7 Day Wellness Challenge

It’s now April and there are some signs that the snow is gone until winter and spring is finally here. You’re decluttering your house, cleaning everything in sight and making room in your wardrobe for your summer clothes but what are you doing to spring clean your health? Follow these simple health hacks to spruce up your body and mind for the new season ahead…

DAY ONE: Drink Up

Water is an essential nutrient and is to our body what oil is to a car, we can’t function without it! Our bodies are 50 to 70 percent water and much of that water has to be replaced every day. If we are well hydrated, everything works better. We feel fuller for longer and the temptation for snacks to get us through to our next meal will lessen. You’ll have much more energy and your skin will look and feel great. As a lot of us hold excess water (fluid retention) when we don’t drink enough, you may find you lose a little weight as your body flushes out what it doesn’t need anymore. For one week, try to give up all other beverages apart from water. Don’t panic, this can include herbal teas but stay away from caffeinated drinks like coffee and sugary, fizzy drinks. 💧💧💧

DAY TWO: Get more sleep

Some of us get by on 6 hours, some need 8 to feel revitalised in the morning. 8 hours is the recommended amount of sleep we need every night but not all of us are getting that. Getting a good nights sleep makes us wake happier, makes us more productive, lowers our stress levels and can help you lose weight. Try to go to bed an hour earlier each night for a week and see if you feel the benefits of it. Some of us aren’t able to get a restful sleep due to various reasons like work commitments, stress levels, young children. Take a look at my blog, Detox Your Sleep to find out how you can make the most of your sleep even if it’s broken with a few hours here and there. Sweet dreams. 💤 💤💤

DAY THREE: Go Outside

Government guidelines say we should walk at least 10,000 steps a day. Unfortunately a lot of us don’t do this. Those of us with office jobs can be sitting down at a desk for 5hrs + a day. This is bad news for our posture, mental wellbeing and fitness levels but you can do something about that. For those of us that are able, walking is an easy start to getting fit. It’s low impact, you don’t need any special equipment, it’s free, it improves your fitness, can help you lose weight and help your sleep. If you have access to a green space, getting outside and being at one with nature can help your mental wellbeing too. Take in your surroundings, marvel at the wildlife and take a big breath of fresh air. Give up your desk lunch and take a walk for an hour a day instead. See how you feel after 7 days and track those steps on your phone. 🚶🏼‍♂️🍁🚶🏻‍♀️🌞

DAY FOUR: Laugh

There is nothing better than catching up with friends and laughing through the night or watching a comedy that makes you laugh so hard your sides hurt. Laughter is clinically proven to have a powerful and positive effect on physical, emotional and mental health and wellbeing. It heals and renews the body and mind, and nothing works faster or more dependably to bring the mind and body back into balance after a tough week at work or emotional experience. It works so well there are even laughter therapy groups available to those in need of a natural antidepressant. Watch a comedy tonight or call that friend who’s guaranteed to make you LOL! 🤣🤣🤣

DAY FIVE: Fill Up on Good Bacteria

The gut is often referred to as the second brain which is why we must look after it. Probiotics are great for many reasons. They help keep nasty stomach bugs at bay, help relieve symptoms of digestive disorders such as IBS, help our gut recover after a dose of antibiotics when a lot of our good gut bacteria is killed off and generally help to keep our gut healthy and working as it should plus many other health benefits. Probiotics can be found naturally in some fermented foods like yoghurt, kombucha and sauerkraut however the amount of beneficial bacteria in these foods is unsure and therefore it is advised to supplement with tablets. Do your research and pick a supplement that has many strains. My favourites are by Natures Aid. Probiotics need food to survive in the gut, this food is called prebiotics. These can be found in certain foods including and not limited to mushrooms, artichokes, apples, leeks, garlic and onion. See if your gut health improves by taking a probiotic daily and including prebiotics in your diet. 💊💊💊

