Sunshine, liver detox, energy, vitality, superfoods, healing diets: What more would you want?
Common Pitfalls of the Holiday Season
During the holiday season, including work Christmas parties, we might partake in a little over-indulgence, a few too many high carb and unhealthy food choices, amongst other challenges that many of us face at end of year celebrations. A bit too much alcohol, not enough water and skipping your exercise routine are other obstacles.
But being ok with a minor slip up and seeing the big picture is important. As long as you don’t let a slip up become a slippery slope, then enjoying yourself over the holidays is ok! Remember that summer is an opportunity to detox and break bad habits built up during the year. Also, you can turn the holiday season on its head and use it as an opportunity to kick-start new healthy habits for the year ahead!
Good Nutrition During The Holidays
To protect our body’s cells from the extra stressors of our modern, busy lives, healthy eating experts recommend eating lots of antioxidants in superfoods like walnuts, brazil nuts, green tea, spring onion, spinach leaves, broccoli and berries.
If you get caught up in the silly season, a naturopathic liver detox, using therapeutic, healing foods that stimulate liver enzymes and assist in the removal of toxic by-products from the body, can be a good idea.
Fibre – essential and often forgotten to a liver cleanse.
A high fibre diet helps to remove toxins from the body. All fruits and vegetables contain fibre; very good sources include legumes such as chickpeas, lentils, black beans and peas.
A juice cleanse – flush the toxins out
Fresh juices made with predominantly vegetables such as beetroot, carrot, parsley and celery, rather than fruit, support the liver. Remember, 2-4 servings of whole fruit per day is good for you, but fructose becomes very concentrated when fruit is consumed as a juice, which can become counter-productive to good health.
Get the liver going by improving digestive secretions with a generous squeeze of lemon in a large glass of water every morning, and eat lots of dark green leafy vegetables, especially bitter greens such as endive, rocket, kale, radicchio and mescalin mix. The high sulphur content of onions, garlic, leek and spring onion help the liver remove toxins – an option is to use finely chopped raw onion in salads.
Lethicin granules and a teaspoon of finely ground LSA (linseed, sunflower and almond) meal on cereal, such as boiled buckwheat with rice milk, is a good option.
Omega-3 sources of fish such as salmon, sardines and mackerel are anti-inflammatory.
Organic soy foods like tofu and tempeh are very high in detoxifying antioxidants.
Cruciferous vegetables including broccoli, kale, cauliflower, cabbage, broccoli sprouts and radish sprouts contain compounds that increase glutathione – the body’s master antioxidant and brilliant liver detoxifier to protect liver cells.
2-3 cups of organic green tea every day is a source of easily absorbed antioxidant power.
The use of garden herbs in cooking to flavour food and reduce reliance on salt is a valuable option and at the same time therapeutic. Rosemary is a great antioxidant and enhances phase 2 liver detoxification. Adding handfuls of finely chopped fresh green herbs such as parsley and basil to salads and meals such as pasta makes the meal even healthier!
Vitamin D, the sunshine vitamin
During summer and beach weather we may be exposed to lots of sunshine and it’s always essential to ‘slip, slop, slap and wrap’. In summer it is important to avoid peak UV radiation between 9am to 5pm.
However, vitamin D deficiency is becoming more and more common in Australia, so checking your levels at the GP might be a good idea. That’s because vitamin D is such an important nutrient for many body functions, including mood, immunity, bone health, enzyme and hormone function including thyroid metabolism and cancer prevention.
The cancer council’s position statement on vitamin D is as follows:
“For most people, adequate vitamin D levels are reached through regular incidental exposure to the sun. When the UV Index is 3 or above (such as during summer), most people maintain adequate vitamin D levels just by spending a few minutes outdoors on most days of the week.
In late autumn and winter in some southern parts of Australia, when the UV Index falls below 3, spend time outdoors in the middle of the day with some skin uncovered. Being physically active (e.g. gardening or going for a brisk walk) also helps boost vitamin D levels.”1
D-Minder is an app that can help determine exactly how much sunshine you require, based on your skin type.
Organic natural ice tea:
My secret (and simple) method of making the healthiest, most delicious ice tea known to mankind! This simply includes boiling up a pot of peppermint, green and rooibos teas. Steep to taste (I usually let it steep as long as possible). Cool, place into a glass bottle and chill in the fridge. To sweeten you can add manuka honey to taste, but I recommend having it pure to enjoy the delicious mix of refreshing tea flavours!
½ cup blueberries or mixed berries (frozen is ok)
¼ cup rolled oats
2 tablespoons finely ground LSA mix (linseed, sunflower, almond)
1 tablespoon pea or rice protein powder (optional)
About 2 cups of plant based milks such as almond, macadamia, oat, rice, soy or coconut milk.
Experiment and add your own ingredients such as acai powder, goji berries or ground chia seeds
Blend and enjoy
Boil buckwheat till cooked, drain
Add a generous dash of plant-based milk such as almond, macadamia, oat, rice, soy or coconut milk
1 tablespoon of finely ground LSA mix (linseed, sunflower, almond)
Add a dash (1 teaspoon) of organic linseed oil!
Add lethicin for liver support (optional).
Make a meal out of your salad by adding enough solid ingredients to your salad to make it a meal of its own!
Baby spinach leaves and or mescalin mix
1 handful roasted pinenuts
1/2 cup chopped spring onion or ½ finely chopped onion
1 cup shredded basil or a handful finely chopped parsley
Baked salmon fillet
Optional: beetroot boiled and cubed, anchovies, chickpeas (canned is ok but rinse well)
Dressing – juice of ½ – 1 lemon, dash balsamic vinegar, lots of extra virgin olive oil, 1 teaspoon whole grain or dijon mustard, pepper (no need to add salt as mustard is packed with salt).
HSG can help your staff become healthier:
- Healthy Cooking Demonstrations
Our healthy cooking experts will teach your employees how they can quickly and easily prepare their own great-tasting healthy meals!
- Nutrition Seminars
Our nutritionists are experts at creating engaging and educational nutrition and health programs to motivate your staff to optimal wellbeing.
Thank you to HSG’s workplace health & wellbeing facilitator, Max Hacker, for this article.