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Are you already planning your post-holiday New Year’s diet?
Come January 1st, a lot of people will pick a new weight loss plan, plunk down a bunch of money for a new gym membership, and give their all to transform their bodies. And most people, despite their best intentions, will end up struggling and ultimately missing the mark.But that doesn’t have to be you – not this year. See, what they don’t know is that losing weight in the cold, dark months requires a very different set of foods than in light, summer months. The best kept secret about easy winter weight loss? You can drop the pounds and boost your energy in a tasty, natural way that relies on your best guide: your body. Most diet plans focus on freshly pressed vegetable juices, fruits, salads, and raw foods that are actually too cooling for the body in cold winter months. The human body has evolved with the seasons to eat heavily during the fall harvest and keep weight on the winter to protect from the cold and lack of food. Too many cooling, out-of-season foods make you tired, cold and cranky. If you’ve tried a juice cleanse in the winter before, you’ll know what I mean. Your bodynaturally craves warming soups, like the recipe below, cooked foods, and the right fats to protect its organs and skin from biting winds, freezing temperature, and less sunlight. An effective winter cleanse will help you feel strong, satisfied and warm while helping you drop the extra pounds. Here are my tops tips for cleansing in winter:
1. Eat Fats That Trim:Eat the right fats to help your body soak up vitamins A, D and E, and for a healthy nervous system. That means when you eat the right fats, your mood is better. Eat a variety of monounsaturated, polyunsaturated, and the right saturated fats this winter, but avoid hydrogenated and trans fats that lurk in processed foods. Include wild caught salmon and anchovies, olives, olive oil, almonds, avocados, walnuts, flax seeds, hemp seeds, grass-fed butter, organic clarified butter, and unrefined coconut oil. Stay away from “Vegetable” oil, soy, corn and canola oils. There are good studies that show eating unrefined coconut oil, rich in medium-chain-fatty-acids, with meals can boost body temperature and metabolism, helping to avoid the metabolic slow-down associated with winter dieting.
2. Sweets That Slim:We crave sweet, and try to deny ourselves any added sugars when starting a new diet. This winter, eat a variety of naturally sweet, low-fructose, high-nutrient, seasonal vegetables and fruits to give you the sweet taste, satisfaction, and grounded, cozy energy you desire. Small helpings of seasonal apples, cranberries, pears, roast beets, bake sweet potatoes, and steam winter pumpkins and squash for vitamins and mild natural sweetness, and it will be much easier to mute sugar’s siren call.
3. SleepBetter sleep means better mood and metabolism. Get more sleep this winter before midnight, and wake up earlier to catch every ray of sunlight possible.Try going to sleep at 9:30 and waking up at 5 to do the work you used to do at night. When you wake up early and get more morning sunlight, it has a positive affect on your sleep cycle. More sleep before midnight, especially in winter, helps your mood stay stable, stops you from midnight snacking, and improves the quality of your sleep.
Warming Winter BrothThis broth will boost your minerals and support your immune system. For a sweeter flavor, add a roughly chopped sweet potato. Ingredients: • 1 small yellow onion, halved • 3 stalks of celery, with leaves, roughly chopped • 2 large carrots, roughly chopped • One large leek, roughly chopped • 5 large leaves of kale or bokchoy, roughly chopped • 6 cloves garlic, peeled • 2 parsnips, roughly chopped • 2 large pieces of kombu or kelp sea vegetables • 1 cup shiitake mushrooms, cleaned • 2 inches fresh ginger, roughly chopped Directions:
- Combine all in a large pot and cover with enough cold, filtered water to cover.
- Bring to a boil. Lower heat to a simmer with the lid on for one hour.
- Turn off the heat, give your broth time to cool to a point where you can comfortably handle it, then strain through a fine meshed strainer. You can use a large spoon or spatula to squeeze liquid and nutrients out of soft veggies.
- Be sure not to transfer hot broth to a glass container, but this broth can be refrigerated for a week in sealed glass jars.
Alexandra Jamieson Alexandra Jamieson CHHC, AADP, is an author, holistic nutrition and lifestyle coach, detox expert, chef, and “cravings whisperer.” She has been seen on Oprah, Martha Stewart Living, CNN, Fox News, USA Today and People Magazine. Alex was the co-star and creator of the Oscar-nominated documentary Super Size Me and the The Great American Detox Diet and the creator of www.WinterCleanse.com.