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MIND, BODY & SOUL
January Anti-Detox

by Jessica Kruger

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This month Jessica Kruger, founder of central London’s healthy eating restaurant, ETHOS, joins us to talk about the January anti-detox. 

This year rather than letting the festive season pass us by leaving us empty and frazzled, let us try and re-engage with the entire period and allow ourselves to enjoy and celebrate in some of the more simple magical moments it has to offer.

Ahhh January. As the clock ticks over to January 1st, our media feeds are instantly saturated with the word DETOX. It is literally everywhere. So it’s little wonder we feel pressure to radically change our lifestyles to “get back in to shape” as we kick off the New Year. We are told we should abstain from alcohol, give up gluten and worship the gym. And we mindlessly jump on the band wagon … with teeth gritted.

Despite it’s good intentioned roots, the idea of a “detox” seems to have lost its soul to big business and its messages are becoming a little hard to swallow.  What I propose is the anti-detox. Intrigued?

Rather than going on a diet, we might want to consider small changes to our overall lifestyle. Healthy habits are for life, so rather than suggesting jumping in to an extreme diet (juicing, souping, fasting) that will only make your life a misery for a month – and most likely fizzle out and eventually back fire – how about adopting some nice new – small – habits in to your weekly routine?

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My advice (for everything in life, really) is to keep it simple. I really can’t stand the pseudo-scientific campaigns that make us fear gluten and sugar. Everything in moderation, I say.

Rather the best approach to feeling good and starting your new year on a high is to approach “health” with baby steps. I think we all probably know, deep down, what is and is not healthy. For example, I think most people would agree with the following:

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Fruit & vegetables & drinking lots of water. Healthy = Eat lots of them!

Food that comes in a plastic packet and has lots of ingredients and probably a few E-numbers too. Probably not so healthy = Eat less of them!

“Health” is not just about food and drink – it’s just as much about mental and physical habits too. So, without further ado, here are some suggestions for new healthy habits to include in your life:

– Take up drinking hot water with a squeeze of fresh lemon as the first thing that passes your lips each day. Simple.

– 3 pm hunger pangs? What about buying a bunch of bananas to keep on your desk and commit to reaching for one before eating anything else. Chances are you won’t be as hungry for chocolate after munching on a ‘nana.

– Regularly ask yourself “when was the last time I drank water?” If it was 2+ hours ago, grab a glass and drink up.

Plan your treats! Me – I need my weekly sugar laden chocolate brownie, so I plan it as my Friday treat. That way I don’t feel like I’m depriving myself interminably. And if I really want a mid-week sweet treat I allow myself. Plan it and you tend to find you will hold out for those treats with a bit more success.

– Shake up your social life: do something different with your weekends. Make it a goal to do one new thing per weekend. I love visiting art galleries and museums but during the year find I never get around to it. Do it once a week and you’ll probably feel good about yourself as a result.

– Avoiding alcohol is always going to improve your health. But abstaining completely is pretty hard. So what about saving that glass of wine or cocktail for special occasions only? I find this approach works for me.

– Detox shmetox: Buck the trend. Be a rebel. It is much more effective, I promise!

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