Living by our frazzled wits in a state of non-stop, frenetic exhaustion, is a badge of motherhood!
We're sleep deprived.
We're juggling several million too many things in our minds at any one moment.
And we're always "on" as we try to navigate our way ... usually without a map ... through all the new things in our children's lives.
It's no wonder that we pep ourselves up, just to keep going, with sugar and caffeine and then reach for a glass or three of wine as soon as the kids are asleep, to try desperately to wind down.
But there comes a point when the exhaustion and the adrenalin and the anxiety and the caffeine and the sugar and the alcohol just all take their toll and we're running on empty.
And it's easy at those points to be overwhelmed by it all and to get angry and big time sad.
Now obviously, what we're all crying out for is a lovely detox!
But any mum who can keep going for three days on almost no food must be employing a 24 hour nanny and have a retinue of household staff! For the rest of us mere mortals it just isn't going to happen.
But in the last month I have managed to give up caffeine, (I am a binge coffee drinker), cut down my alcohol to less than 3 units a week and reduce my sugar intake significantly without said nanny or household staff!
I'm still tired, I still worry about stuff but I do feel so much better physically and feel more able emotionally to tackle the things that were getting me down.
The trick has been some easy detox secrets an friend who is an amazing nutritionist gave me.
She told me most detox programs get everything the wrong way round.
The reason we crave all the bad stuff is because we haven't got enough of the good stuff ... so going hungry for three days will just make us want more of the bad stuff. Makes sense.
Her top tips were to enjoy eating just a bit more healthily and do some gentle exercise ... particularly walking ... for a month, which will:
- Get your digestion working quicker & more effectively
- Stabilise your heart rate which helps with anxiety & adrenalin
- Change your taste buds so you start to crave the good stuff
- Increase your serotonin levels naturally which will make you feel happier
- Increase your energy levels with lower GI food
And then ... and only then ... you're ready for actually giving stuff up whether it's caffeine, sugar, alcohol, wheat, salt or whatever else it is that's screwing up your system.
It's basically just so much easier to give stuff up once your body is brimming with good stuff!
And from my experience over the last two months my friend is completely right!
So here are my tried and tested tips for an easy detox that every mum can do.
Tips for an Easy Detox
- Drink an extra glass of water every day ... and keep increasing
- Drink a glass of warm water & lemon juice first thing every morning
- If you're not already a big exercise junkie try to get at least 3 blocks of 30 minutes heart raising exercise each week but remember exercise can just be walking briskly!
- Stock up on healthy snacks you love and snack on them between meals
- Eat an extra portion of veg every day particularly dark green cabbage, spinach, kale, watercress, cauliflower, broccoli, brussel sprouts, beetroot and celery ... if you can eat more do!
- Eat an extra portion of fruit every day particularly blueberries, blackberries, cranberries, raspberries, strawberries, grapefruit, avocados, apples and papaya ... if you can eat more do!
- Eat at least one portion of legumes a week ... lentils, kidney beans and chick peas can all be easily added to soups, casseroles and salads and canned are fine as long as no extra salt
- Flavour your food with plenty of garlic ... will make it much easier to cut out the salt and the garlic has cleansing properties
- Eat oily fish once a week - it's great for blood pressure & makes you feel happier!
- Eat a handful of nuts every day - brazil nuts, walnuts, almonds and hazel nuts have all been shown to increase serotonin levels - so again they are happy food!
- Bake with spelt flour which is low GI and much gentler than wheat on digestion
- Eat oats in breakfast cereal and add to baking - low GI and appear to have calming effects
- Eat lots of wholegrain - full of complex vitamin B which is important for mood
- Just do as many of these as you can - it's not about going from zero to hero ... it's gradually increasing the good stuff in a sustainable way ...
- After a month you should find yourself craving all this good stuff because it makes you feel better
- Only now start cutting the bad stuff out - these will vary by person but ideally cut out or significantly reduce caffeine, alcohol, sugar, salt and wheat
- Cut out the easiest stuff first
- If one thing is a trigger for another ... e.g. if I drink wine in the evening, I "need" coffee in the morning ... try to cut out the trigger first
- Go slowly if you need to ... the benefits of the good stuff will be constantly increasing so it will become easier and easier
If you liked this post do follow me on Pinterest ... and if you're looking for more easy advice on increasing your health check out the links at the bottom of this post and feel free to add your own ...