It is generally accepted that after weeks of festive indulgence the right thing to do in January is detox. Unless you’re the sort of person who can shrug off any hangover and glow like a skincare model after weeks of cheese, mince pies and canapes you’ll probably have had the ‘D’ word at the back of your mind for a while now.
Please don’t do it. You will undoubtedly feel the need to be healthier – and you can be, without the need for an extreme diet. Instead, try to ease yourself into a nourishing and hearty January and February and cook the kind of piping meals that warm the soul and provide nutrient- dense fuel during the bleakest months.
If you think about it, starting a strict weight-loss regime or health kick in January is futile and unnatural. It is dark, cold and grey and we can go for weeks without seeing the sun. Salads and juices may taste wonderfully worthy, but on their own they are not enough to sustain and instinctively feel like the wrong thing to eat when it’s frosty outside and you can see your breath in the air. Eating this way, at this time of year, will probably make you feel miserable, which is counterintuitive to any kind of ‘health’ plan and completely obstructive to progress. So, unless you have been to see a Nutritional Therapist and they consider a January detox important for your health, please avoid it.
Right now, I am feeding my family healthy doses of stodge balanced with some crunchy greens and salad. Curries, hot pots, stews, hearty wholegrain pasta dishes are all on the menu; dishes that are rich in organic animal fats and protein, beans and pulses, nuts and seeds, organic goat’s cheeses, root vegetables and wholegrain carbohydrates. Sure, cut right back on the abundance of alcohol, sugar and processed treats that fill our tummies in December, but for goodness sake fuel your body in January, don’t starve it! When the daffodils come out in March and you feel the sun dance across your face again, that’s the time to cleanse and, I promise, if you wait until then it will feel really good.