Welcome to 2014…. A New Year for us to set goals and push to achieve them. For many, it is to increase fitness performance, so it is best to get the kick-start you’re needing to repair the potential damage the festive season may have had and steer you in the right direction to achieving our goals.
By implementing a few tips into your daily routine you can be back on track and striving for that 2014 heightened performance. Below are some suggestions that can be followed for minimum 4 weeks to get your internal health back on top to handle the physical performance of cycling:
First stop liver repair is necessary after the festive season. Liver repair is not only important for alcohol consumption but also for foods that we don’t usually eat. Over indulgence goes along with the festive season and while it is great to embrace this period, it is important to give your liver some support to detox those indulgences.
- Green Tea: assists the detoxification by supporting phase I & II of the liver. Green tea also exhibits a protective role against liver disorders and is super high in antioxidants that are very much in demand for our body after the festive period. Consume 1-3 cups daily.
- Rosemary: is a powerful herb that induces phase II of the liver and quickly eliminates toxins from the liver. Rosemary is also an anti-inflammatory and circulatory stimulant that also benefits detoxification and energy production. Rosemary herb can be infused as tea, added to cooking or taken in supplement form, either liquid or a tablet.
- Alkalising: as mentioned in a previous article alkalising is important for increasing performance and shortening recovery time. However alkalising is especially important at this time due to all the acid foods that may have been consumed and also alcohol that is also acidic to the body. Refer to the alkalising article for more information.
Elimination Pathway Support
After supporting liver detoxification it is essential to support elimination so the toxins can be excreted, this can be supported in a number of ways.
- Psyllium husk: is high in fibre due to its bulking properties. Whilst you are increasing toxin elimination of the liver it is crucial for the toxins to then pass completely through the digestive system to prevent reabsorption. Psyllium will regulate bowel motions and also assist with weight reduction due to promoting satiety. Dosage: 1 teaspoon in 100-200mls of water or juice, stirred and consume immediately, followed by a large glass of water. Hydration levels are vital when supplementing with Psyllium to prevent constipation. Psyllium can be taken twice daily during this period.
*Please note that Psyllium should be taken at least 2 hours away from any medications or supplements as can interfere with the absorption due to the binding properties.
- Lemon water upon rising: 600-1000ml of water with juice of half a lemon will alkalise the digestive system and assist morning bowel movements to increase elimination of toxins.
- Sweating: an elimination pathway is also through the skin pores via sweating. This method is quite easy to achieve with the heat of summer, especially while cycling, however it is essential to obtain the necessary fluid requirements and keep the pores clear to reduce blockages.
The lymphatic system helps detoxify the tissues and blood, assists oxygenation of the blood and reduces accumulation of fluid. An easy way to support the lymphatic system is to Dry Brush! Dry brushing stimulates the lymphatics, which lay just below the skin surface. When dry brushing it is always important to brush towards the heart as that is the direction the lymphatics flow. By dry brushing daily you are encouraging detoxification of the circulatory system, exfoliating the skin that brushes away dry skin cells, which could be clogging your pores, reducing fluid retention and also reduces/ prevents cellulite.
You may be struggling to find energy at the start of the year, whilst getting back into exercise and work routine, but rather than reaching for a coffee or high sugar energy drink, opt for a healthy alternative such as:
- Yerba mate tea: This tea has been drunk by the South Americans for centuries and is mainly used for its energy producing effects. Whilst it does contain caffeine it is at a more tolerable dose that the body benefits over a longer period of time, rather than the ‘caffeine hit’ that coffee produces. Yerba mate is also beneficial for chronic disease, immune system support, calorie burning, and increases mental focus. This tea can be found at your health food store and can be consumed throughout the day either warm or chilled.
- Wheat grass shots: wheat grass is the perfect ‘living food’ that is perfect for rejuvenating the body and reducing fatigue, not to mention a powerful detoxifying agent through cellular health. All of these actions due to the high level of nutrients found in wheatgrass. By consuming a wheatgrass shot (juiced wheatgrass) it is absorbed quickly into the bloodstream, resulting in quick energy. Wheatgrass shots can be purchased from large health food stores and juice bars. Alternatively you can buy the wheatgrass or even grow the wheatgrass and add a handful to your smoothies or juices.
Ultimately if you are truly struggling with fatigue or some added kilos that came with the festive season or simply want to take a cleanse to the next level, it is advised that you see a naturopath/herbalist that will be able to assist with individualising your ‘kick start’ for 2014 and potentially prescribe liquid herbs to accelerate the cleanse and increase physical performance for the year.