What is a ‘detox’?
There are many different definitions of detoxification. The word 'detox' has become associated with fad diets, strict juice cleanses, and general deprivation.
As a nutritional therapist, my interest is in the process of transforming potentially harmful (fat soluble) molecules into less harmful (water soluble) molecules so that they can be safely and efficiently eliminated from the body in a timely manner.
This reduces the risk of toxins being reabsorbed in the colon. Having the right balance of foods and nutrients in our diet helps this process to work smoothly and prevent disease.
Many organs are involved in detoxification but our liver is our main chemical processing factory and is the focus of this blog post.
Liver ‘detox’ involves two steps:
In simple terms ‘doing a detox’ is a bit like taking your car in for a service. You won’t leave with a shiny new engine but you might just get something that runs a bit better afterwards.
Common benefits include more energy, healthier skin, less aches and pains, clearer thinking and feeling more alert as well as less bloating.
What detox isn’t…
Some signs you may need to support your liver nutritionally:
I will be speaking about liver detoxification at the next Revive Yoga Break. Hope to see you there!
With the sugar tax hitting the headlines last week we really need to talk about sugar!
Every day people tell me innocently that they don’t eat sugar... We need to get waaay more savvy than that. Food manufacturer's simply don't speak our language. They like to write in code names like grams, units and traffic lights (what??)
In fact, there are 61 different names for sugar. So without even realising it, many of us are consuming popular everyday items (such as bread, soups, crisps, yoghurts, pasta sauces and ready-meals) all containing added sugar and we are none the wiser. Sugar is everywhere.
Speaking on The Kaye Adams Show on BBC Radio Scotland recently, I discussed the importance of eating breakfast. Here's why!
Reasons to eat breakfast
What if you really can’t face breakfast in the morning?
If you really can't face eating breakfast, remember to rehydrate.
Try breaking your fast with half a pint of warm water and the juice of half a lemon or a few drops of unfiltered apple cider vinegar (ACV). The bitterness helps wake up digestion and stimulate digestive enzymes making your body ready for the intake of food.
Reasons to stay hydrated:
We also discussed fasting and when fasting can be helpful in weightloss
If you really want to fast*, fasting for 12 hours overnight can be helpful, for some people. It's best to do this with one-to-one professional help. Contact me to discuss your health goals.
Benefits of 12 hour fasting may include:
*If you are diabetic or have a health condition speak to your doctor before making any changes to your diet
As I discussed with Kaye Adams recently on BBC Radio Scotland, being permanently on a diet and skipping breakfast is not a recipe for a happy, healthy life. Sadly, lifelong dieting is the reality for so many people. I’m here to reassure you that doesn’t need to be the case.
1. Focus on the quality of your food
Turn your attention to the quality of your food instead of the number of calories or points in your food. That means choosing wholefoods which naturally promote satiety, such as certain good fats, good quality protein and fibre.
2. Balance your blood sugar
Blood sugar balance is about balancing out your hormones so you don’t get fluctuations in weight because the amount of glucose in your blood largely influences your appetite. This means combining protein with fibrous foods (such as vegetables) at meal times. This is something I talk a lot about with clients in my one-to-one consultations
3. Ditch the counting
Diets and slimming clubs are obsessed with calories and counting, at the expense of essential nutrients (and health). For example, ‘diet’ and 0% fat yoghurts are robbed of the fat-soluble vitamins: A, D, E and K and are replaced by sugar. Sugar upsets hormone balance and quickly leads to weight gain, predominantly around our waistlines.
Skimming off the fat in yoghurt means you are left feeling hungry sooner and craving more food, as well as losing out on those important nutrients. On the contrary, natural, full fat yoghurt will help fill you up and leave you feeling satisfied. Let's face it, full fat (natural) yoghurt is not the reason we are in the midst of an obesity crisis.
4. Choose your snack wisely
If you snack, swap the sad ‘diet cereal bars’ for real food. Try a protein snack such as a handful of cashews. Cereal bars are 100% refined carbohydrate plus sugar and will leave you feeling sad, unsatisfied and wanting more. If you work in an office, no doubt you will be challenged by the office 'feeder' on a near daily basis. Bringing in your own healthier sweet treats can help. Try these energy bombs or find out more about my personalised cooking classes
5. Prioritise your health
Planning your meals and cooking your own food helps you take back control of what you are consuming. Otherwise, there is no way to truly know what you are consuming. Read my 15 tips for better meal planning and have the confidence to shun the office feeder for good!
If you feel lost in the kitchen enquire about my personalised cooking classes
Ultimately eating real food, exercising and good sleep hygiene are the most important factors to focus on when weight loss is your goal. Contact me for a personalised nutrition plan to help you set realistic targets and help you achieve your weight loss goals.
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