By Nutritionist, Melissa Fine
A cleanse doesn’t have to be complicated, nor does it have to be hardcore. There is no better time to hit the reset button on your body & mind than now to prepare for a new year ahead. We asked our Nutritionist Melissa Fine to recommend some simple things you can do to nurture your body from the inside-out, without having to think about it too much.
1. Eat More Plants
Feeling backed up in the digestive region? You may want to look at your plant intake, and by plants I mean fruit, veg, legumes, nuts, seeds and wholegrains. Naturally full of fibre, plant-based food aids the body’s natural detoxification process by assisting waste elimination…which also leaves you feeling lighter. Just remember that fibre needs water to help move it along the digestive tract and work its wonders!
2. Start Your Day with a Smoothie
This can be a great way to set the tone for your ‘cleanse’ for the day, and is an easy way to get more plant food in. We’ve been adding Organic Republica’s Detox Mix to our morning smoothies at GMB HQ for an extra fibre boost.
While certain ‘detox’ blends on the market serve more as laxatives, leaving you feeling drained and depleted, Organic Republica’s mix is all about giving your body goodness; think ingredients like chlorella (traditionally used as an internal deodorant!) and alkalising barley grass, along with the fibre-rich Peruvian fruit, lucuma to gently cleanse (but not clean you out!). There’s cacao in it too, which means you can get a choccy hit at breakkie.
3. Say ‘See Ya’ Sugar
At GMB, we believe that ‘going on a cleanse’ shouldn’t have to mean taking drastic diet measures. Let’s be real! A more sensible approach is to cut something out that’s not doing your body any good, and that you can do without, ie, processed sugar.
A step as simple as cutting out soft drinks, fruit juices, bottled commercial condiments and highly processed low fat foods can make a huge difference. Replace these with real foods and you’ll realise that you were actually missing out all along (full fat dairy tastes soo much better than the low fat equivalent).
4. Have a Break from Alcohol
Alcohol is, after all, a toxin, which is why the body makes it a priority to have it broken down and eliminated ASAP. It’s also easy to forget while you’re out and about that alcohol is a depressant. Can’t remember the last time you bounced out of bed after a big night? This might be a sign to cut back or have a break from the stuff altogether (FebFast is coming up, and a great incentive for an alcohol detox).
If you’ve been struggling to lose a few extra sneaky kg, a break from alcohol may just do the job, too. Alcohol not only encourages weight gain because of the extra energy you’re consuming, but because it delays the food you eat from being metabolised…and let’s not forget the 2am fast food run after a few too many.
5. Exercise in Nature
I don’t know about you, but pounding the pavement just doesn’t do it for me the same way a soft sand walk does. Exercising or just taking some time out in nature for a change can be really grounding and rejuvenating.
An extra challenge: head out on your bushwalk or to the beach without your phone, a podcast or music; think of it as a cleanse for the mind and a break from it all. You’ll take in your surroundings much more, too.
Often overlooked in an individual’s health picture, sleep is incredibly restorative. Good sleep hygiene is especially important, and refers to the habits you have around bedtime. Scrolling through social media the second you get into bed is an example of poor sleep hygiene, whereas winding down with a book and the lights dimmed demonstrates better sleep hygiene…you get the picture.
Good sleep hygiene leads to improved sleep quality, which in turn means more energy the next day and a reduction in things like stress and sugar cravings…which means you’re more likely to stick to your cleanse
What steps are you going to take to refresh your system?