DAY SIX: Be Mindful

Many of us lead such busy lives that we don’t take enough time out for ourselves and our mental health. This leads us to feeling stressed and run down both physically and emotionally. I am a BIG believer in mindfulness and when I can’t switch off, I use the magic of meditation to help me unwind and get a better sleep. Switch off your tv, settle in a relaxing position and find a mindfulness app that works for you. My favourites are Buddhify , Calm and Headspace. You can use these before you sleep, when you wake, on your commute or whenever you need to switch off and zone out for a bit. Give it a go and see if you can find your zen. 🙏🏼🤯🧠

DAY SEVEN: Cut the sugar

There is so much evidence that sugar is dangerous for us and yet we still struggle to put the sugary treats down. Too much sugar in our diet can lead to many physical problems from diabetes to faster ageing skin. Swap your daily sugary treat/s for something more healthy like a small handful of nuts, some fruit or make yourself some protein balls. I’ll be posting a recipe for my own protein balls soon so look out for that. Post Easter is the perfect time to ditch the sugar after a weekend of over-indulgence. Be prepared to feel sluggish for a few days whilst your body kicks its addiction to the white stuff, bare with it, you’ll soon start to feel the benefits and will no longer be craving a 3pm sugary pick-me-up. 🍫🍬🍭

Give the challenge a try and use the hashtag #7daywellnesschallenge across social media to let me know how you’re getting on. Good luck!


Snowy Bulgarian ‘Retreat’

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I have always loved snow but being from London I never get to see it. Instead, I go abroad and London gets a generous helping of the white stuff dumped on it – pffft! Just last December I got stuck in Budapest whilst Heathrow struggled to cope with a few inches of the stuff.

Just after Christmas I decided I needed another trip in the diary but rather than head for sun, I wanted something a little different, a bit of a retreat with freezing temperatures and plenty of snow. I went to the British Airways site to check their Holiday Finder tool and see what I could get on the cheap – more on savvy travel from me soon. I put in my requirements;

  • Cold and snowy
  • 3 nights
  • 4* at least
  • Europe
  • ASAP!

Sofia, Bulgaria popped up and a lovely looking hotel I had seen on searches before but thought was too out in the sticks was perfect for this trip. TERRA Complex is about a 2-hour drive from Sofia airport on the outskirts of the ski resort, Bansko. The hotel had a spa with a swimming pool and a free shuttle bus in to the town so catered perfectly to me.

Saturday 20th January

Annoyingly, just before I boarded my flight, I started to get blurred vision, oh no, Migraine Aura – shit! I dashed to Boots to see what drugs they could sell me to stop this ruining my trip. I found Ibuprofen and some cold forehead patches, not ideal but all I could get my hands on. Like clockwork after half an hour the pain set in and then the nausea. I sat down in my seat, cold patch on, headphones and relaxation playlist on, scarf wrapped around my head to cover my eyes, I don’t care what I look like I just need to sleep this bitch off! My body had other plans though and I had to rush to the toilet twice to be violently sick. I still had a two-hour drive to the hotel to get through after this! 😦

During my drive to the hotel, feeling a little better but still a bit out of it, I couldn’t hide my disappointed at the lack of snow, where was it? Had I spent money on new snow boots for nothing? I put my head down and tried to nap. About 30 mins from the hotel I looked and…. SNOOOOWW! So much of it! Where did that come from? Instant mood lifter! As I looked at the snow covered trees and mountains I began to have romantic notions about making snow angels, snowmen and snow ball fights with my lover and then I remember… I’m here on my own!

I had already emailed the hotel to ensure I had a mountain view room, the pictures on their website sold me and they didn’t disappoint. I walked in to my room and gasped at the view, breath-taking! Despite the minus temperatures, I stood on my balcony for ages taking in the beautiful views of the hotels snow covered golf course and the snow-capped Pirin Mountains in the background, this was perfect! The room itself was big, clean and nicely decorated. The bathroom was spacious, clean and modern. There was a mini bar with alcohol, snacks and coffee – you had to pay for coffee but the cheapest option was 41p so you can’t complain too much. I noted that everything else on the mini-bar menu seemed very cheap, £2.80 for half a bottle of local red wine – that was going to be very tempting!

