The New Year ~ New You Detox
Jess Michael, The Raw Lifestyle Coach, hits the list as one of the most inspiring raw food coaches, as well as being a motivating speaker, writer and chef. Jess is the founder of Total Raw Food, coaching those who wish to improve their diet.
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So, you’ve been taking full part in the festive fun this Christmas, with rich food and unlimited alcohol. It’s now January 2nd and you’re feeling like jumping on the January detox bandwagon to lose weight and feel great! Even if you’re generally quite a healthy eater, Christmas tends to be the time that many want to metaphorically let their hair down. If you’ve fallen off the wagon of optimum health this Christmas, I’m going to guide you though some simple steps to help you get yourself securely back on…
It’s important from the start that I point out the fact that the word detox is slightly abused here in the west. A detox lifestyle should be a way of life for as much of the year as possible. In order to achieve high levels of health, a month long fix wont be enough. You need to give your body time to adjust so it can take on the job of full on toxin elimination. The good news, however, is that you can adjust to your ideal body weight, achieve bright, shiny and vibrant looking skin, reverse the signs of aging, increase your fertility, and enhance your sex life – just by tweaking your diet and lifestyle slightly!
What is a detox?
When we refer to the term detox, we mean the detoxification process that the body goes through to remove toxins from the system, via functions of the liver and kidneys. When a person is taking in a reduced amount of toxins then the body goes into detoxification mode, otherwise known as internal cleansing.
The power of food
As adults we have choice in our lives, whether we mentally take on that responsibility or not. We choose what food or drink passes our lips. Other factors also heavily influence our decisions, which we must be aware of if we want to get on-track with our health. Advertising plays a huge role in the decisions that we make around food choices. How many times have you picked up food that you were not even hungry for after all? How many times have you thought to yourself that you must have that certain steamer, deep fat fryer or cafetia that’s currently sitting unopened in the depths of your kitchen cupboard? We are hardly able to escape the subliminal advertising that’s out there, even if you are totally oblivious to it.
What you can do though is be aware of where advertising is rife. Know when and how you are being identified as a target audience, and don’t let the fast food giants lure you in! You have more about you.
The natural way
Try to aim for as much natural, uncooked food as possible. Heating food over 38 degrees destroys nutrients and enzymes. To keep them fully intact you need to eat whole, organic food where possible. Eating raw, animal free food allows your body to function at its peak. Whilst heavily cooked, stodgy, low nutrient food is difficult for your body to digest and almost impossible to assimilate.
Many people who follow a natural diet eat an abundance of the following-
~ Fruits (locally grown and organic / unsprayed if possible)
~ Vegetables (locally grown and organic / unsprayed if possible)
~ Seeds (Sunflower, Pumpkin, Hemp, Flax)
~ Nuts (in moderation, and soaked first for at least half an hour to remove the enzyme inhibiters)
~ Sea Vegetables (Nori, Dulse, Kelp, Kale)
~ Sprouted foods (Buckwheat, Chick Peas, Alfalfa, Mung Beans)
~ Frozen foods such as fruits that can then be made into sorbets and ice creams
~ Dehydrated foods, which are still classified as living foods, but have had most of the moisture extracted to preserve, yet without destroying the foods life force, nutrients and enzymes. You can easily make natural cakes, biscuits, crackers, breads and much more in a dehydrator, which are all high in nutrient content and low in potentially harmful toxins
Getting healthy can be a lot of fun. Once you actually start to see and feel the benefits, you probably wont want to stop! The good news it that you wont have to. You can just carry on taking your health to fantastic new highs.
Ok, so now you can see what a detox involves, let’s explore what you’re going to remove from your diet, and what you are going to be increasing…
What’s 'out' during a detox…
1. Cut alcohol entirely out of your diet for at least a month, if not longer.
2. Say good-bye to the difficult to digest, acid forming foods like meat, eggs, dairy and wheat.
3. Give up refined, processed sugar and salt along with any artificial sweeteners that you usually use. This usually means anything found in a glass jar or can, and located in central isles of a supermarket.
4. Fizzy drinks – including diet drinks. Totally empty calories, leading to water retention and blood sugar crash and burn. Many diet drinks contain the ingredient aspartame; which has been heavily linked to the cause of cancer.
5. Heat-treated caffeine. Found in coffee, tea and stimulant drinks, which are highly dehydrating and put immense strain on your adrenal glands.
6. Toxic household cleaning products, such as bleaches, abrasive cleaners, commercial washing up and laundry liquids. Get yourself some Ecover branded products. They’re roughly the same price, and 100 times better for you, your family and the environment. They leave out many of the harmful ingredients that conventional manufactures generally add, and are available in most health food stores and supermarkets.
