A few tricks to make recent binges disappear
Dinner on 24 December, lunch on the 25th, lunch on the 26th, then various lunches and dinners with that left over from the previous days, all building up momentum to a big dinner on the 31st, not to mention cakes for the Epiphany... the last two weeks in December and January 1st are known to be the highest-calorie weeks of the year.
Now that the lavish banquets are over, it's time to purify and start the year off on the right foot! Eating less and moving more is the key phrase of the period, in order to purify the body of toxins and accumulated fats. The ideal is to aim for active ingredients that stimulate the liver, kidney and colon functions, in order to eliminate waste and re-activate the metabolism. Below are a few ideas to treat yourself well without sacrificing creativity and color in the kitchen.
Basic rules: as soon as you wake up, drink a glass of warm water with the juice of half of a lemon: it refreshes, cleans and activates the organs. Re-introduce whole grains, fruits and plenty of vegetables into your daily routine, and drink lots of water throughout the day.
In the morning, the ideal is to start your day with a freshly pressed detox juice. Go wild with the pairings, as each color brings a wealth of nutrients. And never forget to add fresh ginger! Its tonic and digestive properties make you feel active and dynamic. We recommend taking the plunge on the green color of chlorophyll, blending kiwi, which is rich in vitamin C, with green apple, a stalk of celery, with its detoxifying power, and half of a cucumber, a great diuretic. Drink immediately and abundantly.
Do you prefer shakes and smoothies to juice? No problem - but replace cow's milk with a plant-based alternative, maybe oat or almond: in this detox period, the ideal is to limit or even eliminate the consumption of dairy products, which can cause bloating and fatigue. You can drink it several times throughout the day, but the important thing is to limit the use of sweeteners like honey and sugar, to keep calories in check. And if for breakfast or a snack you cannot give up a slice of cake, avoid packaged or processed products, and prepare one at home with almond milk and whole wheat flour; the "lite" version will leave you satisfied.
Raw, pan-fried, baked, steamed, au gratin: vegetables are much more versatile than you think. Do not leave the table without having eaten at least one portion, and make sure that it is plentiful! Use a tablespoon of oil to season them, and if you like, use lemon juice to enhance its properties and facilitate the absorption of iron by the body. The season offers artichokes, fennel, chicory, chard and turnips, vegetables that are portentous, purifying and diuretic while rich in fiber and flavonoids, which keep the level of cholesterol in the blood at bay.
To flavor dishes, stock up on herbs and spices: they always give different facets to meals, and offer benefits to the body. The best to use during detox are ginger, cumin, turmeric, dill and rosemary; the latter can also be infused with sage leaves for a heartening herbal tea after meal, plus it offers a protective function of the liver and, according to recent studies, also the nervous system.
Red meat should be eliminated for a period of time, if possible - it is rich in saturated fats that would negate all of the efforts made on other fronts. Beware though, don't let it effect your intake of protein, which is essential for our physical equilibrium and constituent part of the muscles that keep our metabolism active. Simply replace beef and veal with white meat like chicken and turkey, or fish fresh, which is full of Omega 3s and good fats, or even organic eggs. If you're feeling particularly daring, try replacing animal products with legumes during your detox. Lentils, chickpeas and beans are egregious meat substitutes, considering their significant content of fiber and minerals, as well as their role in preserving the health of the cardiovascular system.
...is that it? Of course not: it's not enough to simply watch what you eat to purify and maintain a healthy body, even if it is half the work to be done. The other half is physical activity, but you don't have to overdo it. Recent studies have found that light exercise, if constant, is almost as beneficial as competitive sports in terms of disease prevention and maintaining one's ideal weight. Just half an hour of physical activity every day is enough to feel better. So walk, take the stairs, cycle, dance: your detox begins here!