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The main reason for this trip was to get some rest and relaxation and a bit of a detox so I took myself off to the spa to book some treatments. I attempted a swim but my head was having none of it. Back in my room, it was dark outside but I could see it was snowing. Yaaassssss!!!! I took some pictures out on the balcony and excitedly posted them on social media like I’m the first person to ever see snow! Head still banging and needing to hydrate I filled my Brita water bottle and made some herbal tea I bought with me. I didn’t want to change my healthy habits from home so I packed my favourite dairy free milk, Rude Health Almond Drink, Numi Turmeric tea and Tea Pigs (Peppermint, Clean & Green, Ginger & Lemon and Camomile) tea bags. I put on my favourite Nip+Fab Glycolic Fix Exfoliating Face Mask and laid down in bed staring lovingly out at the snow falling outside, ahhhh.

Just before dinner I went on a little walk around the hotel to see what else it had to offer. Have to confess I was a little over-excited at the sight of the Christmas trees and decorations still being up at the end of January. The bar area has plenty of chairs and a lovely open fire. There were a few activities available, air-hockey, table tennis, arcade games and a children’s play area. There is also an outdoor play area for children. Those wanting to give skiing a try could hire equipment and book lessons through the hotel.

7pm and dinner is served in the restaurant. The staff were great, the waiters were all very friendly and chatty. There wasn’t a huge choice with the buffet dinner (which was included in my half board package) but it was easy enough to be healthy with the salad selection. There were about 8 hot dishes, the ones I tried were all cooked well and tasty. I would fill a plate with salad and pickles then head up for more salad and some grilled fish and vegetables. There was as A La Carte menu available but I found everything I wanted in the buffet. For desert I would take some fruit back to my room and have one of my Primal Pantry bars I bought with me from home.

Sunday 21st January

The next morning, I woke up with a clear head, took my vitamins (Multi-vitamins, Vitamin D3, Probiotic) drank my coffee on the balcony with my dose of clean crisp air and then headed to breakfast. There was plenty of choice if you wanted a bit of a fry-up. but I stuck to beans, scrambled eggs and some fruit.

I headed to the spa for a swim before the detox treatment I had booked. The pool is a very good size, clean and heated and when the windows aren’t steamed up you get a gorgeous view of the mountains. There is a Jacuzzi too and they have an outdoor pool which is used during the summer months. I learned to avoid the pool in the evenings as families returned to the hotel because it can get a bit crowded but during the day it is peaceful and quiet. I was taken down to a treatment room to have my massage. The room was warm, dark and with ambient music playing – very relaxing. I got undressed and ready for a pampering. The treatment started with a lymphatic draining massage which involved long, firm strokes to get your circulation going and help your body get rid of toxins naturally. My therapist was very good and her pressure very firm. The next stage was a full body coffee scrub which I am still feeling the benefits of, my skin feels amazing! A thick cream was then applied on top of the scrub and then I was wrapped in a plastic sheet for 15 minutes to ferment and let the ingredients do their work whilst having a little nap. I then showered off and had 10 minutes in the sauna. Considering this treatment took almost 2hrs it was a snip at 100lev (£45)

I got dressed in layers of thermals and got a taxi in to town about 20 minutes away to find somewhere nice for lunch. I had already done my homework and had a list of places with the best reviews. The snow was coming down hard, it was beautiful! The taxi dropped me by the ski lift gondola. Thank god I did have my new snow boots, think Bambi on Ice! I’m the clumsiest of people so to be writing this on the plane without injury Is a small miracle. There was thick snow on the ground and it was still coming down hard. I got my Google maps out and went off to find Mehana Dedo Tase, a traditional Mehana away from the ski crowds. I found it downhill on Pirin Street, settled down by their fire for a glass of their homemade red wine. I was recommended the starter of baked feta with honey and walnuts followed by Sea bream cooked on the fire with a mix of potatoes and leeks on the side. It was delicious and sooo cheap! £12 for the lot!

