Friday, 4 January 2013

Fresh year, fresh start, fresh food

Everyone begins the new year with the resolution to eat better, exercise more, lose a bit of weight, be healthier. And how often do we follow through?

Even though I didn't wake up New Year's Day with a throbbing hangover prompting me to vow never to touch a drop of alcohol again, I didn't exactly wake up feeling fresh and refreshed and ready to take on the world, either. After two weeks of lazing about with the husband and kids, eating way too much rich food and overindulging in drink - and, quite frankly, after a full year of barely half-assed working out since Baby was born - well, I'm not feeling my absolute best.

I have spent my entire adult life working in the health and wellness industry. I am a personal trainer and fitness instructor. The way I have slipped in self-discipline and allowed my body to slide into sloppiness is nothing short of shameful. And embarrassing. So - without making any official New Year's resolutions or anything like that - I'm going to fix it.

I mentioned to my husband in passing that I was going to do a detox. I meant my own version, but didn't clarify that, so he went and Googled a whole bunch of different cleanses for me. Do you have any idea how many there are out there? Or how ridiculous most of them are? I wouldn't have thought that so many people would be lacking in the basic common sense it takes to have a rudimentary understanding of how the body works and figure out what we can or cannot put into it to help or hinder its working. But after so many years of seeing people astonished when I tell them that they are not only allowed to but required to eat protein, carbohydrates and fat, or that carbs and sugar are one and the same thing, or that a "low-fat" label on foods usually means high-sugar - and sugar is what converts to fat in your body...well, I suppose I shouldn't be surprised. It's just astonishing how very little understanding most people seem to have about what you should and should not put in your body and what those foods do to you once they're inside you.

This is not the forum where I'm going to offer nutritional or launch into a rant about diet and exercise and health and nutrition. This is my mommy blog, where I talk about house and home, family and kids and our happy little life. Let me just point out that this information is available to anyone, not only to experts. You don't need to have a thorough understanding of the inner workings of the human body to be able to figure out what your body needs. You need to be able to read and have access to a search engine.

Anyway. There are a lot of idiotic "cleanses" out there, none of which have any bearing on the cleansing/detoxing I'm doing. Mine doesn't involve pills, starvation, maple syrup, lemon juice, supplements or anything else that seems weird.

Here's my detox:
Allowed:
Grains - organic brown rice
Proteins - organic chicken, mercury-free fish, tofu, lentils, sesame seeds
Vegetables - any fresh vegetables except mushrooms and corn
Fruits - any fresh fruits except bananas
Beverages - WATER, fresh fruit and vegetable juice (ideally juiced yourself)
Condiments - olive oil, lemon, garlic powder, any pure herbs and spices (non-salted)
Vitamins & Minerals - discuss what you need with your doctor

I do the detox for twenty-eight days. After the detox, I'll start slowly adding other foods back into my diet - some potatoes and some whole grain bread and pasta for starches, beef and eggs for protein, bananas because I like them, and milk and cheese because I love my dairy and I prefer my calcium from these sources over a pill. But that's it. A cleanse is a great time to eliminate all those foods from your diet that you don't really need and aren't good for your body. Refined sugar and flour. Alcohol. Processed foods. Food with preservatives. Food that comes in cans or boxes.

This is not to say that I'm not going to have a glass of wine with dinner sometimes or a bottle of beer on a hot summer day, or that I won't enjoy a slice of frosted cake at my boys' birthday parties. But after this holiday season filled with shortbread and gingerbread and hot chocolate and hearty dinners every evening and drinks with the husband every night, my body is simply screaming for a cleanse.

I'll let you know how it goes.

(Not intended as advice; consult a health professional before beginning any diet or exercise program)


Update:

I bought my husband a juicer for his birthday. He asked for it, I swear! We were watching a documentary over the holidays about farming, organic foods, and juicing - and what can I say. We're easily swayed by that sort of thing.

LOVE. Love, love, love. I can't tell you how much we love it. Fruit juices, vegetable juices, we're juicing everything these days.

Fruit, vegetables
This is my current favourite, and has been my breakfast every day this week.

A large grapefruit, medium orange, and small lemon. A couple of slices of ginger, a tiny handful of spinach and a half a carrot.

Healthy, energizing, and delicious. All you taste is the citrus and tang. And it's my new favourite way to start the day!



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