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With the the holiday season all wrapped up, you may be thinking about a way to drop the extra holiday pounds, to detox, and to get rid of the sugar cravingsOr, you may just be interested in resuming your healthy eating habits.

These five simple, safe, and healthy principles will help you detox, drop that weight, and get rid of cravings.

Drink

Begin each morning with a cup of warm water plus lemon. This combination helps your liver and gallbladder flush the intestines, thus easing defecation to get rid of the toxins and ensure the return of your flat belly. Plus, it’s very alkalizing for the system.

Make sure you’re drinking at least 8 cups of water per day to keep the toxins moving out. Chinese medicine recommends warm to hot water, particularly in the winter, to prevent Qi from becoming stagnant.

Eat

Eat clean and simple whole foods from their natural (preferably organic) sources. Skip the processed foods and the sweet treats. There’s no more need to make fancy recipes with 25 ingredients.

Stick to simple, low-glycemic home cooking, like steamed vegetables, simple soups, and basic whole protein to cleanse your palette and restore your body’s desire for nutrient-dense foods.

Sleep

SleepDuring the holidays, because things are so busy and we’re often trying to sleep on relatives’ couches or on planes, it is easy to become sleep deprived.  Lack of, or poor quality sleep is associated with weight gain, poor food choices, decreased metabolism, and caffeine addiction.

Therefore, take the lull after the holidays as a chance to catch up on quality sleep. During sleep your body does much of its healing and repair work, preparing to excrete toxins, and reducing inflammation. Plus, sleep is one of the best ways to restore decision-making and willpower.

Sweat

The skin is one of the body’s major detox organs, so get moving, and sweat it out. Especially in the winter when we sweat less anyway, doing a sweaty workout or spending time in a steam room helps push toxins out through the skin. After exercising you feel better, your metabolism is higher, circulation is stronger, and your skin glows.

Now is time to hit the gym, join the hot yoga class, or put on warm workout clothes and get running.

Detox

spices2Herbs can help you detox, shed the extra pounds faster, and get you back to your healthy eating habits. If you’ve been drinking too much, then milk thistle is a good choice for rejuvenating the liver. For cleansing the digestive tract and detoxing the liver, look for Yellow dock and Burdock root, Dandelion root, Nettle, and Triphala. Turmeric can reduce inflammation that causes water retention and a puffy look. Gymnemma may help reduce sugar cravings and stabilize blood sugar.

Generally speaking, whole herbs, as an infusion, tincture, or powder, are better than their standardized extracts, due to the synergistic compounds and reduced side effects. Ask your favorite herbalist for their recommendations, or look for these herbs at your local herbal store.

 

While jumping feet first into a full juice cleanse or ‘fasting’ for a few days may seem like a quick and easy fix, neither of those is going to be a gentle transition for your body. A juice cleanse can send you on a blood sugar roller coaster, and both can drop your metabolism so fast that your body struggles with losing the holiday weight and your thyroid can become sluggish.

Yes, taking action to transition back to your healthy routine is necessary, but it doesn’t need to be so dramatic.

The start of a new year is the perfect time to begin the path towards greater health, and recover from holiday indulgences. Take a moderate, nourishing approach to detoxing with the above five principles.

Start your year right, establish good habits, drop the holiday pounds, and be healthier for it by being smart about how to you drink, eat, sleep, sweat, and detox. Healthy New Year to you!

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