I wrote a post the other day on How to Nourish Yourself this Winter, and one of the things I emphasised was giving your gut and liver some extra love this season. So I’m taking my own advice (sometimes the hardest advice to take, let’s be honest) and I’ve decided to have a break from caffeine, alcohol, gluten, dairy and sugar for 5 days next week starting from Monday.
I don’t want to call it a “cleanse” or a “detox,” because neither of those words resonate well with me. I just want to get back to basics and fill myself up with loads of nourishing foods without these things getting in the way. Because unfortunately, despite their deliciousness, they don’t do my mind and body any healthy favours.
Everything in moderation, even moderation!
You know I’m all about moderation, and I enjoy all of those things regularly. I don’t believe in dieting or heavy restrictions. But I do believe in being honest with your body, and knowing when it needs some extra love and support. And when I’m honest with myself, I know that my fatigue, my skin breakouts, and my mood swings are contributed in part to what I’m eating and drinking. (The rest is from stress and not enough sleep!).
So to honour my body, I’m going to listen to it and give it what it needs. My liver will appreciate not having to process caffeine and alcohol, and my digestive system will appreciate me not having things like sugar, gluten and dairy.
If you’ve been feeling a bit off centre, you’re fatigued, your moods/energy levels/hormones are a bit all over the place or just feel like your body just needs a bit of a reset, please feel free to join me! I’ll make it easier for you by letting you know below what I’ll be doing myself to give you some ideas!
This will be the hardest one for me. I love my morning coffee. I love drinking it in bed, all warm and cosy. I can still replicate this for the most part, I just need something else that’s warm and comforting in my mug instead of coffee. I’m thinking I can do something simple, like warm water and lemon juice. Which is wonderful for hydration, gently waking up the metabolism and also flushing out toxins first thing in the morning. However, if I crave the bitterness of coffee, I’ve also bought some roasted dandelion root tea as an alternative. It’s bitter tasting, and has no caffeine which is great! Otherwise I’ve also got boxes upon boxes of caffeine free herbal tea in my tea collection I can dip into! As a treat, I might also buy myself a turmeric latte or two during the week as well if I’m craving a pick-me-up in the afternoon!
At night, we usually climb into bed with tea and dark chocolate as our “dessert” and that’s going to be something else that has to change as well, as dark chocolate still has a bit of sugar and caffeine. I’ll still have my tea, but if I feel like something sweet, my dessert will probably be something like apples cooked in a little coconut oil with cinnamon or even just a handful of raw nuts with a piece of fruit or something of the sort to help curb the craving. I honestly think though, that my night time chocolate has more to do with habit than true hunger. And if I don’t have the option of chocolate, I will most likely not want anything except tea!
We don’t eat much gluten at home, except for sourdough and the odd bowl of oats. The pastas we get are usually brown rice based, and the other grains we use are rice and quinoa, which are also GF. So this one won’t be hard, either I just have GF pasta or rice, or I’m also happy to just load up on extra veggies to fill me up instead. This one will be easy I think.
I love cheese, cream and butter. I do, I really do. My meals will slightly less exciting without the addition of these but I guess I’ll just have to add excitement in other ways, like fresh herbs and different spices! It’s going to force me to be a little more creative, but I’m up for the challenge!
This will be one the easiest thing for me to give up for 5 days I’m pretty sure. I don’t eat refined sugar often, perhaps in the occasional treat. I’ll sometimes have honey in my coffee, but since coffee is out, that’s not an issue. I also use honey or blackstrap molasses in my baking, but I’m happy to omit these if I do any baking, and just add some cinnamon and diced apples or pears instead if I want some sweetness.
I don’t usually drink during the week, the odd glass here or there if I really feel like it. I do love my Friday wines with Jared though. We usually get take out, open a bottle and relax on the couch after a big week at work. So having a Friday night without the wine will definitely be odd. I’m thinking of getting us some kombucha or even cold pressed beetroot juice instead. It will be nice to still be sipping on something “fun” while we relax.
So as you can see, I can still have loads of things! I think the most important thing is not making this about deprivation, but rather as an opportunity to just take care of myself a little better!
Speaking of care, some other things I’m going to focus on during this time is self care. When you start to rid your body of things you are consuming daily or a lot of, it can sometimes go through a “detox reaction” and you can experience things like fatigue, headaches, cravings and mood swings, especially in the first couple of days while your body adjusts. It doesn’t happen to everyone, but it’s definitely something to keep in mind. This is why self care and being kind to yourself is so important for something like this.
So next week, I’ll be limiting my workouts to just walking and yoga, these both relax and ground me and that’s exactly what I’ll need. I’ll also be aiming for 8 hours of sleep (I usually get about 6), drinking 2-3L of water a day to not only flush out toxins, but to hydrate me and hopefully reduce the severity of any headaches I might get and who knows, I might even fit in a bath one night with some magnesium salts as well!
I’ll be documenting my week on here once it’s all over, but I’ll be updating you daily on my Instagram page on my progress too. If you’d like to join me, add the hashtag #ODA5dayreset so I can find you and support you during the week!