The festive season is now behind us with hopefully plenty of memories and happy times to take you into the new year. When it comes to food, you may have overdone it a little. Luckily, we have January to start off on a clean slate and reset our healthy habits or to start new ones in the form of a liquid detox.
Asavela Mntumni (28), from Houtbay, Cape Town, says that she always detoxes her system after the festive season.
“When you detox, you get rid of all the junk in your system. Detoxification is beneficial because it helps the body get rid of the accumulated toxins and other waste that has built up over time.”
Mntumni adds that her body feels lighter after a detox, especially if she was not being disciplined during the festive season in Dutywa in the Eastern Cape.
“It’s hard to keep to our personal diet since our parents don’t understand our lifestyle. When we’re together, we all eat the same thing, and I can tell when I’ve eaten too many carbs and red meat. So detoxing will help me get rid of all those toxins.”
Fruit to fight off all that booze
To detox, she loads up on fruit and veggie smoothies. Her favourite ingredients include pineapple, spinach, kiwi, watercress, ginger, chillies and cucumbers.
“Alcohol is another issue that needs addressing. I don’t drink much at all, even on special occasions. But it’s no secret that booze wreaks havoc on our digestive systems and makes us gain weight.
“This is my alternative method of detoxification, and it’s motivated by my fear of having an alcohol-abused body due to the fact that alcohol is toxic to various bodily functions.”
Healthy living needs discipline
Gcobisa Dyonase (34), from Johannesburg, is a gym fanatic and adheres to a balanced nutritious lifestyle. She says it is so simple to maintain her lifestyle in her own space. When she returns home, a difficulty arises. It is customary for large families to eat together, especially during the holidays.
She says that it is common to indulge in fatty foods, refined sugars, carbs, and loads of meat. Dyonase also believes that it is possible to maintain your lifestyle if you are disciplined.
She believes that cleansing the colon on a regular basis is necessary to remove all toxins from the body. “Spinach, broccoli, cauliflower, and cabbage are my go-to vegetables, and grapefruit is my go-to fruit strictly in the morning on an empty stomach, followed by one litre of water.”
Dyonase normally does a seven-day detox.
Dietitian spills tea on liquid diet
According to Hayley Cimring, registered dietitian and nutrition team leader at The Heart and Stroke Foundation of South Africa, most marketed smoothies and juices are either loaded with far too much added sugar or the amount of fruits used in making them exceed the recommended daily amount.
Cimring says that often during the processing of these smoothies and juices, the beneficial fibre is lost. In addition, food groups are missing in the commercial smoothies and juices.
“Now there’s no harm in making yourself a smoothie at home should you wish to or are in a rush to work and need a quick breakfast.”
She explains that there are two important points to consider when making a smoothie:
- It contains all food groups; and
- It does not contain too much sugar (be it normal added sugar or too much fruit). Oats (for the high-fibre starch), peanut butter (for the protein and fat), low-fat dairy (for protein), and a banana (for the fruit and sweetness) are all good additions to a smoothie.
“Most people tend to go on ‘detox’ liquid diets after the festive season with the hope of losing extra pounds gained while eating their favourite foods and drinking their fancied beverages.”
According to Cimring, a healthy diet and a healthy lifestyle are far superior approaches to losing weight as opposed to unhealthy liquid detoxes.
She recommends that people use the “Plate Model” method to scale up the setting of a balanced, nutritious lifestyle.
Portion your plate according to the ‘Plate Model’:
- ½ of your plate consists of non-starchy vegetables such as broccoli, cabbage, tomatoes, cucumber, carrots etc.
- 14% of your plate is made up of high-fiber starches like brown rice, whole wheat pasta, sweet potato, and butternut squash.
- Lean protein, such as grilled skinless chicken, fish, and lean mince, accounts for 14% of your plate.
“The Heart and Stroke Foundation (HSFSA) supports adhering to a diet that involves including all food groups throughout the year, allowing one to enjoy healthy foods and not so healthy foods, all in moderation.”
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