The festivities and indulgences of December have wound down and with the new year there is often a sense of renewed purpose and ‘things to get on with’. A new year, a new you! So is the ‘January Detox’ the right approach to January?
After the December late nights, the extra portions, the joyous Christmas goodies and the flow of alcohol we want to feel a freshness and vitality that a raw food diet or a green juice cleanse or even a short fasting period can give us. The question I offer up is ‘why is this so hard to stick to in January?’ Because TIMING is key to detoxing the body and spring-cleaning our systems.
In September, I wrote about the Equinox and the shift in energy from Summer to Autumn and Winter. This is a time of contraction when the body needs to slow down, warm up and regroup. The Yule time, the Winter Solstice and Christmas are traditionally ‘festivals of light’ and colour to break the darkness of winter and give celebration to a turning point in the calendar (as well as our religious and family beliefs). From the 21st December our days are getting lighter by a minute until we reach the 21st June, our longest day, and our days ebb again.
So what can we do to in January to recover from an exciting December? Rest, recover, nourish and rejuvenate and the key elements for January.
If you can, sleep more than 6 hours a night. Reduce your acidity by reducing your heavy meats, alcohol and caffeine and support your liver with zinc and vitamin B supplements. A raw food diet and green juicing can be very unappealing in January, but as the year warms up, people typically incorporate this into their meals. Instead, nourish with casseroles, stews, slow cooked foods, soaked rice and soups. The root vegetables of this season fit the needs of the body - parsnips, carrots and squashes while the greener vegetables, cabbages, cauliflower and leeks support the immune system. These hardy vegetables are appropriate for Winter and teamed with onions, garlic and aromatic herbs provide an extra nutritional boost to fight off colds and flu’s. Moreover, go gently through January and be kind to yourself.
Learn more about how to gently nurture the body and mind through the colder months and prepare to detox at a workshop hosted by Julie Walshe and I in the evening of 24th January - Women’s Nutrition and Meditation Workshop. Contact me for more details.
Paula is an avid writer and enjoys working with food and words.