After lunch, I walked around the town for a bit, sussing out the place. If I was coming for a weekend with friends this would be a great place, lots of bars, restaurants and super cheap!

Back at the hotel, I sat in the bar by the fire with a book and my laptop to do some writing. The hotel was quiet with most people still out on the slopes. I had dinner and retreated back to my room to put on my Neals Yard hair treatment, finish watching The Crown and put a face mask on ready for an early night. #donotdisturb

Monday 22nd January

The next morning, I awoke to my balcony 4 inches deep with snow – happy Becky! The sky was a perfect clear blue and the mountains looked even more stunning in this light. I spent an hour in the pool getting in the lengths and some Jacuzzi time then got the shuttle bus from the hotel in to town. Sadly, I had to find a coffee bar to get online to do some work which was against everything I wanted for this weekend and kind of put a dampener on it but once done I went on the hunt for another mehana on my list, Yebepmeto Chevermeto It was at the bottom of Pirin Street by the town square, an area I was yet to explore. The staff were extra friendly here and the food as good as the welcome. I had an espresso and a plate full of King prawns cooked in butter with garlic. I decided I needed a beer to make up for the work I had to do. I then went off to have a look around the towns churches and museums to get some culture and steps in. This town really is pretty, traditional old building built with a mix of stone and wood and cobbled streets. Walking back to the town centre was an effort, up an icy hill – didn’t think of that on the way down! Managed it back without going ass over tit and celebrated with a coffee and another beer in one of the more touristy bars, Ginger. You definitely don’t get the same smiley welcome here, stick to the restaurants in the back streets. I headed to the Ski lift pick-up point for the hotel shuttle bus. Watching everyone come back off the mountain I couldn’t help think I was missing out by not skiing.

Back at the hotel I had another dip in the pool, a session in the steam room and sauna and got ready for my next treatment, a manicure (£16) and pedicure (£20). These were done by a lady who comes to the hotel from the town so you need to book this a day or so in advance. Both treatments were done very well and included cuticle work and a foot spa. I was really happy with the outcome and I was beyond relaxed now so it was sad this was my going to be my last night but it was the perfect end to a very relaxing weekend.

I had a lovely break in Bansko and this was proof that you don’t need to holiday at a retreat to retreat and it can be very affordable. Thank you to everyone at Terra Complex who looked after me during my stay. See you next year for some more post Christmas R&R.

Hotel Details

Terra Complex

20th – 23rd Janaury 2018

My package deal included- BA flights to/from Heathrow / 3 nights / Half Board

What I paid – £220


RECIPE: Meaty Vegetarian Ragu

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Are you a vegetarian but miss the taste of meat? Are you trying to give up meat but your partner isn’t convinced? This recipe is versatile, easy to make and tastes as good as a beefy ragu sauce. This recipe will serve 4 people.

 Ingredients:

  • 350g Quorn mince (contains egg so isn’t suitable for Vegans)
  • 1 chopped medium onion
  • 2 chopped garlic cloves
  • 1/2 cup finely diced carrot
  • 1/2 cup diced courgette
  • 1/2 cup frozen peas
  • 1 cup spinach
  • 1 tsp Italian herbs
  • 1 400g carton/tin of chopped tomatoes
  • 1 tbsp Bisto or other vegetarian gravy
  • 100ml water
  • 1 tbsp tomato puree
  • 1 tsp Marmite – haters won’t be able to taste it as Marmite

 Method:

  • Heat oil in a pan and add the onion, garlic, carrot and courgette
  • Once the onion has softened, add the mince and herbs and cook for a further 5 minutes on high heat
  • Add the tomatoes, gravy powder, water, tomato puree and Marmite
  • Season to taste
  • Simmer gently for 10 minutes then add the peas and spinach.
  • Leave to simmer for a further 20 minutes until all ingredients are cooked through

