I’ll admit, you can’t truly detox your body in just one morning, but getting into a routine everyday can make a big difference in the way your body eliminates toxins, improves your health and generally makes you feel so much better than you could ever imagine.
My morning routine actually starts the night before. There is nothing detoxifying about it, but it does set the stage for starting my day off on the right foot. Eating too late at night, drinking excessively or taking in too much sugar before you hit the sack can lead to sleeplessness in bed, cravings in the morning and grogginess all day long. I highly recommend you follow these four steps to ensure you can make the most of the morning hours.
- 3 Hour Rule: Stop eating 3 hours before you go to bed. When you go to sleep with too much food in your stomach, your body’s ability to digest food slows. If you have a late night dinner, then make it a lighter meal.
- Drink Up: Drink a glass of water within an hour of going to bed. This helps keep you hydrated as you sleep. It also helps improve digestion for the AM.
- Watch the Alcohol and Caffeine: If you opt to drink alcohol before you go to bed, you can be guaranteed your rest will be interrupted – either in the form of a lack of REM sleep, or the inability to sleep through the night. Not everyone is sensitive to caffeine, but if you drink a big cup of Joe before you slide into bed, don’t be surprised if you’re counting sheep for a long, long time. Most of us should avoid caffeine at least six hours before bedtime. Regardless, when you don’t sleep at night, insulin and cortisol are thrown off – making you feel hungrier in the morning.
- Avoid Refined/Too Many Starchy Carbs: A big bowl of pasta, a baked potato the size of Idaho or half of a baguette with your last meal can throw your blood sugar levels into a tailspin with lingering consequences in the morning. If you eat starchier carbohydrates for dinner, aim for sweet potatoes, rice or quinoa – and keep the portion on the smaller side.
When I stick with these “rules,” I don’t deal with unruly hunger the following morning – ever! I’ve definitely had a couple nights where I’ve eaten too much too close to bedtime, or indulged in a dessert late in the evening. Wow! I’m shocked at how different I feel in the morning. Not worth it.
My morning detox routine is really simple. But before any action becomes routine, there needs to be repetition. I always recommend my clients stick with any program, whether fitness or lifestyle related, at least three weeks. A minimum of a three-week commitment increases the likelihood of real change.
- Water: I drink somewhere between 12 and 16 ounces of room temp or warm water with about an ounce of either lemon juice or apple cider vinegar (ACV). Both lemon juice and ACV help to alkalize our body and improves digestion. The temperature of the water is pretty important too. Cold water can have a constricting effect on our body – not something you want if you want to eliminate toxins.
- Fish Oil + D3/K2: A few minutes after I drink my water, I have a teaspoon of cod liver oil from Nordic Naturals and a drop of D3 with K2. The quality of fish oil is important, so make sure you’re buying something that’s pure. We all know vitamin D, specifically D3 is extremely important and lacking in many of us. D3 helps regulate genes that are responsible for detoxification.Pairing D3 with K2 (the brand I use) is crucial when it comes to bone health. D3 is responsible for increasing the absorption of calcium, but K2 tells D3 where to go. Without K2, D3 could just wander around your body going to places it doesn’t need to be. OK – that’s not a “detox” benefit, but it’s still an important reason to combine the two.
- Breakfast: I wait quite a while before I eat breakfast. I try to give about 16 hours in between dinner the night before and breakfast. What I eat for breakfast generally depends on whether I’m at home or not.If I’m at home, my favorite thing to have for breakfast is my protein avocado smoothie. Here is how you can make it: 1 cup frozen berries, ½ avocado, 1 serving of chocolate protein powder (lately it’s been Orgain) and 1 teaspoon of cinnamon. Blend and enjoy! It’s delicious.If I’m not at home, I love this Overnight Chia Seed Oatmeal. I make it the night before and grab it before I head out the door. It’s simple and really healthy. This is one of the 65 recipes I have available in The Belly Burn Plan. Get it here.
- Probiotics + Multivitamin: At some point after I’ve eaten (usually around 30 minutes), I take a probiotic and multivitamin. There are a lot of good brands, and plenty of not-so-good brands available. You don’t have to spend a lot of money, but make sure you buy a well-researched brand. I like Jarrow for a probiotic and Garden of Life for a multivitamin.
That’s really it. I hydrate first thing in the morning, take a fish oil with D3 and K2, eat breakfast a little later, then take a probiotic and multivitamin. This is a very basic morning and a good place to start. Give it a try and let me know how you do!
Don’t forget to pick up a copy of my book, The Belly Burn Plan. It’s a perfect way to start the New Year.