Let’s face it, its indulgence time. We prepare as best we can before Thanksgiving by maybe eating a little less and exercising a little more but come December, the wheels tend to come off. And before you know it, the New Year is here. The quintessential, New Year – New You mentality sets in when you decide to kick start your new health regime. I get it because I am living it with you and seek to find some sort of balance amidst the parties, wine, cheese platters, shopping lists, school parties, to-do lists, holiday decorating and on and on. Exercise becomes an afterthought and that glass (or two) of wine each night tastes extra good this time of year.
You may be relieved to hear that the myth that people gain an average of 5-10 pounds through the holidays isn’t actually true (although many people do). But instead, it is actually between 1-3 pounds which is still not ideal and certainly something we would all love to avoid. The kicker is that most people don’t actually ever lose that weight despite their New Year’s healthy resolutions.
So how do we celebrate the holidays without feeling like a glutton come January 1? One of the easiest ways that I have found to avoid this weight gain and to feel great during the holidays is to “detox” for 2 days every week (Monday and Tuesday?) when you likely don’t have a party or other temptations. Two days seems to be a reasonable amount of time where you can commit and not feel like you are missing out while feeling good about yourself because you took 2 days off from the cocktails and coffee cake.
So what does that look like?
For me, it means limiting what I eat to only greens and on some days, incorporating chicken bone broth for at least 1 meal (yes, much to many people’s surprises, I am not a vegan). The key during these 2 days is to avoid the evil 5 – alcohol, dairy, wheat, gluten and any processed foods which includes your “gluten free rice crackers” and anything that comes in a box. Notice how I didn’t take away your morning coffee ritual?…:-)
On that topic, let’s talk coffee for a moment. If you are a coffee drinker, try to limit it to no more than 3 cups per day and use almond or coconut milk instead of dairy (and definitely instead of soy milk)! If you can, do half caffeinated and half decaf and use coconut sugar instead of processed sugar (always). Even better, substitute your coffee or at least one of your cups/day for green tea – matcha is amazing which not only is detoxifying but boosts metabolism and is filled with antioxidants. Win-win all around.
A typical meal plan during the “Two Day Holiday Detox” may look like this:
- Start with warm water and lemon. This is an excellent way to alkalize your body upon first rising and helping to eliminate toxins that your body stirred up during sleep. Warm lemon water is calming, hydrating, tastes great, and will reduce cravings as you kick start your day. If you can add cold pressed turmeric, even better or for those of you near one of the Beaming cafes, our Vitality Shot with turmeric, lemon and ginger is my absolute must have every morning.
- Drink at least 1 and if possible, 2 green juices per day. A great time is 30 minutes or more after your water and lemon ritual, which allows all the greens to be properly absorbed and not diluted. Most importantly with your green juice, focus on GREENS, not fruit. Your body has likely already had too many sweets and these 2 days are about detoxing from the sugar to reset the cravings. Make sure there is less than 14g sugar in 16oz – remember, a 16oz bottle is 2 servings so if the nutritionals say 14g, its likely 28g for the full body. Very sneaky. And always, always, always drink ORGANIC juice. You are consuming 3-5 pounds of vegetables and fruit in every 16oz glass so if you aren’t drinking organic, you are drinking a chemical cocktail. Yikes. And don’t assume it is organic – if it doesn’t say it, it likely isn’t. If you are at a juice bar, ask. If they answer, “we use organic when we can or when its available,” this translates as, “we didn’t want to spend the money on organic” and therefore who knows what’s really in your juice.
- Focus on veggies for your meals. These can be cooked or raw. Salads, veggie soups, sautéed vegetables. I love sautéed veggies, which are not only incredibly simple to make but extremely filling and satiating. Try a mix of your favorite vegetables – I typically use fennel, zucchini, mushrooms, bell peppers and sometimes a little onion and I roast or sautee using coconut oil. Why coconut oil? Because it can handle high heat and it’s incredibly good for you helping to boost your metabolism and burn fat. Spaghetti squash with a little marina sauce is a great meal and lentil or bean soups are also great. You can make your own soup or of course Beaming typically has 3-4 bottled (and warm) soups daily that you can warm up at home. Our Buddha Bowl is perfect which you can also make at home taking a favorite vegetable soup with ½ cup of quinoa, a handful of chopped kale (lightly dressed with olive oil and salt) and maybe a few chopped nuts for an added crunch. YUM!
- Replace one meal with a smoothie. I love smoothies and especially those that are protein rich and can act as a meal replacement. Great for post workout, lunch or whenever you want to energize and nourish knowing you are fueling your body with nutrients It craves. Hydrating and detoxifying, smoothies are simple, fast and convenient. Let’s face it, time is valuable and especially at this time of year. Throw some almond milk and/or coconut water into a blender along with some of your favorite fruits and veggies (the more veggies, the better for you) and incorporating a plant based protein powder for extra protein is always great. Of course, I love our Beaming Protein so if you are looking for a great plant based protein one that I created because I didn’t like anything else on the market this is a good option. We use it in all of our smoothies, acai bowls and superfood baked goods at our Beaming cafes (I even use it in my kids’ pancakes). Visit our website for smoothie recipes or follow us on Facebook and Instagram where we love to post some of our secret recipes or purchase our Superfood Smoothie ebook with tons of ideas.
- Bone broth. Yes, I am a huge fan. If you are not a vegan, I highly recommend at least 1-2 cups of bone broth during your detox – dinner is a great time to enjoy this delicious soup that is so nourishing for you, easy to digest and extremely healing for your gut. You can make your own (which can be a lot of work btw and takes 24 hours so you do have to plan ahead) or most Whole Foods and other specialty markets now have bone broth available in the frozen section. I enjoy mine alone or I may chop up 1/3 avocado to add some fat and texture or even some of the leftover roasted veggies from one of the other meals during my detox.
- Water & sleep. And lastly, drink a ton of water. Herbal teas are also great to enjoy any time but especially during your detox and of course use these 2 days to catch up on your sleep. See if you can get at least 7 but ideally up to 9 hours of sleep. Your body, your mind and your vanity will thank you.
OR…. let Beaming take care of the details for you…
For those of you who don’t want to deal because its too much to think about during this crazy time, Beaming has 1-3 day FOOD-based cleanse programs (we don’t do juice cleanses) that pretty much take care of all of this for you so you can go about your busy schedule and stay detoxed for as many days as you are willing to commit to.
Set yourself up for success by committing to two days per week during the holidays – you will look and feel great going into the rest of the week. You will likely have taken off whatever weight you may have gained at your holiday parties and your cravings will have settled so that you are likely not to over indulge throughout the rest of the week.
Amazing what just two days can do!!
Cheers to you, to your health and to a Beaming holiday.
Lisa (Beaming Founder & Visionary)