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bouncing back after the festive season

So the New Year has begun and we’re suddenly feeling the after effects of a month of late nights, indulgent food and drink and minimal exercise (but party dancing counts right?).

We are all human and holiday binges happen to the best of us. The good news is your slightly expanded waistline, flagging energy and lack lustre skin, are all totally fixable. Take a deep breath and consider these 5 tips to help you bounce back after the festive season fun…

Add probiotic and prebiotic foods wherever you can…

If you’ve enjoyed a tipple or two and stolen a few too many candy canes off the tree (you get the drift), chances are your gut health has taken a beating . Good digestive function can be the key to helping us feel great in both mind and body and can be boosted by incorporating pre and probiotic foods. They work together symbiotically to improve digestive health so it’s important to include both:

Prebiotic foods: try bananas, onions, garlic, leeks, asparagus, artichokes, soybeans, and whole-grain breads. Kreol do a delicious sparkling prebiotic drink that tastes amazing and feeds your gut at the same time.

Probiotic foods: try kim chi, sauerkraut, yoghurt or kefir, fermented soy products such as miso and tempeh and even delicious cashew cheese to boost gut flora.

Minimise the refined sugar…

Think about cutting back on refined sugar and replace with healthier choices such as fresh fruit, honey, maple syrup or stevia.  Kick start your day with a  breakfast that includes quality protein, fresh greens and complex carbohydrates. A protein smoothie or sourdough bread with poached eggs, spinach and avocado are great breakfast choices, as they provide essential nutrients, keep you satiated until lunch and help reduce cravings for less healthy sugary treats.

Get moving…

Exercise brings us so many benefits from boosting circulation and mood, helping us lose or maintain weight to increasing the health and function of our organs. If you’ve become a little slack with your exercise over the Christmas-New Year period, now could be the perfect time to set a goal to up your daily movement. Choose something you love to do, such as, bike riding, swimming, roller blading or jogging. If high intensity isn’t your thing, yoga and walking also brings us fantastic benefits.

Up the zzzzzzzzzzz’s…

All those late nights of socialising have probably added up to quite a large sleep deficit. Since our body does its cool stuff such as repair and grow when we’re out for the count, a lack of sleep can affect our skin, energy, exercise recovery and even hormonal function. Try to get to bed an hour earlier if possible, read before bed to help you wind down and aim for at least 7 restful hours per night (sometimes it’s easier said than done…especially with a 2 year old still sleeping in bed with you!)

Consider a short cleanse or detox…

After all that sugar, alcohol and refined carbs, our liver may be crying out for a gentle detoxification. This could simply involve a few of the following:

  • A warm lemon water to start the day (this kick starts digestion)
  • Your fave combination green smoothie to boost nutrition and to hydrate
  • Switching out the coffee for green tea (or something similar) or if that’s too horrific a thought, try cutting back to one espresso a day
  • Drink at least 2 litres of filtered water to flush out toxins
  • Limit processed foods and focus on more quality protein and lots of plants
  • Consider taking a greens powder to increase alkalinity. Living Valley make a great super greens powder combo of alfalfa, wheatgrass and green barley grass that is rich in enzymes, chlorophyll, vitamins, minerals and amino acids.

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