Christmas celebrations are already in the air with New Year not far away. Indeed, everyone is looking for a way to indulge in scrumptious plum cakes, sinful chocolates and delicious savouries, keeping fitness intact.
Well, enjoy yourself this New Year by including a 5-day pre-Christmas cleanse with lifestyle medicine techniques, which helps strengthen the body, boosts immunity, balance hormones, and reduce insulin resistance. Undeniably folks, regulation of your drives by simple nutrition, exercise and cognitive strategies, will involuntarily reduce portion size, replacing deprivation with self-regulation.
A good breakfast can include dry fruits and nuts, such as 2 dates, 2 apricots and 1tbsp raisins, 3 almonds, a walnut and 2 cashew nuts, with a glass of fresh vegetable juice.
If you need grains to begin your day, have a small cup of oat porridge or upma with vegetables, or a millet roti/ thepla. You can enjoy that with a cup of tea to begin the day.
For lunch, half of your plate should have vegetables, any style, no added oil.
Include either a grain/starch choice or a legume choice. Good examples for grains would be a jowar or bajri roti. Baked potato or sweet potato garnished with herbs makes a wholesome starch selection.
A small cup of sprouted mung beans or dal cooked in your favourite flavour, works well as legumes, or a bean salad in lemon-mustard dressing can be nourishing as well.
For dinner, a cup of khichdi can be easy on the stomach, or as an international option, relish upon bean or lentil soup, herb veggie platter and fruit salad.
Add a couple of fruits, in between meals if hungry, some fresh lemon juice, fresh carrot or tomato juice, coconut water or green tea.
Give your body these congenial food choices for 5 days, taking in fresh vegetables, fruits, peas, potatoes, beans and whole grains. Drink adequate fluids.
The trick is to leave your stomach ¼ empty during each meal. Avoid dairy products, oils, fats, cheese, bakery products, and restaurant food during this period.
A good cleanse would indeed be incomplete without thorough breathing exercises. Include 30 minutes of relaxing and stimulating rhythms, such as Anulom vilom, ujjayi, sheetali, Bhramari, as relaxing, and kaplabhati, bhastrika as stimulating ones. Select the ones your body enjoys, and accumulate three 10 minute sessions throughout the day. If you are a yoga fan, dive into 5-8 rounds of sun-salutation.
Massage therapy, panchkarma and therapeutic stone massage, steam, sauna and light muscle stimulation exercises can be included in the plan.
Without cognitive awareness of involuntary mind-body functioning, the stress to perform better lures over, driving us into the tiresome effort mode. Include 20 minutes of mindfulness therapy, witnessing the spontaneous response to stimulus functioning of mind-body, for effortless regulation of hormones, blood pressure, immune and stress response, and enhanced overall fitness.
Indeed, after 5 days of congenial foods, breathing and oxygenation, increased blood circulation and a waning stress response, the body should be ready to take up the challenge of your favourite extravagance this Christmas. Enjoy the fitness.
BDST: 1603 HRS, Dec-19, 2013
Edited by: Sharmina islam, Lifestyle Editor