Our summer detox & anti-cellulite plan
Summer will soon be here and we can finally start to peel off those layers and enjoy the sunshine! If, however, you're feeling a little lack-lustre and not so happy with what you see in the mirror, read on!
In the winter time, the cold weather and the dark nights can make us feel a little more sluggish, lethargic and less interested in exercise and fresh, clean food. In the lovely light, long summer days however, there are more opportunities to go for that extra walk or bike ride and we tend to feel more inclined to eat fresh, healthier food. So if you still feel a bit lethargic after the winter months, your waistline is a little more ample than you would like and your thighs are showing signs of cellulite/congestion, our Summer detox and anti-cellulite action plan could be just what you’re looking for to get your mind and body back in shape!
Body beautiful action plan - diet & detox advice
- I know we keep saying it but make sure you are drinking 1.5 litres of water daily - increase to 2.5 litres if your exercise levels are high and the weather is hot. Add squeezed fresh lemon juice for a detoxifying boost.
- Herb teas count towards your water intake but normal coffee and tea don't! Remember if cellulite is an issue, fennel, ginger, nettle and lemon can all help to stimulate the detoxification process. Fennel is an effective natural diuretic so if your system is congested, it will help you excrete the toxins which might be adding to the cellulite effect in your legs.
- Clean eating. Remember to increase your proteins and your green leafy vegetables and decrease refined food and dairy produce whilst cleansing your system. Protein should mainly be in the form of fish and chicken with red meat once a week maximum. If weight loss is important, you may find cutting out wheat-based, gluten-high food as well as dairy produce a help.
- Never miss meals! Little and often is the key. Try eggs or fish with spinach or green salad first thing in the morning or a 'green juice' made from half a lime and large handful of spinach, half an avocado, 2 apples, a stick of celery and half a cucumber. Nuts and seeds with a little dried fruit as a snack followed by fresh soup for lunch, high in green seasonal veg and some protein such as fish or chicken whizzed up with a little baked sweet potato to give you slow release energy for the afternoon. Evening meals should be high in veg with a little carbohydrate and preferably no meat. Try tray baked vegetables with a few pine nuts with goat or feta cheese and a green salad. Delicious, satisfying and easy on the digestion.
- Remember to avoid trans-fats (margarine, cheap cakes and biscuits, and cooking with olive oil and other oils that are not resistant to high heats). Try cooking with coconut oil (solid at room temperature). It is highly nutritious, tolerates high heat well and will not congest your system.
- If you crave sweet foods, you may well be mildly hypoglycaemic. Find a glycaemic index table which will be far more useful to you than calorie counting. All foods and drinks are scored from 1-100 with those releasing energy slowly scoring the lowest and the foods releasing energy the quickest scoring the highest. The lower the GI number the better. Foods such as green vegetables, garlic, peppers, aubergines, onions, mushrooms and tomatoes are all low GI foods. Mashed potatoes, chips, cornflakes and pre-cooked white rice are some of the highest, with beer at the top with a score of 100! It is very important to avoid synthetic, artificial sweeteners which will increase your sugar cravings and add chemicals to your body that it can’t tolerate and that can cause all sorts of toxicity and side effects that we are still not fully recognising or understanding. If your blood sugar level seems to be low and you are craving sweet things you may also be deficient in chromium.
- Food for thought, Dr Wendy Denning and Vicky Edgson from their book 'The Diet Doctors' remind us that “one of the most challenging burdens for the liver is breaking down the large number of chemicals produced by stress”. As the liver is such an important organ when it comes to detoxifying, gradually reducing and then stopping alcohol consumption for a few weeks along with caffeine drinks is one of the easiest ways to give your liver a little TLC. If you help your liver you will certainly help give your metabolism a boost and increase your body's ability to detoxify itself. Your liver loves a diet rich in fibre and low in saturated fats (i.e. animal fats and dairy foods). Green leafy vegetables, nuts and seeds, peas, tomatoes and oily fish are the sorts of foods your liver would chose. It would avoid sugar, alcohol and caffeine. If you have dark circles under your eyes, have had a poor diet and suffer from bloating, mood swings, fatigue and have coated or puffy sides to your tongue with hormonal irregularities, these are signs of liver congestion, so supplementation may also help. Try taking Milk Thistle, a good quality essential fatty acid (take fat to lose fat) and a BioCare Multivitamin Complex.
- Exercise is one of the keys to increasing your body's ability to detoxify itself, as well as burning fat and building muscle tone. It is important to consider your lifestyle though when choosing which form of exercise will be most appropriate for you. If you're sitting down all day at work, try hard to get out, even for a 20 minute walk, without a bag, swinging your arms and legs and walking at a brisk pace. If you are significantly overweight, swimming with a steam or sauna session regularly will help stimulate your metabolism and provide a form of exercise that will gradually build up your fitness levels without straining any joints or muscle groups. If your metabolic rate is high and weight isn't an issue but cellulite is, then some sessions of exercise that are more focused around relaxation will probably be for you - these options would include tai chi, pilates and qigong.
