Pretox: Detox Before Christmas for a Healthy and Happy New Year
Doing a New Year’s detox has become popular as a way to kick-start New Year’s resolutions and recover from all the indulgence of the festive period. But are we getting it the right way around? Many nutritionists are now recommending a ‘pretox’ instead. Find out why in our guide to a successful pretox. It will leave you slim, healthy and ready for all those Christmas parties!
Why You Should Do A Pre-Christmas Detox
Surely the idea of a detox is to remove toxins, so what’s the point of doing one before you’ve built any up? We’ve got 6 great reasons why a pretox is far better for your health and well-being:
- Boost your immune system to avoid colds. Flushing out your
system gives your body extra energy to fight against germs. So you can have a
- Destress before the madness starts. A healthy lifestyle
naturally lowers your stress levels so you can feel calm and ready for all the
- Lose weight to feel great. If you have put on a bit of
winter padding, this is a great time to shift some of it and boost your
- Store up energy for the festive season. The nutrients in our
detox packs will revitalize your body. This will give you the boost you need to
get through the holidays!
- Get glowing hair, skin and nails for all those parties.
After detoxing you’ll look better than ever; better health means a better
- Avoid feeling guilty over Christmas. Knowing that your body is refreshed will help you avoid that nasty feeling of guilt when you indulge. Everyone deserves a few treats!
A pre-holiday detox will boost your immune system and help you stay healthy during that hectic holiday season. It will also help you come out of the gate strong in the new year. Most people are familiar with fasting-based detox programs that may include juices, smoothies, water or no food at all. Let's face it—this is not the easiest form of detox for most people and in some respects, they can be quite dangerous. In this article I will go through what I call a gentle detox, these are lifestyle changes that you can make over the course of 1-2 weeks that will clean your body and boost your immune system.
What’s The Best Way To Detox?
There’s lots of different advice around on how to detox, with a lot of conflicting ideas floating around. We’ve narrowed it down to the basics. Follow our simple three step process to make the most of your pretox!
1: Make sure your digestive system is working well first
If your diet has been less than ideal this year then you’ve probably suffered from bouts of constipation. Digestive problems are a big sign that you could do with a cleanse. Taking Good Move for a few days before starting your detox will help your body to refresh itself more effectively.
2: Use a detox kit to make things easy for yourself
Loads of people start detoxes full of good intentions but end up giving in before the end. It’s no wonder - juice cleanses and other fasting programmes involve a lot of prep work and leave you feeling absolutely starving! Avoiding solid food completely will make you miserable and is not the path to sustained health. All that you will do is make yourself feel deprived, leading you to overindulge afterwards and end up heavier than before. They will boost your metabolism, remove toxins and invigorate your liver. It is recommended eating sensible but enjoyable food during the cleanse so you can enjoy yourself and feel full. Whole grains, vegetables and lean protein like chicken or tofu taste delicious and make you feel great. Start on the first of December and by Christmas Eve you’ll be feeling fantastic – all while eating normal meals!
3: Don’t go back to old habits afterwards
After your pretox you'll feel healthier than ever, and we encourage you to enjoy the festivities of Christmas. The healthiest people allow themselves to indulge occasionally. ‘Eating clean’ constantly is unsustainable and many of life’s best moments revolve around enjoying food with friends and family. But detoxing will make you realise just how awful living an unhealthy lifestyle was making you feel. When you’re planning a New Year’s resolution there’s no need to go all out by banning carbs and exercising yourself to exhaustion. Instead, try to focus on a small goal like fitting in 5 portions of fruit and veg a day. Don’t beat yourself up when you don’t achieve it, just see it as a learning opportunity – every day is a chance for a fresh start!
Here is a list of recommendations to be implemented over the course of 1-2 weeks leading into the holidays—and possibly longer if you begin to like the results.
- Please note that each person is at a different level in
terms of their health. For instance, if you rarely eat organic food, simply
switching over to strictly organic foods for a week or two will be highly
detoxifying. If you are already eating organic food, you will need to take it a
step further to experience any added benefit. Incorporate what you can from the
list below, the more you can check off the better the results.
- Start every day with a 1-2 glasses of spring water with a
pinch of sea salt and lemon juice from a full lemon. And make sure you drink
half your body weight in ounces of water per day. Water plays a critical role
- Before showering, use a skin brush on your entire body.