Now here is where the versatility comes in. You can use this filling to make a number of dishes suitable for any family dinner table. Why not try:

  • Spaghetti Bolognese – Just add the mixture to some cooked pasta of your choice
  • Cauliflower Cottage Pie (this is my favourite)
    • Chop two cauliflowers, place in water, bring to the boil and cook until tender, about 10 minutes.
    • Drain off as much water as possible, season and add butter if you wish
    • Mash and layer on top of the filling.
    • Add cheese if you wish and bake in the oven for 25 minutes
    • Of course you can always by a shop bought mash like sweet potato mash.
  • Filo Pie – Buy some filo pastry from your local big supermarket. Place 1 layer over your filling in a pie dish, brush with olive oil, repeat again and then scrunch another sheet over the middle of the pie. Bake in the over for 20 minutes.
  • Dollop it on a jacket potato

 

 


Smoothie Time

 

“Every time you eat or drink, you are either feeding disease or fighting it.” – Heather Morgan, MS, NLC

I LOVE smoothies! They are by far the quickest way to get a tonne of nutrients into your body, they are easy to prepare and you are totally in charge of what they taste like! Here are some other benefits:

They’re quick and easy – Get yourself a blender (more on those later) and throw a bunch of healthy fruit and veg in. The more colourful the better!

TIP – You can pre-prep and freeze to make it even faster!

They’re portable – I make mine the night before and grab on the way out of the door to work so I can enjoy it on the train. Particularly good if you don’t normally have time for breakfast.

You control what goes in – You know there will never be any nasty preservatives and hidden sugars. From fruit, veg, superfood powders, you make the recipes to your desired taste.

TIP – Be sure to stick to 80% veg and 20% fruit to keep sugar levels down

They fill you up – I have often have one instead of breakfast and it can keep me satisfied through to lunch. Because you are getting whole foods in liquid form you can use them to help lose weight by replacing one or two meals a day with a smoothie.

*Always consult your doctor before starting a new diet

EQUIPMENT

You don’t need much and you don’t need to spend much to get started on your smoothie journey. There is something for most budgets and remember once you have these items you won’t need to buy them again.

  • Blenders
    • Best Budget Blender – Breville Blend-Active Family This bargain kit comes with four bottles so is ideal if you have a family or if you want to pre-make your smoothies for a couple of meals in a day
    • Premium Blender – Nutribullet 600 Series This is probably the most popular brand and this model has gone down by 50% since I bought mine 4 years ago – which is still going strong!
  • Smoothie Bottles
    • Sagaform Fresh Smoothie Mug This is my favourite because it is totally leak proof and has a fold-away soft straw which is kind to your teeth and easy to clean

 

IMG_1899INGREDIENTS

Superfood Powders and their Benefits

  • Matcha – A great antioxidant that helps metabolism and boosts detoxification
  • Turmeric – A natural anti-inflammatory that has been proven to help with obesity and conditions such as arthritis
  • Maca – A mood enhancer that can boost your energy levels and help with antioxidant levels
  • Spirulina – Full of vitamins with 60% protein and great at fighting candida
  • Acai Berries – They contain healthy fats and low amounts of sugar, as well as many trace minerals and plant compounds
  • Bee Pollen – It has powerful antibacterial, antifungal and antiviral properties and stimulate the immune system and lower cholesterol levels naturally

These can be bought in health food shops or Amazon where they are normally cheaper. You can also find ready made mixes.

