7 Simple Ideas for a Nurturing New Year’s Detox
We’ll cut to the chase: there are plenty of detox plans out there.
“Lose weight fast. Cut two inches in two weeks. Make 2015 your skinniest year yet.”
These are not our plans.
This isn’t THE ULTIMATE DETOX DIET. As you will see, it’s not even a diet. It’s really just a collection of practices that we’ve found remarkably effective to clean out body, mind, and spirit after a busy season.
A healthy body is a nurtured body.
And nurturing involves far more than what you put in your mouth.
With that in mind, we’ve put together this list of ideas for a New Year’s Detox.
Help your body clean out toxins which may have accumulated over the holiday season.
1. Choose one breakfast and eat it every morning.
We are suggesting you choose one nurturing breakfast dish and eat it every morning during your detox.
Why? Because it is a deliberate practice of simplicity which can streamline your life, keep your mornings peaceful, and free up mental space to focus on other things.
Research into human psychology is showing that too much choice can actually make us miserable. So we suspect that there is a better than average chance that you will find the simplicity freeing.
Think about it: you will always know what breakfast you are preparing. Your children will always know, and – with the right kind of discussion beforehand – will enjoy the certainty. Preparation will become automatic, a breeze – no stress involved. And you will be absolutely certain that your family is nourished just when they need it most.
(A great breakfast for this plan is Basic Breakfast Porridge, which has infinite variety. Make sure to read the story of Laurie’s daughter, who ate it every morning for six months — and loved it.)
2. Eat a bone broth meal once a day.
Bone broth is chock-full of valuable vitamins and minerals and also does a wonderful job soothing a digestive system that’s overtaxed with holiday foods. It also helps bolster the immune system against all the little nasties that seem to crop up with a vengeance right after the holiday season!
There are many ways to eat it. Drink it straight. Make chicken soup with whatever vegetables you have on end and a healthy sprinkling of sea salt. Try our egg drop soup – and make it a buffet for the family! Use it as the base for a simple, rich butternut squash soup.
Enjoy it. It is elegant in its simplicity.
3. Stop eating the “whites.”
White flour. White sugar. The calling cards of most December parties.
But these parties are over, so use this opportunity to get your body and mind clean of them. Take a deep breath, and swear them off.
Be forewarned that these substances are addictive, so if you’ve been regularly eating them, you will likely experience strong cravings when you cut them out of your diet.
But trust us: cold turkey is the best way. Unless you have the willpower of a saint, it’s easier to stay away from the cookies altogether than it is to eat one cookie and stop. Go through your three days of cravings and get it over with! It’s worth it.
During those initial moments when you feel like you’re going to cave, stop. Close your eyes. Remind yourself what you’re doing and why. Remind yourself that you really will be okay without that piece of cake. We like to take that moment of want to remember those in the world who are always hungry.
And if do you fall off the horse – as our grandparents used to say – smile, dust yourself off, and get right back on.
4. Drink plenty of water.
It’s so simple, but we all forget: our bodies are mostly water. We need lots of it. And, during this detox, your body will welcome the chance to flush out any toxins that have accumulated.
Fill up your water bottle and keep it with you. Drink it all, then refill it. Repeat. Add a squeeze of organic lemon for an extra detoxifying boost.
And hot water beverages count, too. A steamy cup of herbal tea is wonderfully comforting during these frigid months. Make yourself one and sit down by the window for ten minutes. Breathe.
5. Eat only when you are hungry.
Simple but challenging.
These days, snacking is a pervasive cultural expectation. We’re trained to eat whether our stomach tells us we need to or not.
During this season, we challenge you to honor yourself and your body by not giving it food when it’s not hungry.
Which leads to a question: do you know your body’s signs of hunger? Can you differentiate between the physical signs of want and the mental triggers of sadness, lethargy, or – perhaps most the most difficult of all — boredom?
If you can’t, this is a wonderful time of year to explore these things.
6. Get outside, walk, and breathe.
Yes, the weather outside might be frightful. It is in our part of the world.
But our bodies need to move and they need fresh air. Even a ten minute walk in the open air can do wonders for our body and spirit.
So, if you need to, bundle up. And resist the temptation to use the time to listen to music or your favorite podcast. Instead, start walking, breathe, and simply enjoy the feeling of movement. Notice what’s going on around you.
Think your own thoughts. If you pray, this is a good time to do it, but don’t force anything.
You needn’t walk at any certain pace. The focus here is not fitness, necessarily: it is mental clarity and peace.
Repeat, once a day. Or once an hour – you may find you need it!
7. Practice thankfulness.
Gratitude does wonders for the heart and the digestive system.
A habit we find helpful: pick up a small, unassuming notebook – one the kids won’t be inclined to read if you leave it laying around. At the end of each day – and whenever you happen to think about it — during this detox, jot down a few things you’re especially thankful for.
Don’t put pressure on yourself. Use as much or as little detail as you’d like. Quote people you love. Sketch a picture.
And then remember that the gifts you write down will not be around forever. The fact that they were given to you today is a thing of beauty and to enjoy them – even revel in them – is no sin.
If you need to thank someone, do it.
It’s good for you.
We sincerely hope that this season will prove to be clarifying and rejuvenating for you in both body and spirit. Enjoy this January and all the delicious blessings it brings.
Laurie & Jamie