Well-being Plan for 2022: Part 1 Gentle January Cleanse

What if instead of a ‘Detox’ or ‘dry’ January you planned to make different healthy changes every month of the year?


This becomes more sustainable, and you give yourself time to learn and explore more of what works for you. You may have also decided to become more environmentally aware, going more plant based, reducing waste and packaging and making better purchase choices.


The last two years have been strange and difficult in many ways and there is a need to rebalance as we come out this time of uncertainty and concern about our health, in particular our immune health.

Going into a full detox in January can be very difficult and probably not the right time of year for most people. I think a deep cleanse of the wholes system is better done in the Spring, when the weather gets warmer and there is optimism or that ‘Spring feeling’ in the air.

January can be depressing, and one can feel sluggish, even exhausted after all the efforts and indulgence of Christmas, BUT it is a great time to make new resolutions and I think making sustainable changes to your diet and creating a wellbeing plan for the year that you can build up to with a little help is far better than going ‘cold turkey’.


The following is the first instalment of my wellbeing plan for the whole of the New Year, you may not want to follow it all the time, but if you implement some of the suggestions every month, you may look back on 2022 as your year of improved Health & Wellbeing.


January


Considerations:

Post-Christmas and New year indulgence

Cold weather

Colds and flu (Viruses)

Lack of light

Less active


Classically January is seen as a time to detox, recovering from the old year and getting set up for the new year. There does need to be a certain amount of dietary amends and cleansing to do post overindulgence , but really, the winter months should be more ‘nourishing and supportive’ when it comes to nutrition.


Nutrition Plan ‘Gentle January Cleanse’


Start your year by:


Avoiding sugar: sweet drinks, cakes, cookies, chocolate and pastries – helps to reset the gut, and stabilise blood sugar and reduce damage to blood vessels.

Drastically cutting alcohol: or consider avoiding it for January – to aid recovery of tissues and organs.

Reducing Coffee and other caffeine drinks by at least 50% - to reduce the stimulant effect on stress hormones.

Reducing portions – to alleviate stress on digestion and increase efficiency of detoxification pathways.

Try to really cut back on all fatty foods and oils including roasted foods, ready meals, dairy, barista alternative milks, fried foods, ice cream, deserts and even reduce healthy oils too – this will give the liver a chance to cleanse itself and the blood vessels.

Increase healthy winter vegetables through soups, stews, risottos, homemade sauces, chilies, curries and hot pots, this will make the nutrients easy to digest in the winter months.

Increase fluid Room temp and hot water, herbals teas and infusions. In the winter months soups and broths are some of the best ways to increase fluid intake and absorb more minerals and nutrients. Plus, this can be environmentally sound due to ‘one pan’ cooking.


Use immune supportive supplements: Buffered Vitamin C (at least 500mg take 3 times a day) Vitamin D (Take 2000-4000iu a day in winter) Zinc picolinate (1 x 22mg twice per day) Omega3 fish oil or Algae Oil


Activity


Purposeful walking (even if it's muddy) Starting your walk in the dark and breathing in the sunrise is really energising and good for the soul.

Hiking, using the larger muscles to walk up steel inclines or steps can hugely benefit the cardiovascualr system

Cold air breathing - dress up very warmly and get out into the cold air and breath deeply to cleanse the lungs and clear the airways.

Spend time in the light - even for 20 minutes make sure you get outside as soon as the sun shines or it's bright weather - your moods and well being depends on it.

Restart your Yoga classes or sign up to beginners Yoga.


Here is my first cleansing but highly nutritious recipe. Look out for more January cleanse recipes.


Avocado & Red Onion Soup


‘Unusually delicious’ Tim (Husband) ‘Actually I quite like that’ Daisy (Daughter)



Ingredients (4 Servings or 2 Main meal size)


2 x soft and ripe avocados

3 x medium red onions

1 x large potato (I’ve used red skinned)

1 x medium courgette

1 Litre of filtered water

Olive oil

Seasoning: Ground seaweed, pink salt, black pepper

Option: Vegetable or chicken stock cube


Directions


Place the whole of the water in a saucepan and heat. Peel and slice the onions into fine circles, chop the potato into small cubes and to the water allow to boil for a few minutes. Slice and finely chop the courgette and add to the pan. Add a splash of olive oil to allow the flavour and the nutrients to be released, lower the heat and cook for 20 minutes or until potatoes and onions are soft. Add seaweed and/or large pinch of pink salt and lots of ground black pepper, if you are going to add stock for a deeper flavour you can add now. Allow to simmer for 5 minutes. Remove for heat. Mash the avocado thoroughly and stir into the soup. You can keep it chunky or semi blend with a hand blender (as I’ve done in the picture) or blend to a smooth velvety soup. Add a little more freshly ground black pepper. Serve with freshly made bread or oat crackers work well.


Health benefits: A great winter soup - deeply cleansing and nourishing.

The onions are deeply cleansing and the inulin fibre they contain supports a healthy gut microbiome. The potato adds fibre, Vitamin C, potassium and carbohydrate, the courgette adds fibre and beta-carotene, the avocado adds fibre, essential fatty acids and minerals and allows more nutrients to be absorbed and utilised in the body.