TIP – I blend large amounts of the above powders with water to a thick consistency and put in an ice cube tray for future use

RECIPES

Breakfast Smoothie

  • 1 banana
  • 1 handful of spinach
  • 1 celery stalk
  • 5cm of cucumber
  • 1/2 cup blueberries
  • 1/2 cup raspberries
  • Quarter cup of smoothie oats or 1 tablespoon of chia seeds
  • Blend with almond, coconut, or oat milk to fill
  • Add choice of superfood powders
  • Add a couple of ice cubes if your fruit isn’t frozen

Detox Smoothie

  • 1 kiwi
  • 1 banana
  • 1/4 cup pineapple
  • 2 celery stalks
  • 2 cups spinach
  • Blend with water
  • Add choice of superfood powders
  • Add a couple of ice cubes if your fruit isn’t frozen

Detox Smoothie 2

  • 1 handful of spinach and kale
  • 1 stalk of celery
  • 5cm of cucumber
  • 1 carrot
  • 1/2 cup mixed berries
  • Small piece of ginger
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • Blend with water
  • Add choice of superfood powders
  • Add a couple of ice cubes if your fruit isn’t frozen

TIP – Prep your portions and freeze them like I have done in the below. This ensures your fresh produce stays fresh

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You can pretty much use any fruit or veg in a smoothie, just remember to keep it to 80% veg and 20% fruit to keep the sugar down. Frozen produce is 100% acceptable and often fresher than that bought in supermarkets fruit and veg aisles.

We all have different tastebuds and sensitivities to certain foods for example kale and broccoli have the ability to make me look 5 months pregnant at a sniff so you may want to swap out some of the ingredients. Have a play with the recipes and see what works for you.

I would love to hear your suggestions for smoothie recipes, send them in or write in the comments!

Becky x


Detox Your Sleep

Government guidelines recommend adults have between 7 and 9 hours sleep per night but how many of us actually get that much shut eye? Daily stresses whether they be work, family or money related can have a huge impact on our bodies and minds and often leave us unable to sleep when we need it most.

How does lack of sleep effect your body?

The below, but not limited to, are some of the effects a lack of sleep has on the body.

  • Your Immunity – Do you constantly feel ill and fatigued and pick up every cold in the office? Sleep deprivation can kick your immunity out of sync leaving you susceptible to infections
  • Weight Gain – Your bodies stock of leptin, the chemical that makes you feel full, diminishes with lack of sleep all the while your body increases its level of the hormone Ghrelin which stimulates hunger. Studies have shown that this is evident in people who have less that 7 hours sleep per night. So ladies and gentleman, in the run up to Summer make sure that sleep plays just as an important part to your health kick as your diet and fitness. What better reason for a weekend lie in?  *Refer to my previous post on how sleep can help you detox
  • Messes with your mood – Given that a single sleepless night can make you irritable and moody the following day, it’s not surprising that chronic sleep deprivation may lead to long-term mood disorders like depression and anxiety
  • Can contribute to Type 2 Diabetes – Studies have suggested that people who usually sleep less than 5 hours a night have an increased risk of having or developing diabetes. – It seems that missing out on deep sleep may lead to type 2 diabetes by changing the way the body processes glucose – the high-energy carbohydrate that cells use for fuel
  • Decreases sex drive – Men and women who don’t get enough quality sleep have lower libidos and less of an interest in sex, research shows. No one wants this so make sure you get that extra shut eye!

(Source – NHS)

How to catch up on lost sleep

If you don’t get enough sleep, there’s only one way to compensate – getting more sleep.

It won’t happen with a single early night. If you’ve had months of restricted sleep, you’ll have built up a significant sleep debt, so expect recovery to take several weeks.

Starting on a weekend, try to add on an extra hour or two of sleep a night. The way to do this is to go to bed when you’re tired, and allow your body to wake you in the morning (no alarm clocks allowed!).

Expect to sleep for upwards of 10 hours a night at first. After a while, the amount of time you sleep will gradually decrease to a normal level.

There are lots of way you can detox your sleep and re-set your body clock

Caffeine – Switch to decaf coffee or better still, naturally caffeine free herbal teas like Peppermint tea in the afternoons or try Neals Yard Organic Night Time Tea. Caffeine that is drunk after 3pm can still be active in your body by bedtime leaving you unable to switch off and relax.

Blue Light Devices – The light in devices such as a mobile phones or tablet can make our brain believe it is still day time. This can have the same effect as caffeine in not allowing your brain to switch off. Try to avoid using up to two hours before bed.

