It’s the most wonderful time of the year, as they say. The holidays are in full swing. From office parties, to gatherings with family and friends, this is no doubt an amazing time for celebration…. And unfortunately, INDULGENCE! We all love to give ourselves permission to cheat for the holidays—eating cookies, nuts, cheese, casseroles as well as splurging on extra glasses of wine and spirits. In the days (scratch that, weeks) we spend celebrating the season, our bodies are on junk food overload.
Although this party certainly is fun while it lasts, the aftermath can be brutal. A study done by Cornell University found that the average weight gain over the holidays is about 1.3 pounds. This doesn’t sound like much, however, the study also showed that the extra pounds you put on between Halloween and Christmas can take more than five months to lose, if you even lose them at all. And, if you consider the average weight gain during adulthood is about one to two pounds a year, I would guess much of midlife weight gain can be explained by holiday eating.
So, how can we approach the aftermath and undergo damage control as quickly as possible? My answer would be to DETOX! The body has naturally built in mechanisms for cleansing and clearing the body of harmful substances. However, sometimes (after a Holiday binge session), the body’s natural mechanisms get overworked and could use some assistance. There are many different methods to assist the body with the detoxification process, so do your research and find the method that best suits you. No matter what you choose, the benefits of detoxifying can’t be denied. Some of the most noted benefits include weight loss, improved mood, reduced inflammation, and higher energy levels.
So, before you ring in the New Year (with champagne overload), consider implementing one or more of my detox tips to get back to normal and ring in the new year right. There are many tips out there, but here are my top 5 favorites.
- Drink More WATER!
The adult human body is 60% water. Water does so much more than just quench your thirst. It regulates your body temperature, lubricates joints, aids digestion and nutrient absorption, and detoxifies your body by removing waste products. Water is like oil to the machine. Unfortunately, it is estimated that 75% of people in our society are chronically dehydrated. What happens when we are chronically dehydrated? According to the book, ‘You’re not sick, YOU’RE THIRSTY’, the author speculates that far more diseases, including heartburn, migraine headaches, morning sickness, obesity, and even Osteoporosis could be caused, at least in part, by chronic dehydration. So, how much water should you be drinking? The easiest way to remember this is the 8×8 rule. On average most individuals should consume eight, eight-ounce glasses of water per day, which equals about 2 liters. You may need more or less depending on your diet, where you live, and your activity level. So, for a quick and easy detox, just simply, ADD WATER (preferably clean filtered water).
- 2. JUICE FAST
I have discussed the benefits of juicing in many of my other articles, however, I have not specifically discussed juice fasting. A juice fast can last as long as 1 day or 30 days, and some can even last longer. A juice fast or cleanse is a type of diet that involves consuming only juices from vegetables and fruits. These juices are extracted by a special juicer that separates the pulp and the juice of your chosen produce. Juice fasts give your digestive system a break so your body can heal and repair itself quickly. The pure juice provides optimal nutrition that the body can absorb immediately. Some of the noted benefits of juice fasting include increased mental clarity, increased energy, clearer skin and weight loss. I personally, have done a 14-day juice fast, and I can tell you this… I have never felt or looked better than I did at the end of that fast..
- 3. Eat more LIVING FOODS
Living foods were created for our consumption. They exist in a raw or close-to-raw state and have not been heated over 118 degrees. Living foods include raw fruits, vegetables, seeds and nuts. These foods come straight from the Earth ready to provide us with abundant nutrition. Eating large amounts of organic, raw fruits and vegetables will give you a boost of enzymes, which your body uses to break down toxins. The more raw foods you eat, the more live enzymes and nutrients you will be taking in, which in turn, will increase your body’s detoxification processes. So, maybe you ease into it, and switch one meal per day to all raw, or maybe you go all raw for a few days, either way, your body will thank you.
- 4. SWEAT
Whether it was in a hot yoga class, or after a long sauna session, we have probably all heard the phrase, “sweating out those toxins”. Many professionals claim that sweating can assist the body in the detoxification process. The body’s primary detoxification organs are the liver and the kidneys, however, if they become overloaded, toxins can be excreted out of the sweat glands. So, I say, find a way to get your sweat on!If you love to exercise, great! Maybe try a new class such as Zumba, kickboxing, aerobics, yoga, or Pilates. Or, maybe try a new sport, like Pickleball. Not only will you sweat, but you will also have fun in the process. If exercise is not your thing, I recommend finding a Dry Sauna. Sauna bathing is a form of whole-body thermotherapy that has been used in various forms (radiant heat, sweat lodges, etc.) for thousands of years in many parts of the world for health purposes. Typically the maximum time you want to sit in a sauna is 15-20 minutes. No matter how you choose to get your sweat on, just make sure you stay hydrated.
- 5. SUPPLEMENT with HERBS
We are blessed to have so much access to the herbal kingdom. A bulk package of your favorite herbal remedy is just a click away. However, with so many herbal options out there, it’s not always easy to know where to start. I would suggest beginning with some of the more common detoxifying herbs. My favorites are as follows:
- Milk Thistle. Milk thistle helps protect the healthy cells in the liver from free radical damage or inflammation caused by toxins. It also stimulates the regeneration of new healthy cells and aids the body in mopping up toxins.
- Turmeric. Protects the liver from incoming toxins through its potent anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. Turmeric has been shown to increase the production of bile by over 100 percent, making it a powerful aid to toxin excretion. This potent herb can easily be added to salads, soups and casseroles.
- Dandelion. It may be the arch nemesis of a yard-savvy homeowner, but dandelions aren’t without their redeeming qualities. As a matter of fact, these “weeds” are commonly used in folk medicine, and have been for quite some time. Dandelion is beneficial for both the kidneys and the liver.
- Burdock Root. Burdock is high in fructo-oligo-saccharides or FOS, which will eliminate the bacterial pathogens that can build up in the gut. Additionally, burdock increases saliva and bile secretions to help break down, bind and excrete toxins from the body.
Dr. F Batmanghelidj, 2003. You’re not sick, you’re thirsty! Hachette Book Group: New York, NY.
John Erickson. 2013. Medical Daily. 75% of Americans May Suffer From Chronic Dehydration, according to Doctors. https://www.medicaldaily.com/75-americans-may-suffer-chronic-dehydration-according-doctors-247393
Gavin Van De Walle, MS, RD. 2019. Healthline. Full Body Detox: 9 Ways to Rejuvenate Your Body. https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/how-to-detox-your-body#section4
Best Health Staff. Best Health. 5 Herbs That Help You Detox Naturally. https://www.besthealthmag.ca/best-you/health/5-herbs-that-help-you-detox-naturally/
Byline: Amber Sherman is a Regenerative Detoxification Specialist and Iridologist.
Liver Rescue Salad
2 cups thinly sliced red cabbage
1 cup diced carrots
1 cup diced asparagus
1 cup diced radish
2 cups diced apples
½ cup chopped cilantro
8 cups any variety of leafy greens (spinach, arugula, butter lettuce, etc.)
1 lemon, lime, or orange, juiced
1 cup orange juice
1 garlic clove
1 tablespoon raw honey
¼ cup water
¹⁄8 teaspoon sea salt (optional)
¹⁄8 teaspoon cayenne (optional)
Chop Everything up and toss together!