Clean Eating For The New Year
There’s a strong school of thought that home spun detox diets are not safe and not healthy. Last year, newspapers in the first days of January reported a lady who was hospitalised with life-threatening complications, after embarking on a New Year detox diet which involved several vitamin and food supplements, herbal teas and valerian root. As with all things in life, extremes in dieting are never far away.
Firstly, we do not advise that you undertake a full detox under your own supervision. This is a serious and gradual process which needs full care and attention with professional help. But there are a number of general things you can do in your everyday life, to clean out the system after all the excesses of Christmas.
Here’s our list of top ten things to help you on the way to clean eating in 2018
1. Eating well and properly is essential to a healthy lifestyle. Choose fresh and preferably seasonal ingredients over processed foods.
2. Get to know your cooker. Cooking your own food from scratch is one way to eating a more healthy diet. You know exactly what’s gone in there and there won’t be any additives or preservatives included.
3. Choose fresh fruit over chocolates, biscuits and cakes.
4. Try to eat one raw salad every day. This could be leaves and greens or a healthy slaw with crunchy vegetables and fruit mixed in. Include seeds for a boost of protein and essential vitamins.
5. If you are a vegetarian, make sure you balance grains with pulses for complete proteins. So, for example, if you eat wholegrain brown rice with a vegetable stew, include some butter beans in the stew, so you’ll have a meal with complete and balanced proteins.
6. Drinking plenty of water is good for cleaning the system and flushing the kidneys. That’s a natural way to detox that you don’t have to pay for.
(Pic - Rua, Mayo)
7. Avoid faddy detox diet items and foodstuffs. Nothing takes the place of a balanced diet, with as much fresh and even raw food as possible. ‘Raw food’ is a trendy term, but really, it just means including as much food that isn’t cooked in your every day eating. That could be a piece of fresh fruit with lunch, a big salad, or extra leaves and tomatoes stuffed into your lunchtime sandwich. Fairly easy to do, when you think about it.
8. Exercise. One way to get the system working naturally is to move the body. Go for a walk. Ride a bike.
(Pic - Cafe Nutshell, New Ross)
Do some skipping in the backyard. Set the mode to ‘Volcanic Rage’ on your Cross Trainer (ok, bad joke). Anything to get the body moving and the blood flowing. It’s good for the heart, and for the mind. Get those endorphins pumping!
9. Natural cleansers for blood are foods rich in antioxidants. That’s most fresh raw veggies, the more colourful the better, plus fruits like blackcurrants. In winter, you can get your blackcurrant nutrition in Mr Jeffares Blackcurrant Cordial. A selection of specially devised and balanced ‘clean eating’ raw fruit and vegetable juices from Cornucopia, are also great for reviving and re-invigorating.
10. Get some quality sleep. Lack of sleep in the party season leads to irritability and poor concentration. Excess alcohol and food consumption can upset sleep patterns, as the body works hard to try to process the intake. If it’s possible, eat your main meal early in the evening, then settle on a light snack later on. That way, you won’t be going to bed on a full stomach. Use relaxation techniques like controlled breathing and meditation to help clear your mind. Keep phones, tv and laptops out of the bedroom. You’re trying not to contaminate your body by eating the wrong foods. So try not to contaminate your sleeping area with technology. Get to love reading a good book or listening to late night radio before sleep. You’d be surprised at the quality of night time radio programmes!