Social Media and News outlets – Ever check your Facebook feed or read the news at 9pm and still find yourself scrolling through at 11pm? I am so guilty of this but it is a habit I am trying to curb. As with blue light devices it is important to limit your activity with social media. It is important to go to sleep with a clear mind.

Jot It Down – Is your mind throwing to-do list items at you and the worry that you’ll forget them by the morning is keeping you up? Keep a notepad by your bed to jot them down – don’t use your phone!

Noise and Light – You will always get your best sleep in a dark and quiet environment. If you live by a noisy and busy road try using some foam earplugs to block out the noise. If you can’t invest in black out blinds then a sleep mask is your new best friend. Try adding some drops of lavender oil to it.

Cool Down – Make sure your room is not too hot. If you’re too warm you’ll be restless throughout the night. Open a window to let the fresh and cool air in and swap the duvet for a sheet in the Summer months.

Mediation / White Noise Apps – When I’m struggling to drift off I use a meditation app. My favourite is Beditiations. It has a number of meditations including one for Insomniacs and one to helping you quit smoking. The aSleep app is particularly good for sleep sounds like white noise and rain, which is my favourite – hate by day, love by night!

Essential Oils and Pillow Sprays – I have a bit of a love affair with lavender. I pour copious amounts in to my evening bath with some Epsom salts and rub a Weleda lavender Oil in to my neck and shoulders when I need some extra relaxation. Try Neals Yard Remedy Roll On to help relax you at night by rolling on your pulse points and behind your ears. I am obsessed with This Works Deep Sleep Pillow Spray, I am convinced it helps send me off in to deep sleep. I bought some for my mum and even she is a convert! 

Why not give all of the above a try for seven nights and keep track of your progress in a journal? I would love to hear how you get on, please feel free to email or comment your experience or any extra tips you may have for a restful nights sleep.

Sweet dreams xx


Detox

 

This isn’t a juice diet or any other type of fad, quick fix diet, it’s a detox of your whole body and liver. Your liver is responsible for processing toxins in the body, so you’ll want to keep it working at its best. Sometimes diet or lifestyle can creep up on us and if that happens, a liver cleanse becomes necessary. With a cleanse, you’ll certainly get rid of all that toxic buildup but there are lots of other perks including:

  • Weight Loss – Your liver produces bile which the digestive system use to break down fat. And since liver cleansing promotes bile production, detoxing your liver might be just the place to start if you want to lose weight.
  • Immune System Support – Since the liver reduces toxins, among other things, cleansing your liver could even give your immune system a boost.
  • Boosts Energy – Some of the harmless byproducts the liver makes are actually nutrients the body will use. Whether from liver stones or too much toxic build up, some of those nutrients simply won’t make it back into the bloodstream. When that happens, your energy levels will likely drop, so liver cleansing will make you feel better because not only will you have all of your nutrients but also all of your energy.

WATER

Water is possibly the most valuable tool for detoxifying your body. The body’s most basic functions require water. Your body needs water to produce saliva, help with perspiration, and remove waste. So, as water is so essential for detoxing you should ensure you are getting at LEAST your 8 glasses per day. Remember to take in to account that this amount differs from person to person and depends on your height and weight. You should also ensure you up your intake if you are exercising. Not all liquids count. Alcohol and coffee are both diuretics so they will dehydrate you as you drink them. If you are planning on drinking either of these then you should aim to drink a glass of water for each glass of wine or cup of coffee to counteract the effects. Soft and sport drinks should be avoided too as these are both packed full of sugar. If you don’t like the taste of water on its own then here are a few ways to make it more interesting…

  • Hot water with Lemon – This combination has many benefits. As well as being a source of Vitamin C, it helps to flush out toxins from the body and aids digestion so it is a perfect addition to your morning routine.
  • Apple Cider Vinegar – ACV has been proven to help weight loss and lower cholesterol if taken every day. You can add a spoonful of this to your lemon and water to really supercharge your mornings.
  • Mint tea – This is great for digestion and should be a staple drink for anyone with digestion problems like IBS.
  • Green tea –It is packed full of antioxidants and nutrients, just search the internet and you’ll find a whole load of benefits from preventing Cancer to aiding fat loss. If you can’t stomach the taste, add a slice of lemon or look for a Green/Herbal tea infusion.
  • Herbal teas – There are many fruity herbal teas available that may not have the benefits of green tea but they will help you get the hydration you need to detox successfully.

