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The turkey carcass is in the bin, wrappers from of a tin of Roses lie strewn across the table, and your paper recycling pile looks like it was sourced from a small forest. If you're determined to show 2021 who's boss, and get rid of the Christmas-induced sluggishness, we've got some detox tips and recipes to make sure you start the new year feeling cleansed and ready for anything it throws at us.
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Chances are, you probably can't face looking at another bottle of prosecco but, just in case, January is the perfect time to give your body a rest and call it quits with alcohol (at least for a while). You could even challenge yourself to Dry January while you're at it.
Drink as much water as possible as it will cleanse your body. Aim for six-eight glasses a day, and gradually cut back on (or, even better, cut out) any fizzy drinks and caffeine. If plain old water seems unappealing after the decadent excesses of Yule, add a sliced lemon, a quarter of a sliced cucumber and a few leaves of bruised mint to a jug of water. Not exactly minced pies and chocolate, we know.
However, not only are the flavours particularly refreshing, but lemon is the king of detox ingredients, mint helps to aid digestion and cucumber has anti-inflammatory properties. Not bad for things you probably have lying around in your fridge already, eh?
Another easy detox drink is green tea, which is full of antioxidants and has been proven to burn fat and boost your metabolism (Authority Nutrition). Try green tea infused with Jasmine or mint for extra flavour.
There's no need to waste your Christmas leftovers - on the contrary there's plenty you can do with them to make sure it all gets eaten. And once those last indulgent bits and pieces have gone, give your fridge a good clear out. Seeing fresh ingredients every time you open it will mean you're far more likely to transform them into a healthy meal.
Colour is key - stock up on bright whole fruits and go green with lots of vegetables (particularly kale, spinach and broccoli), pulses, brown rice, lean meat and fish. Steam or grill your meat and vegetables as much as you can and avoid salt wherever possible by using herbs and spices for flavour instead.
Recipe to try:
Grilled marinated monkfish salad
A great low-calorie option.
Replace your cooking oil with coconut oil. The health benefits of this wonder product are seemingly endless, and its understated taste makes it versatile and easy to use in a huge variety of dishes, both savoury and sweet. Try stir frying your vegetables with coconut oil - and if you're not fond of the taste, you could always opt for refined virgin coconut oil, which is very subtle.
Recipe to try:
Coconut rice pudding with fresh mango and toasted coconut
This creamy, sweet and nourishing dish is a twist on the classic rice pudding. It makes the perfect breakfast or luxurious pudding.
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This is easier said than done, what with all the hidden sugar and sweeteners found in everything from breakfast cereal (yes, that includes the 'healthy' brands too) to condiments, salad dressings and even chewing gum.
The easiest way to control your sugar intake (apart from chucking out the last of those Roses, of course) is to cook from scratch. Here are some carefully-crafted, low-calorie recipes to get you started - they will also help to reduce your blood sugar levels without making you feel like you're missing out.
Recipe to try:
Pear and Brazil nut chocolate brownies
A great after-dinner treat, and a recommended blood sugar diet recipe.
It's best to cut right back on carb-heavy white bread, pasta and white rice, which all contain refined starch. Once digestion begins, the starch acts in much the same way as sugar, leaving you with a sugar slump and bloating to deal with. Lots of these products are also made with bleached white flour, which is heavily processed - and detoxing means staying away from the processed stuff. Instead, try replacing bread or pasta with wild rice, quinoa or bulgur wheat (quinoa and bulgur wheat are also superfoods) for a meal that will keep you fuller for longer.
Recipe to try:
Salmon and pesto with roast vegetables
Easy to make and contains no carbs!
Serves: Dependent on number of salmon steaks used
Doing some daily exercise will improve digestion and help your body sweat out any Christmas-induced toxins, not to mention get your heart pumping and slough off the last dregs of the carb coma that many of us find ourselves in come New Year's Eve. A brisk daily walk, or gentle cycle should be enough to seal your detox deal, aid your mental wellbeing, and make sure you start the new year as you mean to go on.