I strongly believe that there are no cookie-cutter solutions for our health problems (that’s why I became a nutritionist!). We all have to find the foods that we love and foods that love us right back! Each of us has to find the right balance of diet and lifestyle habits that nourish us and help us live our best lives.
A detox doesn’t have to be drastic. It can start small based on where you are today, not where you want to be. Be realistic. With that in mind, here are some suggestions on creating your own custom spring detox.
Need to eat healthier but not ready for a total overhaul?
- Need to eat more greens? Vow to add 1 more serving of vegetables your daily diet. That’s only 1 cup of raw spinach. You can throw that into a smoothie with 1 banana and you won’t even taste the spinach! Or throw in 1/2 cup of mushrooms or carrots (or any other veggie) into your stir fry and that’s one more serving right there.
- Snack too much? Replace 1 unhealthy snack a day with 1 healthy snack: do you nibble on potato chips in front of the TV? Replace that with celery sticks with hummus or gluten-free rice crackers. If you (like the rest if us), love chocolate, then try switching to dark chocolate (start with 50-60% dark). I find that when I eat dark chocolate, my sweet tooth is satisfied and I eat less of it.
- Eating out a lot? If you are eating out a whole lot, you are likely eating restaurant food full of unhealthy and unknown ingredients. How about cooking once a week and doubling the servings to have leftovers? Cooking can be very relaxing and it puts you in-charge of your health. Do a restaurant detox, and cut out 1-2 meals out every week. Your waistline and your wallet will thank you!
- Not drinking enough water? Every cell in your body needs water to survive. Chronic dehydration is no laughing matter, and can lead to more serious health issues down the line (kidney stones anyone?). Many of us are dehydrated and don’t even know it. We suffer from headaches, low energy, constipation and poor digestion. These are all symptoms of dehydration. If this sounds like you, it’s time to start paying attention to your aqua intake. Start carrying a reusable water bottle with you. Keep a large glass of water at your desk and next to your bed at all times. Drink 1 large glass of water upon waking each morning.
Time to kick a bad habit in the booty?
- Still smoking? Love it? Can’t quit? How about a spring detox that involves cutting down from 1 pack a day to 1 pack every 3 days? Your lungs will thank you in 10 years.
- Bite your nails? Many of us tend to bite our nails when we are nervous or stressed out. It’s a sign for us to deal with the core issue: stress management. Next time you catch yourself biting your nails. Stop and ask yourself “What am I stressed about right now and how can I manage that situation constructively?”
- On the bottle? If you are leaning heavily on alcohol to de-stress and relax, you are not doing your body any favours. Alcohol stops digestion in its tracks, deposits fat in your liver and puts stress on your immune system. Switch from beer to red wine. Or cut back the number servings per week. Find other activities to enjoy time with friends and let loose at the end of a long day
I think you get the idea. Detox doesn’t have to be a juice fast or some crazy diet. It is whatever you need it to be to change your life for the better.
Quiet your mind and ask yourself : “Which habit do I need to kick? Which good habit do I want to introduce into my life?”.
Identify that goal, and start small. You will get there, one day at a time.