a total of 3 to 6 Tbsp of ACV spread through the day.
Make yourself a batch of the soup, and have a bowl for lunch for each of the three days of your mini-cleanse.
And for dinner have a salmon burger with some salad.
It may seem dull, however it is only for three days and the less complex, the better the compliance, in my experience.
If you are hungry outside of these meals, consume fresh fruit and vegetables. Maybe some apple and almond butter, or hummus and chopped veggies. Keep it light, and always be sure to ask yourself if you are actually hungry before you eat. Often we eat because of loneliness, boredom, anxiety, sadness, frustration, etc. vs. true hunger.
if this is the case for you, ask yourself: what do I need more than food in this moment? so if you are feeling sad.. perhaps the answer to this question is: “a good cry”. In which case, take yourself to a cozy corner of your home and let yourself feel your tears and sadness. If it is “bored”, ask yourself what might serve better, and see what answer arises “Go for a walk”, “Call a good friend”, “pick up your journal and start writing”.
Getting still and mindful, asking curious questions of ourselves has the potential to bring us great insight. So have fun with this!
Good health starts with good nutrition and mindful awareness, and small changes and baby steps go a long way towards promoting health.