The last week feels like whirlwind of travel and celebration leaving me exhausted. While I am so grateful to be able to spend the holidays with our families, I’m happy to finally be back in our little nest.
With an incredible bounty of wine, chocolates, and leftover treats, its ironic that I am craving a indulgence detox. Not a diet by any means but just a little break from all of the foods that are easily overdone. If there is one thing I hate most about the week between Christmas and New Year’s it is the excess of diet commercials. It’s appalling, really. The ‘lose 10 lbs in 1 week’, ‘6 inches in 2 weeks’ gimmicks are part of the problem, in my opinion. They encourage an obsession about quick fixes for weight loss instead of an underlying problem of chronic overindulgence and guilt.
Let’s pledge to be kind to ourselves and nourish our bodies with whole foods, lots of water, and a treat here and there. Enjoy yourself but keep your health in mind, too. If you go overboard on the wine one night perhaps cut it out for a day or so and replace all beverages with tons of water and get your booty to the gym for some stretching and cardio exercise. There is a way to ‘have your cake and eat it to’, you just have to do it holistically.In France, I walked everywhere and indulged in great food very frequently. I struck a similar balance to that of the French and therefore had no issues with holiday weight gain.
My favorite healthy ‘detox’ is one that I stumbled upon a couple years ago on the Whole Living website (a branch of Martha Stewart). You’re never hungry, it’s easy to pack these foods for work, and the dinner suggestion is easily adapted to the preferences of your family.
Healthy Holiday Detox Plan
Drink a cup of warm water with the juice of 1/4 lemon, which stimulates the liver and helps release digestive enzymes.
Have a cup of hot oatmeal with a cup of fruit and 1/8 teaspoon of cinnamon. Drink a cup of green or black tea, if you wish.
If you’re hungry, eat an organic apple or pear and 10 unsalted raw almonds. Otherwise, sip some tea.
Eat a cup of legumes (lentils, split peas, beans, chickpeas), a cup of cooked brown rice or quinoa, and a cup of steamed vegetables (include the Brassica family, such as broccoli). For flavor, saute onion, garlic, ginger, and turmeric in a teaspoon of olive oil and add to food, but avoid salt. Drink a cup of digestion-boosting ginger or spice tea.
If you’re hungry, eat celery and carrot sticks with 2 tablespoons of hummus.
Steam 2 cups of mixed vegetables; eat with a cup of brown rice. Use the same flavorings as lunch. Drink a cup of ginger tea. (Note: I will add a piece of steamed or broiled fish to this dinner, especially if cooking for the two of us or if following an exercise regime)
Drink a cup of warm water with lemon. Be in bed by 10 p.m.
A basic, basic diet plan to follow for a couple of days to get your body back on track. What I like most about this plan is how inexpensive and satiating it is. Tell me to live on only juices or worse yet lemon juice, cayenne powder and Maple syrup for a few days and be prepared for a response filled with laughter and perhaps a couple tame profanities. But give me a realistic plan to follow and I’m more than happy to comply. Paired with 30-40 minutes of moderate exercise and this Detox plan is a wonderful way to kick off 2011!