Making changes in our life can be challenging, particularly changes that require developing new habits.
Yet to live healthy and to detox your body you need to take steps everyday
Find a Health Buddy
It helps to have someone to share with. Someone who we can call to discuss ideas, recipes or for support when we are feeling down and need encouragement.
It is helpful if you are both on a similar journey to health, as you each understand the difficulties through your own experiences.
A health buddy will be more willing to help keep you on your chosen path. People who are not in the same space as you, while well meaning, do not always fully understand our resolves and may be impatient with our choices if they do not align with theirs.
Even loving family members may make it more difficult to adhere to our decision. We need someone who we can understand and who understands us.
Clear out your pantry:
It is hard to withstand temptation for those ‘treat’ foods, when they are within sight or ‘call’ you at 9pm at night. Removing the temptation is a helpful first step.
Go through your pantry and dump into 3 boxes:
- Everything close to, or beyond expiry date. If it is anywhere near expiry then it was clearly not an ‘essential food’. Include in this box items such as those old vinegar bottles you bought to make that once off sushi or the curry paste for the special chicken recipe. Once you have removed all these old food items, throw this box away.
- Add to a second box, everything that comes in a carton, box or tin that contains processed food or sugars. Include cereals, pasta, cake and scone mix, tinned fruit, tinned jam, biscuits, custard. If you are in doubt, move it out! Give this box to a needy person.
- In the third box, place food you will eat occasionally, but want out of sight for the present, such as white rice, long-life cream, powdered gravy, pasta sauces. You may need these when entertaining but not in the first few weeks of your health journey.
Give up drinking your calories.
All processed juice, including fruit juice, impacts poorly on health.
Resolve from today, to cut out all canned fizzy drinks, Oros, flavored water such as Vitamin Juice and even fruit juice.
Drink plain water, carbonated or still, with a squeeze of lemon or lime, herbal tea, Rooibos tea and occasionally coffee.
Cold drinks increase our daily calorie intake substantially, without us even being aware of it.
If you need a treat, rather have it in solid form. Often we are not aware of how much sugar we ingest with our fluids and because of this, if we are going to add a treat, we then do it on top of the sugary drinks.
Going cold turkey is extremely beneficial and you would be amazed at how substantially this cuts unhealthy, empty calories from our diet.
In addition to zero benefit, cold- drinks, especially fizzy drinks, have some rather unpleasant added dangers.
- Obesity: Sugary drinks, drunk daily, may add as much as a pound of weight every month. Interestingly, studies have shown that converting from sugared drinks to artificially sweetened drinks makes no difference to weight loss. In fact, aspartame and similar artificial sweeteners affect hormones and can even lead to weight gain.
- Liver damage: High fructose corn syrup, the primary sweetener in canned, sugary drinks, contributes to fatty liver, similar to the damage done by chronic alcoholics.
- Tooth decay: Sugary drinks are extremely acidic, which contributes to enamel decay.
- Diabetes: The high sugar messes up your sensitive insulin balance, increasing risks for diabetes.
- Heartburn & acid reflux: The gas in fizzy soft-drinks increases the distention of your stomach and can push stomach acid into your esophagus. In addition, the acidity of canned sodas also adds to acid reflux symptoms.
- Heart disease: Likewise, the combination of hypertension, obesity and insulin, as well as high fasting blood sugar, all contribute to a condition called Metabolic Syndrome that in- creases risk for heart disease.
- Osteoporosis: A high intake of phosphoric acid prevalent in fizzy drinks, is linked to osteoporosis. The increased acidity leaches calcium from the bones, leading to weakening and potential fractures.
- Hypertension (high blood pressure): The increase in sugar and the resultant overflow of insulin, causes the kidneys to retain salt and this leads to hypertension, or high blood pressure.
Give up diet drinks.
While we are led to believe that diet cold drinks are a safe substitute for the high sugary fizzy drinks, this is not factual.
Actually, studies have shown that artificial sweeteners are no better at leading to weight loss and in fact, because aspartame and other artificial sweeteners impact on our hormones, we can even gain wait.
There is some suggestion that artificial sweeteners may lead to cancer and other conditions such as infertility.
Avoid sugary, tropical fruit.
Fruit nowadays has been hybridized to be sweeter and because fruit does give necessary antioxidants, we feel comfortable about eating more than our body can deal with and remain healthy.
This is because the high sugar impacts on insulin in the same way as a biscuit can do. From an anti-oxidant perspective, colorful fruits are phenomenal for health but rather enjoy the dark berries, apples, pears and other less sugary fruit.
Tropical fruit such as mango and ripe banana are best eaten in moderation. It is possible and more healthy to take in our anti oxidants from colorful vegetables, that do not spike blood sugar.
Eat protein for breakfast. Every day
Our highest cortisol spike is in the morning. This is helpful because it assists our body to ‘get up and go.’ Cortisol requires protein as fuel. Eating protein for breakfast supplies the necessary protein for our cortisol needs.
Cortisol, Insulin and Leptin respond best when you have had protein early in the day. Standard breakfasts of cereals or muffins are very damaging to the natural rhythms our hormones need
Other Benefits of Protein for Breakfast:
Protein slows insulin spikes which stabilize sugar slumps later in the day. In addition, morning protein triggers the release of Growth Hormone, which helps the repair process in the body.
Have protein, in some form, at every meal.
Have protein, in some form, at every meal.
While protein, in excess, is not advisable, the body needs approximately 1g protein for every kg lean body weight and slightly more, about 1.3g per kg, in the elderly.
Protein is best consumed in divided doses for maximum benefit, to allow the body a regular supply for wear and tear. In addition, protein with every meal blunts the insulin spike and assists in making the meal more satisfying, which reduces cravings.
Drink a half glass of water every half an hour
Water assists our body to detox but the benefits of water are improved if we drink continually throughout the day, rather than abstain and then drink 2 glasses in one sitting.
Drinking continually encourages water to permeates into the cells, rather than overflow the kidneys.
Belly breathe before every meal
Cortisol and Adrenalin play havoc on digestion, so creating a calming environment for eating is important.
Even eating at our desk can be made digestion friendly if we take a few seconds to belly breathe before we eat.
Shallow breathing may lead to tension and fatigue. Breathing with your diaphragm tends to reduce stress and improve energy.
There may be an added benefit of lowering blood pressure when you place your tongue on the ridge of the roof of your mouth, just behind your teeth.
How to Belly Breathe
- Find a comfortable place to sit or even lie down. Place one hand on your abdomen, over the navel, and the other hand on your chest.
- Slowly exhale through your mouth while counting to 6. Gently contract your abdominal muscles to completely release the remaining air in the lungs.
- Concentrate on keeping shoulders relaxed during the process. Repeat a few times. You may be able to do only 1 or 2 cycles at first.
- Once you feel comfortable with your ability to breathe into the abdomen, it is not necessary to use your hands on your abdomen and chest.
Eat real food.
Prep a snack bar in your fridge weekly We all know what it feels like to come home after a busy day, starving, and still have to cook. This is often a bad time for quick snacks, like chips or even biscuits.
Pre-planning for this by washing and chopping a salad bar, already stored in Tupperware in the fridge, will help while you prepare dinner.
Once a week, wash, peel and chop veggies such as peppers, carrots and cucumber. Pre-store these and snack till your meal is cooked.
That’s it! Follow these 10 tips and begin to form the habits for living a healthy, detox lifestyle.