Hol­i­day Pre- Detox

14 ways to cleanse and de- bloat be­fore the hol­i­day mad­ness sets in— and just in time for those fam­ily pho­tos

Better Nutrition - - CONTENTS - By Lisa Turner

Take a proac­tive ap­proach to win­ter well­ness this year with t wo weeks’ worth of tips to sup­port gut health, bal­ance your body, and pre­pare your sys­tem for the an­nual on­slaught of hol­i­day fes­tiv­i­ties.

T hat lit­tle space be­tween left­over Hal­loween candy and Thanks­giv­ing stuff­ing and gravy of­fers an op­por­tu­nity to sup­port your gut, bal­ance your body, and get your sys­tem ready for the next on­slaught. Two weeks be­fore the hol­i­day, get pre­pared: detox ( be­fore you re­tox) with th­ese 14 tips.

1 Re­think caf­feine.

Caf­feine is a pow­er­ful di­uretic that can bur­den the liver and tax the adrenals. Try a morn­ing brew that en­hances im­mune func­tion, clears tox­ins, and hy­drates cells: Sim­mer sliced ginger root in hot wa­ter, then add turmeric and lemon juice for their anti- in­flam­ma­tory and liver- sup­port­ive ef­fects. Or swap cof­fee for tea ( or at least one cup of cof­fee for a cup of tea). It’s lower in caf­feine and rich in pro­tec­tive polyphe­nols.

2 Boost your bugs.

Get your gut ready for heavy hol­i­day meals with a daily dose of pro­bi­otics. Bol­ster­ing your mi­cro­biome in ad­vance can pro­tect against in­di­ges­tion, heart­burn, and con­sti­pa­tion, and stud­ies show that benefi cial bac­te­ria im­pact mood and en­ergy, sup­port the body’s abil­ity to detox­ify it­self, and may help con­trol ap­petite. Fo­cus on pro­bi­oti­crich foods such as kefi r, kim­chi, tem­peh, and yo­gurt. And take a high- qual­ity sup­ple­ment. Look for fer­mented forms that also in­clude pre­bi­otics and post­bi­otics— heal­ing com­pounds that en­hance im­mune func­tion and re­duce gut infl am­ma­tion.

3 Up your fiber.

Am­ple fi ber from veg­eta­bles, fruits, seeds, and legumes keeps your colon mov­ing right along and helps sweep tox­ins from the body. Toss kid­ney beans and shred­ded Brus­sels sprouts into sal­ads; snack on rasp­ber­ries or black­ber­ries; add broc­coli and acorn squash to soups; or have a baked sweet potato with co­conut oil for breakfast. •

4 Hy­drate all day.

Wa­ter is cru­cial for trans­port­ing nu­tri­ents and re­mov­ing wastes. You need more than you think: di­vide your weight by two to fi nd the num­ber of ounces of wa­ter you should be drink­ing ev­ery day. Keep a ( not plas­tic) bot­tle of fi ltered wa­ter in your car and on your desk for con­stant hy­dra­tion. Lace it with cran­berry juice to stim­u­late your liver and pre­vent an ac­cu­mu­la­tion of bac­te­ria in your blad­der. Or make a weak green tea to sip all day long. It’s rich in an­tiox­i­dants and can help you gen­tly kick your coff ee habit.

5 Stretch your body.

Amp up cir­cu­la­tion and boost your di­ges­tive or­gans and lym­phatic sys­tem with deep stretch­ing. Yin Yoga fo­cuses on long, lux­u­ri­ous stretches that stim­u­late the merid­i­ans— en­ergy path­ways in the body— and re­duce stress. The stretches and twists in any form of yoga mas­sage in­ter­nal or­gans and en­hance lymph func­tion. And stud­ies show that yo­gic med­i­ta­tion prac­tices lower stress and re­duce infl am­ma­tion.

6 Ban­ish bloat­ing.

Fo­cus on foods that re­duce belly bloat and aid in detox:

❱ Grape­fruit helps re­duce ap­petite and stim­u­lates me­tab­o­lism. It con­tains nootka­tone, a com­pound that’s been shown to re­duce ab­dom­i­nal fat.

❱ As­para­gus con­tains as­paragine, an amino acid that helps re­duce wa­ter re­ten­tion.

❱ High- wa­ter foods, such as cel­ery, cu­cum­ber, melon, and toma­toes, hy­drate the body and pro­mote cleans­ing. Toss them into sal­ads or add them to your morn­ing smoothie.

7 Brush it off.

Dry brush­ing stim­u­lates the lym­phatic sys­tem, helps move wa­ter through the body, and en­cour­ages the elim­i­na­tion of tox­ins from the skin. Right be­fore you shower, use a soft- bris­tled brush to lightly brush your body; start with fi ngers and toes, and move to­ward your heart for 3– 5 min­utes. Fol­low with a shower, al­ter­nat­ing very warm and cold wa­ter— 30 sec­onds each— to fur­ther boost cir­cu­la­tion and move lymph. Or take a warm Ep­som salt bath to fur­ther en­cour­age toxin re­moval.

8 Stock up on detox herbs.

Keep a va­ri­ety of herbs that sup­port liver, kid­ney, and gut health on hand, and work them into your daily rou­tine. Red clover and pars­ley are thought to help carry waste out of the blood­stream; net­tles sup­port kid­ney and liver func­tion; bur­dock has an­timi­cro­bial ac­tiv­i­ties and works as a gen­tle di­uretic; and milk this­tle pro­tects the liver and helps re­move tox­ins and metabolic waste. Look for sin­gle herbs in cap­sules, tinc­tures, or teas, or com­bi­na­tion for­mu­las that sup­port over­all detox.

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