Your Pre-Vacation Detox: Feel Better in 48 Hours
Let’s be honest, we don’t always breeze into our vacations looking and feeling our best, which is why we’ve created this deprivation-free, 48 hour plan to put a little spring in your step before you hit the long weekend.
WHY IT WORKS
Our bodies are incredibly responsive, and you’ll be surprised at how quickly you can feel better with nourishing food, healthful practices and a little purposeful movement. In this quick but energising reset, you’ll focus on digestion, blood sugar, lymphatic drainage and using grounding practices to feel better- and fast.
HOW TO DO IT
1. Start your day 750mL of lemon water.
Yes, it’s more than the 1 glass we’re often told to drink, but for good reason. Overnight, we’re continually losing water whilst building up by-products from our metabolism and drinking water in the morning is one of the best ways to rehydrate, encourage elimination of toxins and support the gut. Another benefit? If you focus on drinking a little more water than usual in the morning, you'll usually push your morning coffee back, which is no bad thing for cortisol levels. If it sounds like a lot of water, don’t worry – you don’t need to (and shouldn’t) chug it first thing. Instead, enjoy it at your own pace whilst you’re getting ready.
2. Have a cold shower.
This simple but effective form of hydrotherapy stimulates circulation, metabolism and can really improve your mood (it's harder to stomach in the winter months, so this is the perfect opportunity to try it out). For a contrast shower, start out with a hot shower for 1-2 minutes, reduce the temperature to as cold as possible for 1 minute, then take it back up to warm for 1 minute and repeat 3 times. Alternatively, you can go straight into a cold shower and avoid the contrast, but the contrast is great for enhancing lymphatic drainage.
3. Make our high-protein breakfast salad.
Protein at breakfast goes a long way for mood, blood sugar, and overall energy. If you suffer from bloating or digestive issues, steering clear of grains first thing can help keep irritation and inflammation at bay. The goal of this salad is to hit upwards of 20g of protein and pair it with healthy fats, easy-to-digest vegetables and some raw seeds for their prokinetic effect on the gut.
4. Take walking snacks throughout the day.
Earlier this month, a study in the European Journal of Cardiology revealed that walking decreased all-cause mortality and provided a plethora of benefits to virtually every aspect of health. Whilst it focused on the minimum steps required to see a long-term reduction in risk (which is 4000 per day), it also confirmed that the more walking we do, the better it is for our health, and that the benefits kept coming up to 20,000 steps per day. (1) Over the next 48 hours, try to up your total time walking so that you’re well above 10,000 steps. You can do this by taking little walking snacks throughout the day (also great for blood sugar and mental focus) and adding walking into your daily commute.
5. Make our Liver Boost Salad for lunch.
This salad is full of cholagogues, foods and herbs that stimulate bile flow from the liver and uses a stimulating herbal dressing for extra benefit. It’s also loaded with plant diversity and super easy to make, so whether you’re WFH or in the office, it’s really accessible.
6. Aim to avoid snacking.
Digestive rest enhances the health and efficiency of the microbiome, so for the next 48 hours, try not to snack. If your schedule makes this too difficult, then stick to one of the following:
- Crudite with 2 tbsp hummus or guacamole
- Fruit-free green juice
- 2 x boiled eggs with sea salt and pepper
- 1 handful of unsalted nuts (we love walnuts) + ½ cup fresh berries
7. Take 20 minutes for grounding before dinner.
Grounding practices will be different for everyone, but essentially, they include anything that brings you into the present moment. Implementing this before dinner can do wonders for your system; it’s a way to get your body out of the fight or flight stress state from the day, and into a more restful and reparative state as you approach bedtime. Great for digestion and sleep, it’s a must-have for any reset. Our favourite ways to get grounded include:
- A combination of foam rolling, stretching and self-massage
- A gentle, yin yoga practice
- If available, get into nature and walk with your shoes off. No phones allowed!
Before we move on, a quick note to the moms. A grounding practice post-work but before dinner is probably pretty unlikely, so don’t worry, just do this anytime in the evening. In fact, it’s a great way to wind down after a stressful bedtime (IYKYK) and release held tension.
8. Take ACV before dinner.
No reset would be complete without some raw, organic, apple cider vinegar. Look for an unpasteurized version that still contains the ‘mother’ (the culture of bacteria that creates the vinegar itself). If you’re already an ACV enthusiast, take 2 tbsp in water before dinner. If you’re new to this practice, start with 1 tbsp and work your way up the next time you do this reset.
