SNACK-FREE JANUARY

As a health coach I will never recommend any crash or fad diet.  They are not sustainable and lead you to feel rubbish when you can’t stick to them.  Whilst January is generally the most popular month to follow a cleansing detox after the Christmas over-indulgence, this year I’m going with a softer approach.  My suggestion for January 2021 is to look at habits and clean eating, to reduce snacking and processed food which will give you so much more energy and improve your mood.  Eating in a more structured, routine way will also automatically help you get rid of some of the weight from any continuous snacking and drinking (whether it be due to the holidays, the pandemic, or both).  But the key here is that you are still eating!

Let’s remember that something we can control, even now, is what we choose to put into our bodies.  This is really in your hands and with a little dedication, you can make a massive difference to how you feel and look.

This month have a think about giving your gut a little break. By eating/grazing/snacking all the time your digestive system does not stop.  When it’s constantly working, it’s using high amounts of energy which means there is less energy available for your body to use to heal and repair and for the general maintenance of the body.

Remember that around 70% of your immune system is in the gut wall, so we really want to be taking care of it so that it can take care of us.

What you can do this month (or, always!):

Every day:

Drink lemon juice in warm water first thing in the morning. This promotes digestion and increases the metabolic rate. It helps to cleanse the liver as it promotes the liver to flush out toxins.  It will give you a good dose of vitamin C for your immune system and rehydrate you after sleeping.   It’s a really small habit that can have fantastic benefits.

Twice a month:

Liquid food day.   An easy way to give the gut a bit of a break.  Start the day with a smoothie and then have soup for lunch and dinner.  Smoothies and soups are a great way to get lots of nutrient-dense foods into one spoonful.  Soups are warm, comforting, hydrating and have cooked food which is more easily digested.. The slow cooking process gently breaks down food making nutrients more available.  The gut can repair itself when it’s not digesting, and when your body is using less energy for digestion more is available for other processes like fighting disease.

10 days:

3 good, well balanced meals per day with NO SNACKS and no processed food.  This is how it should be:  eat, digest, feel hungry,  eat,  digest, feel hungry etc.  Nowadays as soon as we feel hungry we reach for a quick snack but this means our bodies aren’t resting, just permanently digesting.  Cutting out the snacks gives your body time to rest and repair and you will feel a massive difference in your energy levels.  This is the January to try this out!  It’s a good way to get you back on track after the holidays and will make an enormous difference to how you feel during these tough times when you’re not leaving the house. You’re not cutting out any meals so it’s a sustainable way of eating. Avoiding processed food and instead filling your plate with nourishing ingredients will keep you going until the next meal and do wonders for your overall health (and weight).

An idea for a daily menu could be:

  • Breakfast: fruit porridge
  • Lunch:  sweet potato with chickpeas and green salad
  • Dinner:  roasted salmon with brown rice.

 

Have a go and see how you feel!

Lindsay Guest

 

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Thanks to James Sutton on Unsplash for the photo