7. Too much make-up and chemical beauty products. 75% of what we apply to our skin gets directly absorbed, so go easy on the make-up, and be fresh faced if you’re just chilling at home. Let your skin breath naturally as much as possible. Steer clear from artificially fragranced products, talc, artificial preservatives (parabens), colours, perfumes, SLS and petrolatum.
What’s 'in' during a detox…
As much fresh fruit, vegetables, seeds and superfoods as you can comfortably eat. This includes Superfood fuelled smoothies, home made vegetable soups, vibrant salads and naturally cold pressed juices.
Around 2 litres of fresh clean mineral or filtered water per day. Just keep topping up your glass - you're bladder will adjust!
Raw Chocolate, as part of your diet… Yes you read it correctly – haven’t you heard yet? Chocolate in its raw, natural and unprocessed state is actually good for you! It’s bursting with anti-oxidants and Magnesium. Considering over 80% of people on a standard UK diet are chronically Magnesium deficient, eating raw chocolate is a great way to ensure that you don’t end up as a statistic!
Dehydrated foods, such as fruits, vegetables, crackers, nut and seed ‘burgers,’ breads, fruit bread etc.
Body brushing, twice per day. Make sure that your skin is dry, and that you sweep lightly always in the direction of your heart. Do 2 rounds of it, in the mornings and in the evenings.
Showering daily, with a difference. During your morning shower, grit your teeth and turn the temperature to cold for 20 seconds, before putting back to warm again. Repeat this 4 times. Be warned – you wont feel like doing this, but once you do, you’ll leave the bathroom with an energised spring in your step!
Use natural Coconut Butter, or Raw Chocolate (Cacao) Butter as your moisturiser. If you choose the former, melt it down by allowing it to float in its tub in your bath water for about 10 mins. If you’re using the latter, melt it down in a glass bowl over a low heat until it turns to liquid. Take it into the bathroom with you, ready for when you get out.
Hot water, with a squeeze of lemon. Great as the first thing that touches your stomach in the morning. Stop the kettle before it reaches boiling point. Drink and enjoy. This can be drunk throughout the day too, as a refreshing beverage.
Start the day with a homemade green juice. Juicing vegetables and fruit allows the body to quickly absorb the nutrients that are on offer, without having to spend too much energy digesting it all up. Choose dark, leafy greens, which are filled with chlorophyll, minerals, and proteins and are alkalising to the system. Sweeten your juice with as many apples as you need to make it palatable. You can also add a nutrient-dense, mineral rich green Superfood, such as Nature’s Living Superfood. Start with a teaspoon amount.
Some fun exercise to get the blood and lungs pumping. Exercise helps the body to assimilate nutrients, burns fat, accelerates the toxin elimination process, releases feel good hormones, strengthens and tones the muscles, helps increase flexibility, speed, stamina and alertness. Need I go on!! Aim for half an hour of brisk walking, jogging, running or skipping daily.
Drink herb teas throughout the day. If you are new to herbal teas start with a very weak strength initially, and build up gradually, ensuring that you remove the tea bag from the cup before drinking. Again, make sure that you stop the kettle before it boils. Opt for organic teas with un-bleached tea bags. ‘Clipper’ is a good brand, available in most supermarkets.
Try the top 5 –
Nettle - a detoxifier used as a spring tonic, for allergies and joint disorders (left)
Peppermint - a herb for the digestive system. Harmonises well with elderflower for colds and catarrh. Try for headaches.
Chamomile - the ‘mother of the gut’. Use for digestive weakness. This is also very helpful to alleviate tension. It is also a pleasant herb for children, to relieve colds and promote rest.
Cinnamon - a herb to aid the circulation, promote good digestion and to help combat infection.
Dandelion - a herb frequently used to reduce water retention (oedema). Dandelion is high in minerals that are frequently depleted by synthetic diuretics.
Putting it into practise
So you’re all set, all you have to do now is ensure that you put your good intentions into practise. Write down your goals, reward yourself, love yourself and help yourself. You are truly beautiful, and like no other - I know that you can do it!
All my love,
Want to find out more?
For a raw lifestyle consultation, with Jess Michael, please email email@example.com, or call 0700 340 1233 for more information or to book an appointment. Enhance and accelerate your detox, whilst learning more about using raw and living foods as part of your every day diet and lifestyle.
To learn how to use Raw Chocolate in your recipes to get some delicious yet healthy results, why not book a place on Total Raw Food’s next Raw Chocolate Goddess Training workshop – 27th January, £55 per person.