- Get enough sleep. Sounds simple but if you're constantly over tired this will increase the stress factor and the likelihood of you reaching for artificial stimulants such as caffeine and alcohol – both enemies of clean living. Most of us need between 7 and 8 hours to function effectively, efficiently and happily. To prepare your mind and body for a restful night's sleep try our Sweet Dreams Pure Essential Oil Blend or Sweet Dreams Spritz.
- Excretion. As a guide if you are drinking the right amount your urine would be clear or straw-coloured and you should be having a bowel movement two to three times a day following meals. Constipation is one of the fastest ways of increasing congestion and toxicity in the system. If your digestion is a little slow, try eating two to three pieces of liquorice daily and increase the roughage in your diet by eating more fresh fruit and vegetables.
- Remember cellulite effects women almost exclusively as it’s closely related to hormonal imbalance. If you suffer from pre-menstrual tension and period problems as well as cellulite, hormonal issues are one of the most likely causes of your cellulite. Aromatherapy massage combined perhaps with regular lymphatic drainage massage (using the vodder technique) over a period of months can help with hormone regulation and detoxification when combined with good clean nutrition and regular exercise. The physical action of the massage can also help to stimulate the breakdown of the fatty cells that cause the dimpled, orange peel effect. Try the following blend with skin nurturing carrier oils and detoxifying essential oils: 25ml Grapeseed Oil, 2.5ml Argan Oil, 2.5ml Macadamia Nut Oil, 6 drops Geranium, 3 Rosemary, 3 Juniperberry and 3 Grapefruit. Alternatively try our pre-blended Detox Massage Oil with Patchouli, Sweet Orange and Juniperberry.
- Exfoliation. Whatever your shape, if your skin is shining, your complexion clear and your demeanor happy and positive, life can be good!! If you have cellulite, and/or your skin condition is poor – particularly if it’s pimply and a little dry – sloughing off the dead skin cells and unblocking any clogged pores can really help to boost the condition of the skin and encourage the regeneration of healthy new skin cells. The circular, massaging motion when you exfoliate will also help to boost the circulation and over time may help to break down fatty deposits. Try making your own 100% natural, detoxifying body scrub. Combine 1tsp honey, 1tsp plain live yoghurt, 2 tbsp pinhead oatmeal, ½ tsp salt, 1 tbsp French Green Clay, 1 tsp Macadamia Nut Oil, 3 drops each of Grapefruit, Juniperberry and Geranium essential oil and enough Rose Hydrolat to create a paste. Mix well and massage into wet skin with a circular motion. Leave on for a few minutes, before rinsing off. Use twice a week.
- Use hot and cold water. When you get in the shower in order to stimulate your circulation and your lymphatic flow, wash first and then alternate the water temperature between hot and cold. Notice how pink your skin is when you get out of the shower - this is a sign that your blood flow has come up to the surface, which can be a real help!
- If you enjoy a good soak in the bath – and you have a few aches and pains, make Dead Sea Salt part of your Detox routine. The minerals in the salts will help to ease any discomfort whilst encouraging your body to release toxins. Take a generous cup of Dead Sea Salt and add to your bath (or foot bath). Then take 15ml of SLS Free Bath & Shower Gel and add 5 drops each of Lavender, Geranium and Fennel essential oil. Add to the water and mix well. Don’t have the bath too hot as this can increase inflammation, which can in turn worsen the appearance of cellulite.
- Post bath/shower Detox Balm: Give your skin a moisture boost whilst encouraging your body to release excess congestion and toxins. Take 100ml Organic Moisturising Lotion and add 5ml Argan Oil, 5ml Macadamia Nut Oil, 15 drops each of Geranium and Grapefruit essential oil, 10 drops Fennel and 5 drops Spearmint. Shake well and massage in after your bath or shower. Substitute the Spearmint for Roman Chamomile if you are using last thing at night.
- Take time to relax and de-stress as this is just as important as exercise, massage and clean eating for consistent results. When you are stressed, no matter how well you eat, the high levels of adrenaline and cortisol in your bloodstream give your body instructions to store fat (particularly around your middle). Blood is also diverted away from the skin when you are stressed, which consequently impacts on the circulation and flow of nutrients to the skin. If your stress levels are high book a massage or try regular relaxation sessions, just as if you were booking in any other appointment in your diary. Take time out, slow down your breathing (also helps to boost lymphatic flow), do some meditation or have a relaxing bath with essential oils. Even a foot bath whilst reading quietly counts! Try combining 15ml SLS Free Bath & Shower Gel with 2 drops of Neroli, 8 Lavender and 5 Grapefruit. You could also vaporise a few drops of our Relaxing Pure Essential Oil Blend in an aromatherapy burner or diffuser. Then switch off the phone, the TV and the computer, down tools and enjoy some valuable down time!
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