Start from your feet and move towards your heart. This will stimulate your
lymphatic system to remove waste and will exfoliate old skin thus opening your
- While showering, alternate hot and cold water. Hot for 30
seconds, cold for 30 seconds. Do this for about 5 minutes or more. Great for
the pumping the lymphatic system and strengthening the nervous system. You may
also want to visit a bath house with a cold plunge pool. You can achieve a
- Consider limiting the amount of personal hygiene products
you use during you cleanse. Most perfumes and makeups are highly toxic. Check
out ewg.org where you can look up ratings on each of your products. They even
have an app where you can scan the barcode on your products.
- Limit coffee to 1 cup a day and ensure that it is from an organic source. If you need more than a cup a day, supplement a tea with caffeine such as jasmine or green tea. Also, it is helpful to consume decaf teas in between meals to support optimal digestion—ginger, peppermint, licorice are all great options.
Food Requirements during the cleanse:
- Eat organic. It is extremely important that you eat only
organic food during this cleanse (really, all the time). I reiterate this in
all of my articles but, if you are not eating organic you are exposing your
body to a wide variety of chemicals that will clog your system. Organic and
biodynamic produce, grass fed meat, free range chicken, wild fish—you get the
drill. Yes, it is okay to eat meat during this program as long as they are high
quality and not in excess.
- Remove gluten, dairy, soy and corn during the cleanse. These
foods can be highly inflammatory and mucus forming. For the more advanced,
consider removing all grains.
- Eliminate sugar apart from 1 piece/serving of fruit a day.
The fruit should be lower on the glycemic index: berries, apples, and pears
fall into this category. Sugar of any form weakens our immune system for
- Do not worry about going raw or doing anything else special
as long as you follow the guidelines above.
- Include one cleansing juice a day. Dandelion, beets, ginger,
cayenne pepper, garlic and lemon are especially beneficial for gentle
cleansing. Per the fruit guidelines above, I would avoid pure fruit juices. If
you are a light morning eater, have your juice for breakfast, otherwise
incorporate your juice as an afternoon snack.
- Move your body. Perform some form of movement every day,
whether it is walking, biking, CrossFit, yoga or Pilates. Your lymphatic system
doesn't have a pump, it circulates waste when we move (or skin brush and
hot/cold showers). Do something every day, and don't feel like you must get to
the gym or a class, a brisk 20-minute walk can often be more beneficial.
- Focus on your breath. Most people don't realize it, but
every breath we take is a form of detox. 5 minutes or more of deep breathing
each day can be a highly effective detox tool. The goal is deep breathing or
diaphragmatic breathing. There is no correct position, find what is most
comfortable for you, standing, lying, leaning or seated. A yoga class, Tai Chi
and Qiqong also work extremely well. Choose what works best for you and what
you are most likely to do on a daily basis.
- Ensure that you are getting enough fiber to keep yourself
regular and by regular we mean daily. Soaked flax and chia seeds can be
particular helpful here.
- Get to a steam room, sauna or even better an infrared sauna,
as many times as you can. Sweating is critical to any detox program.
- Get to bed earlier than normal. Your body fixes itself while
you sleep, it does this by releasing growth and repair hormones. These hormones
are most active between 10PM and 2AM. Many studies have shown that sleep we get
before midnight is twice as powerful as sleep after midnight. Do your best to
be in bed during this window. If you have a hard time falling asleep, develop a
sleep routine, turn off all bright lights about an hour before bed, take a hot shower
or bath, have some tea, use a lavender essential oil, etc.
- There are a variety of herbal and nutritional supplements that can aid in a detox. These are fine to introduce so long as you know they are from a quality source. A few examples include wild dandelion, burdock root, milk thistle, psyllium and bentonite clay.
Doing a total body cleanse before the holidays gives your body the ‘empty slate’ it needs to process the extra food you’ll be consuming. Your digestive system can start from scratch and easily remove toxins. This way you can avoid that overloaded, bloated feeling that happens towards the end of December. You can tell if you’re in need of a pretox if you’ve got symptoms like bloating, headaches, dark circles or bad breath.
Also you can also visit Ayii Anargyri Natural Healing Spa Resort and try Detox Body Ritual. It will improve and combat circulation problems with the benefits of the sea combined with manual drainage actions for fluid retention and help eliminate toxins, and cellulite thereby refining the silhouette.
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