Honest Nutrition

A New Years Detox - don't waste your money!

Anna DanielsComment

If there is one thing you should spend your money on this New Year, it should be the January sales and not an expensive detox.

A big thing that is undertaken every New Year is detoxing. With thousands of people in the UK alone now embarking on detox programs in which they will only drink juice and not eat for a number of days and in extreme cases even weeks. This will usually end in weight loss, albeit mainly fluid, with nothing new learnt in regard to lifestyle or eating behaviours and weight regain being inevitable at the end. 

Many people think that after they have overindulged during the Christmas period a detox makes sense. A detox such as a juice cleanse may make you feel lighter after a few days and rarely it will do you any damage (apart from potentially causing you to become constipated due to lack of fibre and radical diet change). However, what is the point of doing something extreme for a short period of time? The liver and kidneys work efficiently to cleanse our bodies of toxins and there is no robust scientific evidence to support embarking upon a detox. Instead, make small healthy changes to your lifestyle which are scientifically proven to improve your health; it makes much more sense. 

Instead of embarking on a detox, I challenge you to take up these 3 simple steps which can be easily incorporated as part of a healthier lifestyle into your daily routine. By reducing your calorie intake with a healthy balanced diet, higher in vegetables you may start to lose weight and it will be much more likely to stay off. 

1. Invest in a weekly organic mixed fruit and vegetable box. If you can source this from a local farmer then do so, they are delivered to the door and you may end up saving money by being less likely to 'pop' to the local supermarket to top up your shop and not be tempted by those chocolates next to the check out counter.

Fruit and vegetable boxes are great ways to increase creativity in the kitchen. The contents of your box will be seasonal and organic and often contain a variety of mixed vegetables, different from what you would normally buy from your local supermarket. There has been a lot of news around the positive aspects of the Paleo diet, a main reason for some of its health benefits were the wide variety of phytochemicals (nutrients found in fruits and vegetables) the cave man ate (not the high levels of red meat which the diet often promotes). Basically, the wider the variety of different fruits and vegetables that you eat, the better, due to the wider variety of nutrients and a veg box is perfect for delivering this.

Another bonus about a vegetable and fruit box, is its value, with all these different vegetables to use up you may be less tempted to order in that takeaway when the fridge is empty. If you get stuck on meal ideas and on how to use up or cook certain vegetables, just email me and I will be happy to advise. 

Each week I get a large mixed vegetable and fruit box delivered from The Organic Pantry, other reliable companies I have used in the past include Riverford Farm and Abel & Cole

2: Buy a juicer - this way you can juice any old fruit or veg from your fruit and vegetable box that you don't use, increasing your intake of fruit and vegetables. There are many relatively inexpensive centrifugal juicers on the market which work very well and juice lots of different fruits and vegetables. If you are looking for a juicer that really retains nutrients from your fruit and vegetables choose a masticating (slow) juicer. These are more expensive but produce a denser juice that has less froth. 

You will be surprised by how many different fruits and vegetables juiced together taste so good; from simple carrot, orange and apple juice to kale, cucumber and celery. Almost anything you have you can juice, including tomatoes and parsnips. 

3: Learn new ways to incorporate vegetables into your main meals. The less processed your vegetables are the better they are for you. Vegetables are high in fibre and nutrients and are great ways to bulk out your meals, meaning you can eat larger portions (less carbohydrates and more veg) which will contain lower calories. Wilt greens into pastas, throw frozen peas into risottos and chop up carrots into soups. You will find from the varied assortment of vegetables in your box that it will really make you think of different ways in which you need to use up and cook these different vegetables. Follow me on Instagram for various meal ideas and if you have any questions feel free to email me.

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Other ways in which you can look after your liver and kidneys are not overload them with toxins are by drinking in moderation, not smoking and being more active. 

Also, just think the money you saved on NOT buying that Detox/Juice Cleanse, you can spend on a new outfit for the New Year! Have a great start to 2015. Anna x