January is the month of life-changing resolutions, new beginnings and hope for a coming year that is full of joy, health and prosperity. Of course, many of the resolutions that are proudly announced on New Year’s Eve never quite take hold, even when the people making the resolutions really do have the best of intentions. But if your resolutions for 2011 have anything to do with improving your health, increasing your fitness or enhancing your overall well-being, there is one surefire way to take that first step towards a healthier, happier, more vibrant you.
Starting the year with a detox is a great way to jumpstart any health-related resolutions and is just the thing for launching new beginnings. Now, this doesn’t necessarily mean that you should run out and spend hundreds of dollars on high-end pills that promise amazing detoxification and rejuvenation, and it doesn’t mean that you need to spend your days squeezing lemons, mixing in some maple syrup and wondering when you are ever going to get to eat solid food again. While it should be noted that there are certainly those who swear by those high-end pills and extended periods of fasting, cleansing and rejuvenating your body does not require such extreme measures.
An easy way to give your body the detoxifying boost it needs is to partake in a simple food-based detox plan that includes whole foods and excludes some of the most common allergens and problem foods. For one week, commit to taking the time to prepare real foods that are not processed and did not come from those dreaded center aisles of the grocery store. While those interior aisles are packed with convenient meals in boxes, bags and cans, it is the perimeter of a grocery store that holds the foods you should really be eating: whole grains, fruits, vegetables, and healthy protein and calcium sources.
Keep in mind that it is best to buy organic when detoxing, if your budget allows, and don’t be afraid to enhance the flavor of dishes with plenty of fresh herbs and spices.
Foods to Include in Your Detox Meal Plan: Fruits Vegetables
Whole grains (except corn and wheat)
Organic, lean meats can be included if you don’t think you can make it a week without eating animal products.
Foods to Avoid During Your Detox:
Anything with added sugar
While doing this for one week is a great start, committing to one month will provide even greater results. In fact, once you start to notice excess weight coming off, your skin becoming clearer and more youthful, and all of the other positive results that come from eating delicious meals prepared with whole foods, you just might find that eating better is one resolution that is easy to maintain.