A moment please, to congratulate all of those fabulous people that stick to their diet and exercise plans all year round. Those people that seem to keep their balance and remain unswayed by all of the naughty merriment to be had around this time of year. It takes a lot of dedication and a lot of backbone to be one of those people. I wish I was one but, regrettably, I am not. For the past week (since last week’s work Christmas party) I have been caught in the relentless grasp of the silly season. Out on the town almost every night, enjoying entirely wicked indulgent food and drink laced with gluten, sugar, heavy fats, sodium and of course alcohol. Add to that very little exercise and barely enough rest it’s fair to say I am feeling completely “blah”.
I wont be bothering with feeling guilty, beating myself up or being sorry for myself because really, what good is that? We should all be gentle with ourselves. After all, only the week before I was feeling on top of the world, eating well, exercising daily, meditating, feeling in perfect balance. It can’t be so hard to get things back on track. Right now, I have a precious 5 days to jump back on track, de-tox, de-bloat, start and finish Christmas shopping until I dive straight back into the craziness that is the festive season (hopefully keeping slightly more balance this time around).
How I plan to get out of this Festive Funk? My top tips:
1. Pump some Endorphins
Pretty self-explanatory, we all know the science behind exercise. The release of endorphins, improved mood, increased energy, fitness and weight loss. What better way to get back on the bandwagon then a 5km jog, a bikram yoga class or even a brisk 20 minute walk. Anything to get moving and get some blood flow happening.
2. Rest and Meditate
Along with physical health, emotional and mental health is paramount when getting things back on track. Sleep deprivation can throw your entire body into disarray. Headaches, aching muscles, memory lapses, irritability and changes in appetite can be just a few of the side-effects from not getting enough sleep. A strong mind and a strong body will always go hand in hand and I believe that while adequate sleep will give you a good base for a strong mind, meditation will help you take emotional and mental health to the next level. I’ve previously talked about the various types and benefits of meditation, you can find it here: Making time for Meditation. In short, meditation and mindfulness is fantastic for physical relaxation, reducing stress levels, improved blood flow and emotional stability.
3. Kick sugar to the curb
This year I’ve managed to scrap sugar from my diet almost completely, helping me to improve my moods and also lose around 5kg. Now my sweet hankering side only shows up when I have been indulging in a few too many sugary treats over the weekend (check) and when I am lacking in the sleep department (check). Sugar manages to increase my overall appetite (ie. not just for sugar) so nutrition wise my first priority is to get it back under control. I find drinking a sweet smelling tea can help curb my cravings. T2 -Melbourne Breakfast, smells like chocolate and works like a charm. Otherwise if you’re the fruity type Tetley’s Peach tea is also great (Try it iced during summer). I find that once I have got the sweet tooth in check everything else in terms of nutrition falls back into place nicely and naturally.
4. Cleanse Digestion
I’m taking the brutally honest track here so things might be a little unpleasant in a moment, feel free to skip this paragraph. Up to 20% of people suffer from IBS, at some point, in Australia. So I know I’m not alone when I say bad digestion can ruin your day. For 80-90% of the year I have a very clean and somewhat restricted nutrition arrangement, very little dairy, gluten, sugar etc. So when I go and throw in a whole week of unfamiliar foods onto my system, fair to say my digestion hates me. It’s thought that most people are inclined to go either one of two ways when it comes to their bathroom tendencies. Some people are generally more inclined to get diarrhoea and others to get constipated and you will find that a person who is usually constipated will rarely get diarrhoea and vice versa. In any case, I am the constipated type, so when I have a whole week (or even just a weekend) of eating the wrong stuff my digestion temporarily shuts down. After a few days it becomes very uncomfortable, accompanied by a super heavy feeling and I start to get really grumpy. I take Slippery Elm to help the situation; Slippery Elm is a natural herb and an insoluble fibre taken in tablet or powder form. It assists to soften and add bulk to stools, making it helpful for either constipation or diarrhoea. This natural herb also assists to relieve minor pain and inflammation in mucous membranes, the same thing that lines the digestive system. Its soothing / coating properties can also assist with coating the throat and relieving symptoms of indigestion and/or reflux. I usually find that 2 tablets after meals for 48 hours gets everything back in order. As it’s all fibre just be sure to drink plenty of water.
5. Flush Toxins
There’s nothing like a deep tissue massage to get the nasty toxins from a big week moving around your body. The most important thing after an intense massage is to flush your entire system by firstly drinking heaps of water. You can also supplement with some natural products to assist with the detoxing. Green tea assists as a natural diuretic also containing catechins, which speed up liver activity and flush out toxins, and polyphenols, which inhibit the formation of some carcinogens. Another strong detoxification supplement such as chlorophyll will assist to further rid the body of environmental toxins, such as heavy metals and pesticides.
To all of my much loved new readers, I wish you a safe, prosperous and happy festive period with your loved ones. Thank you for reading,