9. Keep your dinner light and nourishing.
Your daytime meals are rich in protein, fat, and fibre, but dinners are light and easy. Choose from our Butternut + Fennel soup or if you have a favourite green or all veg soup, go for that (if it’s extra hot when you’re doing this, go for a fresh gazpacho). A rich, plant-based soup is the perfect cleansing meal to keep you nourished whilst giving your digestion time to rest and recover overnight. We recommend making this the day before for a quick and easy dinner after you’ve grounded.
10. Add a probiotic.
Optional, but highly recommended. Adding in our Enhanced Synbiotic will help give your system a boost; it gives you a good dose of digestive enzymes with key strains for energy, metabolism and bowel health. If you’re doing this detox pre-vacation, you can keep the probiotics up whilst you travel (they’re one of our must-haves) to help you stay regular, energetic and combat the inevitable vacation bloat.
High Protein Breakfast Salad
- Handful of cherry or grape tomatoes
- 2-3 handfuls of spinach
- 1-2 inches cucumber, sliced
- 1/3 avocado, sliced
- 2 tbsp raw sunflower seeds
- Fresh dill, coriander or parsley (or all 3), to your liking – the more the better
- Approx 120g or 1 full palm-sized serving of your choice of protein (salmon, mackerel, chicken, turkey, or extra firm tofu). You can also use eggs; you’d need to use 3 large eggs or 2 eggs + an egg white to get close to 20g, or you can mix your proteins. For example, a smaller portion of salmon with an egg. To make this quick and easy in the morning, you can make an extra serving of protein the night before.
- Extra virgin olive oil, sea salt, pepper and your choice of lemon or vinegar to dress
Assemble and toss with herbs, EVOO, sea salt, pepper, and lemon or vinegar. Enjoy immediately.
Liver Boost Salad
- ½ cup cooked chickpeas, we love the jarred ones as they’re softer and easier to digest
- 1 small beetroot, grated
- ½ red apple, grated
- ½ carrot, grated
- 1 stalk celery, sliced
- 2 tbsp your choice of chopped nuts, we love pistachios or walnuts
- Baby gem lettuce for a base; serving size up to you
- Optional other toppings: we love olives, spring onions, sprouts, artichoke, sauerkraut, or any vegetable you fancy
- Dressing: 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar, 1 tsp Dijon mustard, 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil, a squeeze of lemon, ½ tsp maple syrup (optional), a pinch of cayenne pepper (start VERY slowly, it’s strong!), 1/8 tsp cumin. Mix everything together and stir until combined.
Assemble everything and toss with dressing. Optional (but recommended) - add a generous drizzle of runny tahini once dressed. If you don’t have runny tahini, you can mix 1 tbsp of your harder tahini with a bit of water and olive oil. It will be on the mild side, but still delicious.
Squash + Fennel Soup
- 1 butternut squash, peeled and sliced
- Handful of cherry tomatoes
- 1 red onion, quartered
- 1 head fennel, roughly chopped
- 1 courgette, roughly chopped
- Optional: ½ head garlic
- 500mls sugar/msg free vegetable stock or water
- Extra virgin olive oil
- Juice of ½ lemon, + salt and pepper to taste
Preheat the oven to 180C (fan). Put all of the chopped vegetables into a large roasting pan and toss with a generous amount of olive oil. Once everything is coated, top with sea salt and roast in the oven until everything is soft, about 30 minutes. Transfer to a large pot on the stove. Add vegetable stock and 500mls water. Cook at a simmer for about 15 minutes and then remove from the head. You can use a hand blender or immersion blender, whichever you have. Purée and taste for seasoning. You may need to add more stock, depending on how large your squash was and how thick you like it. Add the lemon juice and lots of cracked black pepper. This soup is also great with different herbs but also lovely on its own. This makes a lot of soup, so you can enjoy throughout the week, or freeze for whenever you want to repeat the reset!
If you’ve been struggling with bloating, add Digest + Debloat
If you’ve been on a sugar roller coaster, add Metabolic Fix
If you’re an avid athlete, add Cellular Hydration
1. Maciej Banach and others, on behalf of the Lipid and Blood Pressure Meta-analysis Collaboration (LBPMC) Group and the International Lipid Expert Panel (ILEP), The association between daily step count and all-cause and cardiovascular mortality: a meta-analysis, European Journal of Preventive Cardiology, 2023.
This article is for educational purposes only and the implementation of the theories and practices discussed is at the sole discretion of the individual. All information given is not a substitute for medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. If you have any concerns about your health, you should speak with your physician.