The ONE Thing The Healthiest People We Know Do To Detox In January
January can often be overwhelming, with new wellness advice being offered from every direction. While it's well-meaning, it can be hard to cut through the clutter, so we asked top wellness pros from across the country what the single most important thing they do to detox in January. Read what they had to say, and experiment with what resonates with you—you might find yourself feeling better sooner than you think!
Drink a protein-packed smoothie.
Do a Whole30.
January is a great time for a Whole30 or other real-food reset that focuses on food quality. Cut out the sugar and processed foods, and instead look at focusing on nutrient-dense foods like well-raised meats and organic vegetables and fruits. Switch to water or herbal tea instead of soft drinks.
Eat easier-to-digest food.
Reflect on the past and future.
After a hectic holiday season (characterized by a lot of socialization), I love treating January like a blank slate to set intentions for the year ahead, create space, and go inward. My mornings are filled with reading, reflection, and yoga; I prioritize sleep (which isn't so hard during one of the darkest months of the year); and I nourish my body with warming, grounding foods, while forgoing the alcohol and sugar as much as possible.
—Sara McGlothlin, holistic nutritionist
I love doing different intermittent fasting or time-restricted feeding protocols to enhance my detoxification pathways. If I need a deeper reset, I will do an OMAD, or one meal a day. By doing a 23:1 fasting:eating window, I am allowing my body to upregulate liver detox pathways as well as enhancing my body's autophagy, or cellular cleansing pathways. I take the autophagy to the next level by sipping on some Earl Grey tea during the fast. the bergamot oil and the black tea of Earl Grey are the secret ingredients to amplify autophagy. Even more, all of this enhances nutritional ketosis, my body's fat-burning, brain-boosting metabolic state.
Try a kitchari cleanse.
A kitchari cleanse is the world's oldest cleanse and a staple in ayurveda. For three days, I eat kitchari with mung beans, quinoa, and specific spices that aid digestion, stimulate metabolism, and cleanse toxins. It's satisfying and warm while gently detoxifying your body and enhancing your digestive fire for lasting benefits.
—Sahara Rose, ayurvedic expert and author of Eat Feel Fresh: A Contemporary Plant-Based Ayurvedic Cookbook
Do a digital detox.
Throw my phone out the window from a great height. OK, that's just a fantasy, and that could hurt pedestrians below, so don't do that. But effectively do that. There's no better detox these days than a digital detox, so the more space you can give yourself from all technology over the holidays, the more genuinely rested and refreshed you will feel upon re-entry into "real life" in 2019.
I don't really cleanse or reset in January except to throw out all the sugary stuff I have lying around from the holidays! I make a conscious decision to really make two of the three meals daily mostly plants (protein of course too) and really solidly thought out. I like to have my clients put a lot of conscious thought into their meals, really taking the time to eat and enjoy them.
Make an action plan.
I draw up a list of the four most prominent areas in my life—self, profession, love, family—then write one word for each, followed by an action plan. For example, self might be "balance hormones" with an action plan to meditate and stop traveling so much! Using one word to describe your goals makes the plan less overwhelming, and the action plan is your strategy to achieve it!
Restock a healthy fridge and pantry.
I take everything out of my fridge, freezer, and cabinets and toss what's expired or just not going to get used. Then I restock with my favorite healthy staples. Also, this isn't a food thing, but I burn a lot of palo santo and take steps to cleanse the energy in my space. It helps me feel more clear, mentally.
December tends to be such a busy month with social gatherings that my goal to recharge this January is to set a bedtime and stick to it. Sleep is so important to manage stress levels and even regulate appetite. I look forward to lots of good sleep in the new year!
Remember that cleansing isn't just about food.
After over a decade of doing food-based cleanses full of beautiful, wholesome ingredients, I've made cleansing a regular part of my life. They're not just a fad, they're not only for pre-festival preparation or post-holiday bloat relief—cleanses are here to stay. I've come to hold a deep respect for these magical detox periods that are best practiced with the change of the seasons.
Cleanses aren't only about what you're putting into your body; they're also a time to come back to a ritual of meditation, a spiritual yoga practice, hiking, or being in nature. From a bath at the end of a long day to keeping your phone on airplane mode for several hours while you restore your heart and mind, cleansing comes in all forms. When you spend time away from situations that drain you, even for a little bit, you'll feel radiant, energetic, and have an easy time finding gratitude for all of the little beautiful things in your life and on your path.
The only cleanse I'll do or recommend is one for the mind and mental health. Get rid of anything that no longer serves you, set boundaries with your precious time, explore ways to bring more love and joy into your life, and limit behaviors that aren't taking you closer to health and happiness. You can skip all the detoxes and cleanses out there—find something that supports your body at doing what it does really well, already!
Keeping a healthy diet has just become part of my life at this point, but as an entrepreneur I find myself needing to reset the work-life balance. In the new year, I get myself a brand-new journal and map out my year as best as I can. I use the journal daily to create balance and accomplish a lot in a little bit of time.
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Liz Moody is an author, blogger and recipe developer living in Brooklyn, New York. She graduated with a creative writing and psychology degree from The University of California, Berkeley. Moody has written two cookbooks: Healthier Together: Recipes for Two—Nourish Your Body, Nourish Your Relationships and Glow Pops: Super-Easy Superfood Recipes to Help You Look and Feel Your Best. She also hosts the Healthier Together Podcast, where she chats with notable chefs, nutritionists, and best-selling authors about their paths to success. Her work has been featured in Vogue, Glamour, Food & Wine & Women’s Health.