After the excesses of Christmas and the New Year, many will be contemplating some sort of January cleanse or detox.
But how do you know if your insides need a break, and what should you do?
Recently, Australian nutritionist, Fiona Tuck, revealed the signs your body has had enough and how you can go about re-setting it.
From dry body brushing to incorporating bone broth into your diet, here FEMAIL shares Fiona’s wisdom.
Do I need a liver detox?
Firstly, you need to decide whether your body needs a break.
Fiona highlighted that if you’re struggling with fatigue, acne, dark circles around the eyes, bloating, brain fog, nausea or general malaise, then it may be time to detox:
‘A variety of lifestyle and dietary changes may be required to cleanse your body naturally,’ she wrote on her blog.
‘For the first few days leading up to the detox, slowly reduce your intake of tea, coffee, alcohol, salt and processed foods. This will reduce possible detox side effects and withdrawal symptoms such as fatigue, sugar cravings, nausea and headaches.
So how should I do it?
There are plenty of ways to do a liver cleanse – some more extreme than others – but Fiona has a few simple rules.
‘Avoid alcohol, cigarette smoke, heavily processed foods high in salt and sugar and processed meats such as ham, bacon, salami and sausages,’ she explained.
You should also refrain from adding sugar to drinks, salt to meals and limit ‘coffee to one good quality, freshly brewed cup per day’.
Next, Fiona said you should think about washing every piece of fruit or vegetable that you eat – and opt for organic where possible.
‘Avoid heating foods in plastic containers in the microwave,’ she added. ‘Plastic can leach toxic chemicals into the foods.
‘The softer the plastic, usually the more toxic it is so avoid wrapping food, particularly high fat foods, in plastic.’
When it comes to your diet, ensure you’re including lots of fruit and vegetables:
‘Upping the fibre in the diet is imperative for our general health and well being,’ Fiona wrote.
‘Fibre helps to remove toxins from the system, helps maintain blood sugar, cholesterol and hormonal balance and helps regulate bowel function.’
You can also try a daily bowl of bone broth or a bone broth-based soup, which the nutritionist says is an ‘excellent way to get extra nutrients into your diet’.
‘Bone broth is rich in minerals and vitamins to help support a healthy body and it also contains gelatin,’ she said.
Gelatin can help hair, skin and bones – as well as gut health
However, Fiona said that a cleanse isn’t just about your diet – it can also include exercise and the buzzword du jour, self care.
‘Daily exercise is essential to help lower blood sugar levels, aid weight loss, tone muscles, strengthen bones, balance hormones and release feel good endorphins,’ Fiona said.
If you’re fitness shy but want to get started, she recommends trying a 20-30 minute ‘brisk walk daily’ to help de-stress and stimulate the lymphatic system to aid the removal of toxins.
Another unusual cleansing technique Fiona recommends is dry body brushing – which you can do by purchasing a natural bristle brush from a health food store or pharmacy and trying it on your skin.
‘Use the body brush on dry skin each morning before you shower,’ she said.
‘Start at your ankles as you work your way up your legs using gentle and extensive movements until you reach the upper thigh.’
You can spend extra time on areas with cellulite, before working up the arms, shoulders and chest.
Finally, the nutritionist said sleep is of course paramount – and something many of us forget about when we want to try a cleanse:
‘Getting a good night’s sleep is essential for our general health, hormonal balance and well-being,’ Fiona said – adding that eight hours is the recommended amount.
By cutting down on your caffeine and alcohol, your sleep should benefit and you should see an increase in un-interrupted slumber.
16 JANUARY 2018 / SOPHIE HASLETT