by guest blogger Ingrid Zimmer, nd
Welcome Back! The first week back from holidays is a reality check on so many different levels. It’s about back to work for the adults, back to school for the kids, tight schedules, deadlines and for many, it’s about adopting new health resolutions or picking up on old routines. Holidays are about fun, connecting with friends and family, enjoying and often indulging. Life is all about balance. You had your fun, it’s now time to get serious about that bloat and sluggishness you may be feeling and getting back on track for the New Year! While this can be overwhelming (depending on how much fun you had), it doesn’t have to be! Simply follow these easy tips and guidelines to help you reclaim your groove.
1) Drink 6-8 glasses of purified water a day. This will help your body eliminate the toxic load you have accumulated over the last few weeks. Our bodies are brilliantly designed with four channels of elimination – the kidneys, bowels, skin and lungs. Maintaining a high level of hydration helps the lymphatic system move these toxins out of the body. Add some fresh lemon to your water for an added boost!
2) Consume as much raw fruit and as many raw vegetables as possible. Nature has done a wonderful job of providing powerful nutrients that help the body break down and eliminate harmful substances found in the air we breathe, the food we eat and the chemicals we may put on our skin. A few suggestions to make this happen:
- Make sure that AT LEAST half your lunch and dinner plates consist of salad with as large a variety of veggies as possible.
- Have 16 ounces of fresh cold pressed vegetable juice as a snack.
- Start your day with a delicious fruit smoothie for breakfast.
Fruit and veggies are powerhouses that help our own enzymes and elimination organs move out the waste that has no benefit to our bodies.
3) Move every day. If you can’t make it to the gym, pool or studio, there are a few simple things you can incorporate into your day to increase your heart rate and boost your rates of metabolism and elimination.
- Take the stairs instead of the elevator.
- Intentionally park a block or two away from your destination.
- Grab a friend and go for a walk.
- Do some floor exercises while watching TV.
Your mind and body will thank you! Physical activity increases mental clarity, improves energy and releases feel good endorphins.
4) Eliminate sugar, dairy and gluten from your diet. When these foods are digested they become very sticky and gluey in your body. This slows down and prevents your body’s ability to absorb any good stuff you may be eating and hinders proper elimination. Remember that your intestines are very hot and humid. Waste that stays there for too long starts to ferment and putrefy. Think gas, bloat and weight gain…Temporarily removing these reactive foods will get you on your way!
5) Say goodbye to processed foods. Processed foods are packed with chemicals and preservatives that interfere with our bodies’ natural processes. As a species, we were not designed to break down these substances in an efficient manner. Taking a break from these man made additives will free up the energy used to digest them allowing this energy to be used for cleansing and eliminating.
6) No Caffeine, No Alcohol! Seriously, you say?? Remember this is temporary. If you can’t do without your morning coffee, then limit your caffeine intake to just that one. Same with alcohol. It is best to abstain completely. If you must, no more than 1-2 glasses per week on separate days. Your liver will be working really hard filtering the toxins your body has been accumulating. We don’t want to layer any additional significant burden on its already demanding job!
7) Manage negative thoughts and stress. High levels of stress predispose us to weight gain and affect our overall health. This is due to hormones produced by our adrenal glands. When we are stressed, the flight or fight response occurs and the body goes into survival mode by storing any calories that are not absolutely necessary. Taking this a step further, long-term stress and negative thinking result in an endless cycle of storing extra blood sugar as unwanted fat. So don’t be hard on yourself, if you’ve had a temporary setback, so what! We are all human after all. In addition to being forgiving, try practicing some mindfulness techniques. As a start, try beginning your day by identifying something in your life you are grateful for. You would be surprised at how this simple exercise can set you up for a day of positive thinking!
So there you have it! It’s all up to you. The ability to reclaim your groove is at your fingertips. Committing to some or all of these changes will have you feeling better in no time. You’ve got this!
Yours in Vitality,
Ingrid Zimmer is a registered naturopath who practices in the Montreal area. Naturopathy is based on the healing power of nature and by extension, the human body. Ingrid focuses on helping her clients understand why they may be experiencing various health issues and symptoms and works with them in restoring wellness and vitality. Ingrid has a keen interest in digestive issues and women’s health. For more information, she can be reached at Ingrid@bluevitalityhealth.com.