The term "refresh" is much more friendly than "detox". In fact I find the prospect of a detox rather scary and decidedly un-fun. It threatens deprivation and less-than-chipper moods (whether it's a diet detox, technology detox or closet detox). Of course detoxes can be great for an overhaul, but sometimes depriving ourselves of things we love is really not necessary, and a quick refresh might do us a world of good. A refresh sounds light, friendly and full of promise.
I recently went on a fantastic yoga, beach and healthy eating week in Fuerteventura, Spain and this was the perfect opportunity to refresh. Every morning started with a yoga or Pilates class; followed by a healthy but filling brunch; afternoons of hiking, surfing or cycling; another yoga or Pilates class in the early evening; and a delicious nutritious evening meal (with desserts!). I would thoroughly recommend the week to everyone and anyone (all levels of yoga & Pilates are catered for), so if you want to find out more then head to: www.azulfit.com. It was the perfect refreshing week and challenged me to think about the small changes I could make in my every day routine back home.
But of course not everyone can afford to take a week off to refresh and recharge so here are my 5 top tips for refreshing your routine to help you feel Beautifully Healthy.
1. Drink hot water and lemon every morning half an hour before you eat breakfast.
This is the perfect way to start your day as it prepares your body for your digestive requirements of the day. It's a really simple and easy change to make to your routine, and as well as the digestive benefits, lemons are also one of the foods that help to make your blood alkaline; without going into too much detail this is a good thing as for your body to be working at optimal levels your blood must be more alkaline than acidic.
2. Set aside 10-20 minutes every morning to do a mini yoga practice (or if you don't do yoga some gentle stretching).
Although this might mean waking up slightly earlier than usual it really is the perfect way to start the day and to feel refreshed. If you're a yogi I would suggest sun salutations, a short standing warrior sequence, at least one inverted pose, and some simple floor poses with a focus on opening up your hips. If you've not yet discovered yoga then do some really gently stretches to wake up your body and get your blood flowing. I would suggest stretches such as gently folding forward to touch your toes (this encourages blood flow to your head), some deep lunges to open up your hips and the seated butterfly stretch (put the soles of your feet together and drop your knees to the floor). Most importantly set aside 5 minutes at the end of the session to just sit or lie in silence (savasana) to empty your mind and be still before the craziness of the day begins.
3. Get outside at least once a week.
Reconnect with nature and appreciate its beauty whilst doing some gentle exercise. Try going on a jog or walk in your local park, or if you're lucky enough to live near the sea then get yourself to the beach for a walk or swim. If you love outdoor sports then make sure you plan them into your life over the next few weeks and months: book a horse riding lesson, get yourself to the surf, take some time to go hiking. Try to do something in the beautiful outdoors at least once a week, it'll become something that you look forward to and really will leave you feeling refreshed and Beautifully Healthy.
4. Get enough sleep every night.
This is a really obvious one, but it's one that many people often ignore. Sleep is absolutely essential for helping you to feel refreshed each and every day, and it's the quality of the sleep as well as the length that will help to set you up for the following day. Make an effort this week to get 8-hours of good quality sleep every single night and see how you feel. My tips for getting good sleep are: do some form of exercise every day, drink camomile tea in the evenings, and switch off all screens about an hour before you go to bed.
5. Replace simple carbohydrates with complex ones.
I am a firm believer in the importance of including carbohydrates in your diet. They are a vital source of nutrients and energy, and a diet without carbs is quite simply boring. However many of us eat far too much of the wrong sort and this leaves us feeling sluggish and bloated. Carbs to avoid: white bread, white pasta, white rice, anything overly processed, and too much fruit (of course some fruit is good, but no more than 2-3 pieces a day). Carbs to love: potatoes with the skin on, sweet potatoes, spelt/oat/rye bread, whole grain pasta, oats, and lots of vegetables. These lists are by no means comprehensive, but give you a guidance as to which ones are good and which ones are bad. Basically, if they give you a level and sustained release of energy then they are good and nutritious, whereas if they give you a quick spike in energy but leave you feeling slow then they are bad and should be avoided.
So I hope that this little list encourages you to refresh your routine. You owe it to yourself to take care of your body - after all, as my Dad says, "You only get one, so you best look after it".
Love yourself, live healthy, be happy.
Love Lucy x