Does another new year mean ambitious health resolutions for you? Heck, we know that these don’t last for long, don’t we?
I used to make a long laundry list of all the things I wanted to improve in my life from the moment that the bell rang in midnight on December 31…but I learned that it doesn’t work like that. Great ambitions are great, but if we set our expectations too high too soon, any small lapse will feel like a mighty failure on our path to a better life, because we are biting off too much at once!
The secret to getting it right is to start with small but impactful steps that will pave the basement for your grand staircase to the stars! So rather than zooming from 0 to 100 in 10 seconds, why not go 0 to 10 in 10 days, and then steady onward to 100 with small, measurable steps that will make you feel proud and strong, rather than frustrated and weak!
In this article I will share some health hacks with you and the key phrase is “creating better habits”!
Let’s start with some easy step by step habit breakers here and I invite you to take a closer look and judge for yourself if these small but potent health hacks can make a huge difference for you too!
A happy new year and here’s to creating awesome new habits!
Step 1: Intermittent Fasting
Contrary to popular belief, fasting doesn’t need to be a long-drawn affair without food! Even a shorter window of non-eating can bring great results if timed right! The idea is to avoid the need for digestive work, so your energy can be used for repair and detox.
Try this: After dinner, do not consume anything for 16 hours, which means skipping breakfast. Have a glass of warm water with lemon right after waking up to get your metabolism going and then a cup of hot green tea, which gives you energy, curbs hunger, and has a thermogenic effect that increases your metabolic rate. The longer you can wait before breaking the fast, the more powerful it is! At home we have had liquid breakfasts for the last 2+ years and have never felt hungry while having more energy and better health than ever!
If you can do it comfortably, try to use your fasting time to exercise as well! This will burn the remaining glycogen in your blood cells fast and the energy you need for the workout will be taken from your fat cells!
It is also a good idea to have dinner at least 3-4 hours before going to bed, so that your night time will be restful and your body can repair rather than digest.
Once you are comfortable with a 16-hour intermittent fast, try to incorporate a full day of liquid nutrition into your schedule! It’s a very powerful reset to have a 24-hour break in digestion, and you can still consume delicious liquids like detox smoothies and soups (see recipes in steps 3 and 4 below).
Step 2: Five Days Sugar-Free
The trick to losing fat is losing toxins, as these are stored in the fat cells! Excess sugars are deposited in your fat cells, so if you want to tighten up and detox at the same time, a few days of no sugar consumption will get you started!
Now, sugar comes in many guises and we have to be strict here to really be effective, so during these sugar-free days, no carbohydrates should be consumed either. You are basically moving your metabolism from glycogen to ketogenic for a few days, where fat is burned for fuel. I know that keto diets are all the hype, but they can be dangerous over the longer run and often rely on unhealthy animal fats, so I recommend a whole foods plant-based sugar-free diet for a few days to reset your system and break metabolic habits!
At home we do a 7-day sugar-free detox after every major trip to clean out the processed and heavy foods we consume while traveling. On average we both easily lose 3-5 pounds during that week, but you need to try it for yourself, as no two bodies are alike!
So what can you eat and what should you avoid? I have created a list of what to eat and what not that you can use as a starting point below. Make all your meals at home and be mindful while eating. Drink lots of fluids like fresh water and herbal teas and make sure you exercise to help the detox process along.
I believe that this short-term sugar-free period is a gentle way to detox your body without moving fully into ketosis, which can bring some unwanted side effects with it. Once you are feeling lighter and better, start introducing small amounts of complex good carbs again, as these are vital for long term good health!
You may also notice that your taste buds are changing and you may no longer have the taste for your former levels of sweetness or saltiness, which is a good thing!
Step 3: The Best Detox Beverages
Detoxing does not mean you need to cut out all tasty foods and only sip on nettle & dandelion tea - there are better ways! We have creating many great detox smoothies and here are our favorite recipes, which should leave you happy and full!
The trick to a great detox smoothie is to have primarily greens or antioxidant ingredients, a little fruit for taste, some good fat to absorb the greens better, and other helpers like turmeric, ginger, spirulina or coconut oil that dial-up the metabolic rate and the detox effect!
Step 4: The Best Detox Soups
On sugar-free or fasting days, you should still feed your body with great nutrition while avoiding too much digestive work, so yummy creamy or hot steamy soups work best! Our favorite detox soups are raw vegan, but you can also warm them up a little (without boiling as you’ll lose some nutrients through heat).
Here are our best detox soup recipes: