FoodThe Balanced BriefWellness

Wednesday Wellbeing: cleansing the body after Christmas excess by Zoe

Cleansing your body after Christmas excess

The festive season may feel a long way behind us but I’m convinced there might still be a few mince pies and chocolates lurking around. Particularly if you hate waste, as my husband does, there may be a need to continue until it’s all gone!

In all seriousness though, it can take a while to transition back to a more typical way of eating after a month of parties and celebration. But I do know many people like to find ways to ‘cleanse’ or adopt cleaner eating and living practices after what they consider to be the various forms of excess or over ‘indulgence’ during the Christmas period. So, in my role as a health coach, I thought I’d share some insight and top tips that may or may not be useful!

Health Coaches are trained to offer guidance and inspirationto help clients shift their behaviour to healthier habits, by making step by step changes to all areas of lifestyle and the foods chosen to nourish mind and body.

It’s a holistic process and I work with a model that uses the concept of primary foods which are: relationships, physical activity, career, spirituality and secondary foods which involves exploring what foods our ‘individual’ body needs. We’re all unique so working in partnership with this model and a person’s needs and aspirations helps my clients to develop a deeper understanding of lifestyle and food choice(s)that work best for them. It’s holistic in that it takes account of everything! It can be a fun but equally deep process that identifies various forms of self-sabotage and areas where we feel we don’t have choice in life too.

As part of this process I’ve learned that some of the simplest tips have been found in supporting people to develop new habits. Part of this is considering, mindfully, what we choose to eat and how we hydrate our body. As this impacts on how we feel, as does the company we keep and the people we choose (or don’t choose!) to spend our time with. Along with how much we enjoy the job we’re in or the career path we’ve chosen and how we support ourselves in this too. Or whether or not our relationship(s) are working for us.

Simple cleansing and getting back on track tips

Clear your cupboards of excess festive foods and donate to local food banks
Increase the volume of water you drink during the early part of your day. Aim to drink a litre from waking to lunch time. Drink two glasses on waking and wait 30 minutes to eat breakfast (if possible).
Drop in freshly pressed vegetable juices & increase the volume and variety of fresh vegetables eaten with each meal. Adding extra dark leafy greens when possible. Make the veg the star of your plate and eat lots of it! The nutrients will support and optimise the bodies functions.
Take regular milk thistle supplements to support the liver in clearing out the Christmas excesses
Add a drop of pure lemon oil essential oil to glass water bottles or slices of lemon
Observe your responses to certain food types and how they make you feel. Swap foods that give you a sugar high followed by a low (these are usually feel good carbs, like bread and pasta) for high protein options including chicken, eggs, tofu, fish served with extra vegetables. Or a snack of apple and cheese or apple and nuts.
If you’re craving sweet things, increase the volume and variety of sweet vegetables in your meals or snacks. eg sweet potatoes, carrots, butternut squash and notice the impact on your cravings.
Change up sweet chocolate for a few squares of good quality dark choc 70% cocoa content which contains magnesium too. Add these squares to warm milk of any variety, whisk and make your own luxurious hot chocolate to satisfy a sweet craving!
Swap out regular refined sugar for honey or maple syrup. These metabolise more slowly in the body.
Start a practice of morning pages to clear the mind. Free write and off load whatever comes to mind first thing in the morning by writing those thoughts on to paper, in no particular order and with no particular analysis.

If you’re not already doing so, try adding in some regular movement that gets the heart rate pumping and deep breath work happening! This supports the body and its cells in releasing toxins into the blood stream and kick starts the metabolism.

I also teach kundalini yoga and meditation. This type of yoga naturally works to combine the energy of the glandular system and the nervous system to optimise the flow of energy in the body! I may look crazy (good!) with my white clothes and turban on but it’s like magic that works with the breath in each of the postures to promote deep yet euphoric relaxation too. You can get some incredible ‘kundalini highs’ that become a bit addictive in themselves because you feel so good after!

In my first classes of the New Year, we really worked up an internal sweat using yogic postures to promote a healthy bowel. These helped the body to kick start cleansing the digestive organs and genuinely left people feeling clear headed. We used a powerful ‘meditation for healing addiction’(to break addiction that is!) to end each class, which works to correct glandular imbalances in the pineal gland which Yogi Bhajan believed to be the root cause of addiction. Students left class with a recommendation to drink lots of water to continue flushing the toxins released into the blood stream. The link is below if you fancy giving the yoga set a try, do share your experiences with me. I’d love to know how you get on!

I’m sure you know by now that I’m super honest and with all this said above, I mostly feel this time of year, with the darker days is about reflecting and listening to our bodies and taking whatever action we feel we need plus making sure we get all the extra rest we need too. So, if you feel like just being and that there’s no need for any kind of change, radical or not, do listen to that inner guidance and just be.

Wishing you all a healthy and happy 2020!


Health & Wellness Coach

Kundalini Yoga and Meditation Teacher

On the Gram @Zoe.Swan