Signs You May Benefit from a Winter Detox Diet
Signs You May Benefit from a Winter Detox Diet
- You tend to feel cold, especially in your hands and feet
- You skin is dry.
- You have frequent bloating after meals.
- You are easily constipated or have slow transit time.
- You feel tired during the day.
- You have low energy.
- You are interested in natural health and want to feel your best.
Living With the Seasons
A major health tenet of herbalism is living with the seasons. This basic principle means that, as the seasons change, the foods we eat, the herbs we use, and the way we live our lives should change too. The goal is to be in balance with the forces of nature.
Many of us do this even on an unconscious level. We crave watermelon and iced lemonade on hot summer days and relish hearty stews during the cold winter months.
Winter is the time of rest and nourishment. Especially for those of us living in cold climates, winter is a time to recharge our energy stores in preparation for the busy months ahead.
Ways to live with the seasons in the winter include sleeping more, spending more time in introspection, and eating warming and nutrient-dense foods.
Many of the pervasive January penance detox diet revolve around eating cold raw foods like salads (or, worse, juices), exercising strenuously and taking cold eliminating herbs.
These practices are the exact opposite of seasonal living.
But I am not writing this article to be the Grinch that stole January’s health resolutions! There are many ways to support your health using a winter detox diet.
7 Steps to a Winter Detox Diet
1. Eat Simple, Nutrient-Dense Winter Foods
The winter months are the time of nourishment and restoration. If you feel cold, have low energy and dry skin these can be signs that you would benefit from simple, nutrient-dense foods including healthy fats.
Examples of this include
- Root vegetables (beets especially are important for liver health - a main detox organ)
- Healthy fats such as coconut oil, olive oil and rendered tallow and lard from grass-fed animals.
- Bone broth based soups
- Grass-fed meats
- Farm-raised eggs
2. Do a Sugar Detox
One of the best things you can do for your health is to avoid sugar altogether. If you regularly eat sugar, consider spending some time in these later winter months to find ways to tickle your sweet tooth without giving in to the white death.
Try this recipe for hot cocoa made with dark chocolate instead.
Many people do a sugar detox and avoid sugar for the month of January in an attempt to atone for the rampant sugar consumption that started around Halloween and didn’t end until after the New Year.
But from a health perspective it doesn’t really work like that. Doing a sugar detox in January because you ate it in excess in earlier months doesn’t erase the damage the sugar has already done. It is far better to develop a new relationship with this white powder and learn how to enjoy your every day life (even the holidays) without sugar.
3. Go Grain Free
If you are really wanting to do some sort of fast for the winter months consider doing a grain fast. Rather than starving yourself of nutrients, a grain fast simply removes a potentially unhealthy food from your diet, leaving more room for nutrient-dense foods like vegetables, cold water fish and grass-fed meats.
Gluten intolerance is a rapidly growing problem among our population and many people are very surprised to see how great they feel when they cut out this food from their diet.
4. Use Warming and Immune-Supporting Herbs
Since the goal of a winter detox diet is to live in harmony with the seasons, winter months are all about warming chai teas, spicy soups and herbs that help to nourish and sustain your energy.
5. Limit Screen Time
A detox diet is not just about the foods we do or don’t eat but also about how we live our life.
Are screens taking over your life?
We use screens for work, for entertainment, to connect with friends and family, for directions and, for some, their smart phone becomes a constant companion that needs to be checked every 13.5 seconds.
If you feel like screens are taking over your life, consider limiting the extraneous time you spend with your screens.
If you’re unhappy with your own screen time, make a concerted effort to push the power off button and replace that time with something you love. Start a new hobby, dust off your guitar, join a book club, volunteer your time, journal, make more dates with friends or write letters (yes by hand) to loved ones.
6. Exercise that Makes You Feel Good
Going back to seasonal living, January is not necessarily the best time to start a new strenuous workout schedule. We are still in the months of rest and relaxation.
However, winter months shouldn’t be an excuse for being sedentary.