Your step-by-step guide to shaking off summer’s excess
September can be a great opportunity for many of us to get back into a routine when it comes to our health and wellbeing, particularly diet and lifestyle. Read on for a simple, step by step guide on what to focus on over the next few weeks to leave you feeling more energised, more blissed out and ready to take on the world!
By Neil Bridgeman
Sep 14, 2023 • 7 min read
How was your summer? Like many of us, I’m sure it involved a little over-indulgence, a daily rose (or three), hopefully a lot of sun, a lot of swimming and plenty of relaxation. And just like that, you need to be ready to hit the ground running for a busy Q3 and Q4. You know the drill, fashion month (for many of you here), strategy development, forecasting, budgeting and hitting Q4/year end targets. Fun times.
Not to add to the load, but September can be a great opportunity for many of us to get back into a routine when it comes to our health and wellbeing, particularly diet and lifestyle.
So, I thought it might be helpful to give a little guidance, a nudge in the right direction, to help you focus on a few key areas over the coming weeks that will guarantee you feeling more energised, a bit more blissed out and ready to take on the onslaught of what will inevitably be a busy few months ahead.
1: Love your liver
The liver is one of our hardest working organs and every summer, we love to give it a run for its money.
It has big responsibilities in the body. The liver detoxifies us from the onslaught of toxins that make their way into our bodies everyday. Some by choice, like alcohol, others like prescription drugs, some as a by-product of the environment we live in, and even from waste products that own body creates.
So, this September, why not show your liver a little love. There are a multitude of things that help the liver do its job more effectively. First and foremost, limiting the amount of toxins that make their way into your body is a pretty good place to start, but we can also lean into some other tactics which can have a significant influence, includng:
- Up your intake of dark, green leafy and cruciferous vegetables. They pack a powerhouse of nutrients that support liver detoxification process, plus most are in season now or soon to be in season. Think spinach, kale, broccoli, cauliflower, brussels sprouts, watercress, broccoli sprouts, cabbage.
- Exercise is a great way to help eliminate toxins – it gets our lymphatic system moving and we excrete toxins through our sweat. Equally, the process of exercise positively challenges our body and kickstarts a variety of biochemical on-switches to upregulate antioxidant production and downregulate inflammatory processes
- Aim for solid sources of protein with each meal. The liver needs ample levels of protein to power a number of the detox phases. Lean meat, white fish, oily fish, plant based protein powder, beans, lentils, chickpeas, quinoa, organic tofu and eggs are all great sources
- And one of the simplest strategies – ample hydration. Ideally water with the occasional herbal teas, aiming for 2L a day
Your liver will thank you, I promise!
2: Be nice to your nervous system
While we may have blissed out over the summertime, September can be a jolt to the nervous system so it’s important to integrate strategies and tactics to support stress management and calm the nervous system. A bit of critical self care can go a long way when faced with the complexity of juggling school runs, board meetings, and off-sites. A few tactics for you to try out:
- Try bookending the day with a bit of yoga to stimulate digestion in the AM and a hot bath with lavender to calm your nervous system in the PM – it’s the perfect reset for a busy day.
- A chamomile infusion acts as a subtle nervine to support your pre-bedtime routine and aid a deeper more restorative sleep.
- Wind down on the day with a 10-min Yoga Nidra – often referred to as yogic sleep. It is a guided meditative practice which enables you to tap into the present and develop a deep and profound level of self-awareness
3: Go on, get moving
Layering in dedicated time to move each day can be a game-changer for your health and wellbeing beyond just the usual benefits we all know about. Movement helps with lymphatic circulation, stimulates sweat secretion, it helps to facilitate digestion and it also up-regulates our antioxidant and anti-inflammatory pathways via a nifty little enzyme called Nrf2. Why not consider the following:
- Up the ante with some high intensity interval training (aim for beginners, nothing too taxing). High intensity exercise helps to support our elimination channels and facilitate liver detoxification pathways. One of the best, and free, resources is Joe Wicks workout videos. They are geared to nearly any level of fitness. And if you’re already a HiiT pro, you can try 2-3 of his 20 minute workouts back to back. Trust me, it’s not for the faint-hearted!
- I recommend doing your daily resonant breathing practice after a HiiT session as a means to calm your nervous system, but make sure to catch your breath first!
- It is scientifically proven that spending time in nature has a positive impact on your mental health; helping to reduce stress, anxiety and depression. So block out time in your week for a few 30-45 min brisk walks ideally in nature.