Has the festive season left you feeling a bit sluggish, tired and run down? If you’re looking for a way to ease back into healthier habits post-holidays, I’ve compiled five simple things you can start doing right now to help you reset and find your feet again!
1. Eat More Greens
Dark, leafy greens like kale, spinach, collard, chard and silverbeet are rich in minerals like calcium and magnesium, and are high in antioxidants which help to support the liver’s detoxification processes. The bitter ones like rocket and endives also have the added benefit of also being a useful digestive aid. We have bitter receptors throughout our entire digestive tract (NOT just on our tastebuds), which signal to the body to secrete more digestive secretions and enzymes when bitter food is eaten. These secretions help to break down your food, in turn making them easier to digest, draw nutrients from and eliminate.
2. Eat Less Processed Food
The word “processed” refers to things like take out, sugary sweets, pre-packaged snacks/meals, or anything that’s made predominantly from refined sugars and starches and contains little to no nutritional value. While it’s great (and often necessary for your sanity) to treat yourself, when it becomes less of a treat and more of a continual consumption, you’ll start to feel the side effects of processed food. This can be anything from digestive symptoms of cramping, bloating, constipation or diarrhoea to more general systemic symptoms like fatigue, brain fog, trouble focusing, energy spikes/crashes and even sleeping problems. These are all signs of your body being overburdened by toxins, they’re not being effectively eliminated from your body and your body is under stress. This can lead to inflammation and left untreated can cause more serious, chronic issues.
Reducing, or eliminating, the consumption of processed foods and drinks reduces your toxic load and allows more room for you to include more nourishing and nutritious food.
3. Prioritise Sleep
Sleep is often underestimated in it’s role in health and wellbeing. When you are sleeping, your body uses all this energy that you’re preserving by resting to do so many wonderful things. It repairs, it restores, it digests, it detoxes, it produces hormones, it does everything it needs for you to be able to function well. Think of sleep as a pit stop on a race track. Sure, a race car can do a few good laps around the track, but sooner or later it’s going to need to stop in and get things like new tires, extra fuel etc otherwise it risks falling behind, or worse, falling apart on the track. Pushing on through continuous nights of inadequate or restless sleep means you could end up falling apart at the seams too.
If you’re having trouble sleeping, try some of the following:
- Cutting down the caffeine – stop drinking coffee and black tea after 12pm and switch to herbal teas or water so the caffeine doesn’t affect your sleep that night
- Switching off technology 30-60mins before bed – that means TV, computer and phone. The lights from these can really mess with your natural circadian rhythm (sleep/wake cycle)
- Using magnesium bath salts, gel or cream before bed can help to relieve muscle tension and relax the mind and body, preparing it well for a good sleep
- Dabbing lavender essential onto your pillow or onto the soles of your feet can help to promote deep relaxation
4. Reducing/Removing Coffee and Alcohol Intake
This is a no-brainer when it comes to improving your health. Both caffeine and alcohol are processed in the liver, and the more you’re consuming, the bigger the burden on the liver. During the silly season, we tend to have more of both and if you’re feeling tired, sluggish and run down, there’s a good chance your liver is crying out for a little break. Keep your coffee to one a day, and your drinks to 1-2 drinks a week, or better yet, eliminate them both for a few weeks for a real reset and see the difference in your energy and vitality by the end of it!
5. Hydrate Hydrate Hydrate
It’s easy to forget about water intake during the holidays, but it’s also the easiest thing you can do right now to start improving your health. 3-4L is ideal in summer to keep you hydrated, and more if you’re going to be out in the sun or working up a big sweat. Adequate hydration helps with digestion/waste elimination, energy, mental clarity/focus, skin health and if you’re giving up coffee/alcohol, it’s going to greatly help with those pesky headaches and other detox reactions you might be feeling.
Is your digestive system feeling the after effects of the silly season? Our Nutritionist Laura has created a 21 Day Happy Gut Program designed specifically to help reset the digestive system and assist with symptoms such as: cramping, bloating, constipation/diarrhoea, indigestion and heart burn.
Your program will include: 2 x Nutrition Consults, diet analysis, full meal plan with recipes, and advice on nutritional supplements suited to you and your needs. Cost of the program is $180 ($30 saving!). Click below to book or email us on firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
By Laura Phongsavath
Holistic Nutritionist / pH Clinic Manager
Adv Dip. Nutritional Medicine