FOOD

We are what we eat and so it is important to feed our bodies with food which are packed full of nutrients and antioxidants with little or no processing at all times but especially during a detox. Make sure your plate has a good quality protein and plenty of vegetables which are varied in colour and organic where possible. Each vegetable contains different nutrients so it is important to get a good variety. When buying pre-packaged food items, look at the ingredients first. If Sugar or salt are one of the first three ingredients listed, put it down!

SMOOTHIES

Smoothies are an excellent way to get massive amounts of superfoods into your system without feeling like you’re a rabbit. You can blend up a bunch of baby spinach or kale along with some fruits like strawberries or blueberries and have a great tasting and nutritious shake that doesn’t feel like you’re missing out on anything. Stick to 80% veg and 20% fruits and add some extra nutrition such as Matcha powder, Spirulina and Chia Seeds. Why not prepare one the night before, throw in some oats and have as a breakfast on the run – after your hot water and lemon of course 😉

EXERCISE

Exercise can kickstart the natural detox process as it flushes out the lungs, and cleanses the skin as we work up a sweat. It also increases blood flow promoting better circulation to pump white blood cells through the body and help organs cleanse themselves effectively. You’ll also improve your fitness and help weight loss if that is your goal. Exercise doesn’t have to cost a penny, if you can’t afford the gym then take off to your nearest park for a run and some fresh air.

BATH TIME

Who doesn’t love a long, hot soak in the bath, especially in winter! You can detox whilst you bathe too. Sea salts are a great addition to any bath. They’re great for relaxing your muscles and pulling out toxins from your skin. A favourite of mine is Dead Sea Magik Bath Salts. I add a few drops of Lavender Oil if my bath is before bedtime to really help me relax. For even better results, try using a dry skin brush. Brush your skin in circular motions from your feet working up to your stomach. It not only helps to slough off dead skin cells and reveal a new layer of skin but it also helps your body to release toxins.

SLEEP

Your body cleanses itself while you sleep, with the liver doing a lot of its dirty work in the early morning hours. Pulling an all nighter, or even staying up to watch late night TV will put you in a position to miss out on the deeper sleep cycles that occur before midnight. Be sure to get up early as well, because you don’t want to sleep through the hours when your body naturally wants to purge itself of waste. Letting your bowel movement fester, or holding back your urine until later in the morning can lead to it being reabsorbed by the body. More on the benefits of sleep in my next blog.

SUPPLEMENTS

As well as the above, it is always a good idea to back up your detox with supplements.

  • Multi-Vitamins – A good quality multi-vitamin will help with your detox by supporting your organs and digestive system. My favourite is Wellwoman Plus, also available for men.
  • Vitamin C – Ensure you get a good dose of Vitamin C daily to help your immune system stay at its best.
  • Probiotics – Support your digestive system with a probiotic. They will fill your gut with good bacteria which will in turn help with digestion and give your immune system a boost.
  • Milk Thistle – This helps to maintain liver health and to protect it from the effects of toxins such as alcohol, a polluted environment or workplace, and a host of liver related diseases.

You can adopt all of the above suggestions in to your daily routine and continue to feel the benefits all year around, not just after an overindulgence at Christmas.

As this is my first blog post I would love to hear your feedback. Either use the contact form or email me at becky@becky-griffiths.com

*All of the above items are readily available in most big supermarkets, health food shops or online.
Look out for my next blog, Detox Your Sleep.