Happier to chill on the couch rather than walk the dog? Winter’s tummy-warming dishes are certainly comforting, but they can leave you feeling lethargic. Find your inner glow with this mini winter detox – it will help cleanse your body, rejuvenate your skin and perk up your energy.

What a mini winter detox entails

We’re not advocating anything extreme – no celebrity fasting, colon cleansing or juice-only fest here. We’d simply like you to embrace this short and simple clean-eating plan, a sentiment we share with Harvard nutritionist Anne Danahy, whose 4–5 day regime of fruits, vegetables, nuts, legumes and healthy fats will leave you feeling energised and looking rosy. Following the plan for just a few days allows your body’s own detox system (the kidneys and liver) to flush out any toxins or unhealthy chemicals. From skin and brain health to increased energy, a light winter detox can help you feel great, even when the weather is at its worst.

Your 4–5 day eating plan

It’s not onerous, there’s no chance of hunger pangs and we guarantee that you’ll feel better. Here’s the drill:

  • Eat several ‘clean food’ meals and snacks each day – mainly fruits and vegetables, nuts and legumes for protein, and healthy fats.
  • Be mindful when you eat – don’t absent-mindedly lift fork to mouth while watching TV. Eat only when you’re hungry, stop when you’re full and appreciate the taste.
  • If you feel hungry before meal times, first have a glass of water and wait half an hour. Many people drink less in winter and it is easy to mistake thirst for hunger.

Ditch the carbs and cocoa! Foods and other tips for your winter detox challenge:

  • Eat any fresh or frozen fruits, or unsweetened, preservative-free dried fruit.
  • All vegetables – especially broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, Brussels sprouts and dark leafy greens. (Mix spinach with pine nuts and orange segments for a mood-boosting lunch.)
  • Brown rice, quinoa, oats (a fibre-filled breakfast choice that helps support the elimination process), or limited amounts of whole-wheat or other whole-grain bread.
  • Legumes including lentils, chickpeas, kidney or black beans (preferably not canned). (Try raw vegetables with bean dip, hummus or guacamole – delicious!)
  • Nuts or nut butters, barring peanut or soya.
  • Olive oil.
  • Beverages. Water is an essential element in the detox process. Drink lots of it to wash out toxins. Lemon water (ideal in the morning to get the digestive tract moving), herbal teas, almond or rice milk.
  • Fresh herbs.
  • Organic honey or maple syrup (small amounts).
  • Get more sleep (7–8 hours). Proper rest helps your detox efforts.
  • Get some exercise. Your dog is probably longing for a good run, and walking on a beach or at your local park when it’s icy outside invigorates your body and gives your skin a rosy glow.
  • Get sweating! Sweating, either in a sauna or by exercising, is a detox essential.
  • Support your detox programme with our favourite supplement – Turmerynne. This all-natural anti-oxidant’s combination of turmeric, cayenne and black pepper encourages natural detoxification and cleansing, helping to slow the effects of ageing. It also stimulates metabolism, to support your vitality.

Warning

Don’t stop taking prescription medications during your winter detox (or any detox), however mini it is, and check with your healthcare provider to make sure your medications won’t be impacted by a sudden change in eating habits.

Avoid these detox-sabotaging foods:

  • Dairy products – butter, milk, cheese, yoghurt, etc.
  • Meat and fish.
  • Soya and peanut products (which can be major sources of allergies).
  • All products that contain sugar, high fructose corn syrup or artificial sweeteners.
  • Margarine, mayonnaise, canned foods and other processed foods and condiments.
  • Caffeine and alcohol. Try to eliminate caffeine slowly during the week before your cleanse, or you may end up in a withdrawal-induced foul mood or with a headache.
Let us know how you do! Share your comments and favourite detox tips with us on our Facebook page.

Acknowledgements & Photo credits

Article compiled for Flora Force by Judy Beyer.

References

  1. Danahy, Anne. A mid-winter clean eating challenge. 2013, Feb. http://blog.atriushealth.org/2013/02/a-mid-winter-clean-eating-challenge/
  2. Watson, Ashley. Winter Detox Tips. 2014, Jan.
    Health Information – Nutrition & Healthy Lifestyle

Photo credits

  1. Photo courtesy of carl dwyer / Freeimages.com