Good time for a detox
FOR NATUROPATH Genna Pyewacket, vitality is the best gift you can give yourself for 2013.
Vitality is the fuel for any successful New Year's goal; however, our lust for life can be seriously cramped by poor diet habits and needless cravings, says the Lismore muso and mum.
"A surprising number of young people aren't vital. I have clients that are in their twenties who realise they should be feeling better than this," she says.
Genna says that often clients come to her seeking to lose weight; however it's that feeling of sluggishness, of not feeling 100% which is the root of many health problems.
"People crave a lot.
"Cravings are a window into imbalances of the body," she says.
Relying on a sugar hit or needing caffeine and alcohol are often symptoms of bigger issues.
Post-silly season, particularly, we can be at the mercy of a blood-sugar rollercoaster.
After that insulin hit on the starchy carbs, we crash and that's when we start to crave, Genna said.
After Christmas and New Year, a time that Genna describes as "shared sanctioned indulgence", resolutions and good intentions are fresh and hasty self-initiated detoxes are commonplace.
However, reaching for a quick over-the-counter solution, such as the heavily-advertised liver detoxification products, is a poor choice for anyone serious about living their best 2013, advises the naturopath.
This observation is also endorsed by the 2005 study by consumer watchdog Choice, which maintains that following a detox diet for a few days with over-the-counter solutions has few real health benefits.
Genna says, "There is no point in stimulating the organs with herbs first.
"You have to ensure the exit points are clear and clean and bowel health is optimal before attempting to stimulate the liver."
Abstaining from problem foods is the first phase of any successful detox and should be maintained for at least a week before any herbal stimulation starts, advises Genna.
Removing dairy, commercial yeast, wheat and alcohol, caffeine and refined sugar products and reducing preserved and red meats from the diet is the start of any big health change.
When done properly, with the help of a nutritionist, dietitian or naturopath, a cleanse and detox can give you more than a quick boost.
"Detoxing is a way of rebooting to achieve a baseline again," Genna says.
"You can go on year after year only maintaining yourself, but when you start work on a different energy level, on a completely different fuel source, it allows you to reconsider what you will re-introduce slowly back into your diet."
Detoxes are significant because they allow yourself an opportunity to renegotiate vice and pleasures.
After a detox you can discover that a treat can become a fresh juice or a great salad.
When done properly it can have a really profound ongoing effect on your health, particularly bowel health.
Genna's detox tips
- Preparing for your detox is essential. Ensure your cupboards are full and you have a great palette to work with. Try new recipes in advance so you can reproduce those things easily.
- Fruit and vegetables should be 70-80% of your diet. Moisture and fibre-rich food like tomatoes and cucumbers are great.
- Try raw nuts and seeds, opt for fish and chicken which is steamed or boiled rather than oily.
- Start the day with a green smoothie packed with greens like spinach and kale. Go for fresh juices with fresh beetroot, celery and lemon. Drinking them daily is a great step toward clearing toxins and increasing vital nutrition.
- Drink two-three litres of water a day.
- Wheatgrass shots, which is packed with chlorophyll, minerals and anti-oxidants are great. Every time you go past a juice bar on your travels, grab a juice or a wheatgrass shot.
- Baby-steps: If you are in poor shape or have an addiction to cola drinks, aim for a simple detox for no more than a fortnight.
- Seek the advice of an expert for optimal results.
Genna's Detox Smoothie for Chocolate Lovers
- 2 cups water/milk
- 2 handfuls spinach/lettuce leaves
- 1-2 tablespoons of tahini/macadamia butter
- 2 tablespoons chia & linseeds soaked in water overnight
- 2 teaspoons goji berries soaked in water overnight (add the water too)
- 1 banana
- 1 apple
- 1-2 tablespoons raw cacao powder
- 1-2 tsp agave nectar
- 1 teaspoon spirulina or other green powder
For more detox smoothie ideas visit Genna Pyewacket's website. She can be can be contacted on 0431 905 595.