We all want to feel great over Christmas, and many people will be worrying how they will survive 10 days of rich food, wine and merriment. There is so often negative press around this time of year, “a cry out to beat the bulge”, “combat the stress” and “battle through the festive season without putting on those pounds, falling out with family members or ending up feeling exhausted”! Let’s turn it around and learn a few easy daily tricks and healthy tips to combat the Christmas demands and more importantly look and feel fabulous for your start to 2018!
Our digestion is so key to our inner health: affecting our immunity, mood and also beautifully reflected in our skin health. Our microbiome (that is our good and bad gut bacteria) out numbers us 10:1, so it is key that we look after it, as really we are just a shell supporting this microbiome! When we indulge it often means increased sugar intake, either in sweet treats, cakes, pudding, chocolate and the easiest consumption of sugar and often overlooked is in alcohol! Sugar changes the microbiome and encourages the wrong growth of bacteria and even a potential rise in yeast, so what are the tricks to support a healthy gut this Christmas? Digestion loves to be supported by a homemade bone broth so don’t throw away those bones and instead make a delicious bone or meat stock and consume daily, either in the form of soup or just on its own, its delicious with a squeeze of lemon juice and pinch of a good salt, Himalayan or Celtic sea salt.
NatureDoc Tip: Invest in a good therapeutic probiotic and take one at night, drink kefir or kombucha to support a healthy microbiome, a mouthful of sauerkraut or kimchi with your main meals, fermented foods are fabulous for your gut health and readily available from health foods shops.
The Liver, is usually the kindest organ in your body. However when the liver is out of balance, under increased demands or congested it can reflect in emotional outbursts, feelings of irritation or anger and of course hangovers! The liver is very good at regenerating itself, but you need to give it nights off from time to time! Liver time is 1-3am so ensure at least two nights a week you are getting into bed before midnight and to break from alcohol for those two nights too. Decide which those nights are going to be, put it in the diary and commit to it.
Add cucumber to water during the day and eat a few slices before going to bed to avoid a hangover! Aim not to drink on empty stomach, so line your tummy before heading out, either with some bone broth, a few cucumber slices or a green juice.Try to also consume turmeric before sleeping to support the liver. A warming cup of golden milk (almond milk with turmeric, coconut oil, cinnamon and black pepper) is a wonderful comforting drink and aids detox. Drink lemon water in the morning on waking also further support detox and is very refreshing.
NatureDoc Tip: take a good all round liver supplement to support the liver and detoxification pathways.
The skin suffers from dehydration, lack of sleep and increased indulgence. Dry skin brushing is a great way to boost the lymphatics and increase detox. Eyes can be the greatest give away, to remove dark circles under your eyes make up a solution of 1 teaspoon of bicarbonate of soda dissolve in hot water or tea and soak two cotton pads, leave on your eyes for 15 minutes and rinse.
Sitting is the new smoking! We need to move, to release endorphins so we feel happier. Sweat encourages detox and the more we twist and turn creating movement in the body the more we shed toxins. Think of wringing out a sponge! Playgrounds for adults in my mind should be the new thing for 2018 where laughter is combined with movement. Rebounding is fantastic for strength, immunity and detox. Aim to move at least an hour a day, 10,000 steps is the goal.
For those travelling overseas to lovely places with hot springs, clean oceans and lakes take the chance to reap the benefits of deep mineralisation from these waters as they are very cleansing for the body. Even better to swim in cooler waters to boost metabolism and immunity.
Option: If you are staying at home over the Christmas holidays aim to end your shower with a blast of cold water to invigorate. Increase detox by adding 1 or 2 cups of Epsom Salts, sea salt, or seaweed to your bath and soak for 20 minutes.
Christmas is time to regenerate, switch off the adrenal glands, balance hormones and detox, but how to support when we are sleeping less? The most nourishing yoga pose for the adrenals and to support the days when sleep has been shortened is to lie in reverse pose, hips higher than the head and legs resting against the wall, lie arms outstretched by your side and rest at the end of the day like this for 10 minutes. To reset your hormones ensure you get to bed by 10pm at least two nights a week to switch off the adrenal hormone cortisol, which makes you store fat around the middle. More sleep= flatter stomach!
More daily demands can lead us to feeling that life is spinning out of control! Simply kick off your shoes walk barefoot in the park, along sandy beaches to reconnect. Even it is a bit chilly to do this then try a few steps out in the cold before coming back to pop on some nice warm slippers. It is so important when so much of our daily life is taken up by time spent on electronic devices under a cloud of electronic interference. Switch off WIFI at night!
When life is busy and on the go simply forgetting to drink water can be so basic and affect mood, concentration and often misconstrued with hunger. When nights are long and alcohol increased it is really important to drink good quality clean mineral water and aim 2 litres a day. Boost with herbal teas, green tea, green juices and unpasturised coconut water. Remember for every coffee or black tea consumed you need to drink an extra glass of water.
Intermittent fasting at the end of the festive season is the greatest reset you can give your body. Short, easy and with multiple health benefits including: boosting levels of human growth hormone also known as your fitness hormone, increasing libido, mental acuity, and longevity. Choose a day when you have few demands, can sleep early or on a long haul flight to simply drink water, herbal teas and green tea over one day. You can then kick start with healthy intentions the next day with a lovely nourishing and healthy breakfast.
Susie Rucker is one of our most experienced Nutritional Therapists. She runs clinics in Wiltshire/Dorset and via Skype. For further information or to book an appointment with Susie please call NatureDoc reception on 020 3397 1824.