If you read my blog yesterday, then you'll know that I'm currently posting a series of posts designed to share with you ideas on how to kick start your new year. Yesterday was all about getting your skin back to good health after a month long partying session and today's post is all about detoxing and cleansing your body after all of that yummy Christmas party food.
2. The Lemon Detox
With all of the over indulgence that many of us enjoy over Christmas, some of you may like to take part in a detox to kick start your new year. You might be into a juicing raw fruits and vegetables, perhaps you fancy ditching the carbs or foods that are considered to be naughty for a few days or you might like to try out The Lemon Detox.
A detox is by no means necessary of course but so many people report that they feel bloated or sick of rich, heavy foods after Christmas and new year and like to cut out alcohol and foods high in refined sugars and saturated fats to give their body a rest for a few days and so that they can normalise their eating habits.
I tried out The Lemon Detox last year after a series of big events, parties and celebrations and was really pleased with the results. I was feeling bloated and sluggish and found that it really helped me to separate those weeks of over indulgence from eating normally.
The Lemon Detox is a drink that you make using Madal Bal Natural Tree Syrup and you can tailor your detox to suit you and your lifestyle. The drink is very easy to make as you simply combine measured amounts of water and syrup with the juice of freshly squeezed lemons and a sprinkle of cayenne pepper. While it isn't the best thing that I've ever tasted, it certainly isn't the worst and far more palatable than you'd think when you read the ingredients. The Natural Tree Syrup is quite sweet, not quite like maple syrup but not too far off. You might have heard of it before as many celebrities such as Beyonce and Naomi Campbell have been reported to have used it.
Some people like to use it to fast for a full 7 days where they're drinking 8 glasses of the detox drink per day, others like to use it in place of a meal or two per day and some like to combine it with the 5:2 approach to eating. If you're not familiar with this lifestyle approach, its where you eat normally for five days of the week and then for two you consume 500 calories which, if you were using The Lemon Detox Natural Tree Syrup, would mean drinking 6 to 8 glasses per day on your fast days. I cannot advocate these approaches as I haven't tried them for myself and I don't think that I would.
When I tried out The Lemon Detox, I did it for three days and combined it with eating a healthy meal at night. I didn't have an aim when I started it as I wasn't wanting to fast or anything like that, I simply wanted to try out the drink as a means of reducing my intake to see if it would make me feel better in myself. I've tried out juice cleanses in the past and loved them. My hubby and I usually start out new year with one as its great to have lots of extract vitamins and minerals after the festive season indulgence! If I'm ever feeling poorly throughout the year or as though I'm in need of a nutritional boost then I'll often make a juice as a one off. My favourites always have lots of berries and spinach in them.
Some people do use juicing and indeed The Lemon Detox, as a method for weightloss but for me, that wasn't the goal. I'd simply returned home from an all inclusive holiday and then had a series of events to go to where I'd eaten far more rich food than I usually would and I wasn't feeling great in myself about it. I felt as though I had less energy than before I went away and was quite honestly, sick of food!
While doing The Lemon Detox, I'd have a glass for breakfast which didn't bother me as I'm not someone who can really stomach food first thing on a morning as I take some tablets at night that I find make me feel quite sick at times. Then I'd have a glass mid morning, one at lunchtime and one mid afternoon followed by a healthy meal at night. This would usually be chicken or fish steamed or grilled with some broccoli, asparagus, peppers, that kind of thing. Basically, white meat or fish with veg which is what I eat a lot anyway but I didn't add any potatoes, etc to the side and I kept my food quite plain. This isn't necessary but honestly I was sick to death of sauces and spices! I always drink lots of water everyday but during this time, I increased my intake further as I knew that I hadn't been as conscious of my hydration levels because I'd been too busy partying.
The first day went by without much notice. On the second day, I had been more active which I think was why I started to feel more hungry so I cooked myself some broccoli to have as a snack and on the third day, I woke up feeling energetic, I wasn't bloated and I didn't feel sluggish or too full. I decided to continue the detox that day and then on the fourth day, I just ate sensibly and stopped the detox drink.
While of course I could have just eaten sensibly all along, I was so pleased that I did the detox as I was so sick of food when I started it. I didn't weight myself so I couldn't tell you how much I lost during the three days but as I say, I didn't do it for weightloss, more to just feel comfortable again. I'm sure many of you know what I'm talking about.
The results of my mini detox were an increase in energy, normalising my eating habits and getting back to feeling like my usual self but such detoxes can also result in weight loss, increased vitality and improved skin and digestion, especially if carried out for a little longer than I did here. Personally, I don't think that fasting completely and only drinking from The Lemon Detox is a particularly great idea for me and not necessarily some thing that I would recommend.
However as a short term way to reduce bloating and cleansing after an event such as Christmas and New Year, then I do think that it is worth looking into as it could help you to feel more comfortable and get back on track. Of course you do need to be sensible with it as ultimately, the vast majority of people will be reducing their calorie intake by substituting traditional food for the drink and with that in mind, it wont be for everyone. Especially those with a low BMI or who are underweight and if you were to try this detox out or any other, then I would suggest consulting a doctor first if you think that you have a medical condition or a lifestyle that might not cope with the reduction in calories. While the goal for such a mini detox isn't to lose weight, especially as I believe that should be done slowly, gradually and through educating better eating habits, it could be a consequence of completing The Lemon Detox so you need to be sure that that is the right thing for your body.
If so, go ahead if you'd like to. I personally think that The Lemon Detox was great for me for three days and its a great way to kick start my new year. I'll be starting another mini 3 day detox again in a couple of weeks.
You can purchase the one litre tin of the Madal Bal Natural Tree Syrup for around £42.99 from over 300 health food shops nationwide. This includes Holland and Barrett, Revital and Planet Organic. You can also find out lots more information on The Lemon Detox website.
Have you tried a cleanse or a detox to kick start your new year? How did it make you feel?