It's a running joke
among our friends ever since they've known us that The McBrides go off the grid come January 1. While we (really) enjoy ourselves during the holidays, our January detox is something we look forward to a great deal.
CJ and I have always been ready for a party. At the very beginning of our relationship, we were spending the bulk of our time together bellied up to a bar. But after 18 months or so of non-stop fun, we made some changes. Really good ones. These changes gave us new layers of intimacy that we could tell would be part of our lives together forever. But even more critical, we each discovered that we wanted to be clear and healthy for ourselves. It made us better individually, which made us better as partners.
So the January detox became a thing. It's our time to reset. To wring our bodies of the damage we've done during football season. To feel lighter and fresher. To get shit right.
There's no real trick to it. We just stay close to home (with temperatures in the single digits, that's not difficult) and support each other's efforts to accomplish what we set out to do at the beginning of the year. Eat right, exercise, take care.
There are certain things that I've found give me immediate results, whether actual or mental, when I set off on this endeavor. Here are my top three.
photo // Lauren
1. Stop Drinking
Let me emphasize that cutting alcohol is extremely challenging for a lot of people. I'm there with you. But cutting alcohol leads to a ton of benefits, not the least of which are fewer calories consumed the night of and better choices the day after. Last January, I went to my Book Club at a bar... and drank... hot water. At first I felt weird. I happened to be the first of the group to arrive and my order to the bartender was hot water. Side-eye city. After the other ladies arrived and settled in, I got over myself because nobody actually cared. One of my girls even joined me later with a cup of hot tea. I felt great the next day because I wasn't hungover AND I tapped into my will power. That feeling really helped to propel me.
photo // Lauren
2. Swap your caffeinated drink for warm lemon water
Black tea is my life. There are days when I crush three 20 oz. containers full of it. So when I say I understand how hard it is to curtail that coffee or tea habit, I mean it. But I can tell you from personal experience that warm lemon water works miracles. There are tons of resources that list the benefits of drinking warm lemon water. The two most crucial for me are increased hydration and a boosted immune system. This is purely anecdotal but I have noticed I fend off colds infesting my 6-year old better than my husband does when I'm consistently drinking it. Give it a try for 15 days and see if it works for you.
photo // Milada Vigerova via Unsplash
3. Meal prep everything
If you saw my Instastory on Monday, you know this is something I'm trying to get back into the habit of doing. I follow a vegan-inspired diet*, which makes preparing for my week all the more critical. When I get home from a long day and I don't have a meal ready to go, I'm inclined to boil a bunch of pasta (far more than the suggested serving size, to be sure). High in carbs, low in all that is decent. I have an immediate pooch afterward. We're a family on the go. (God, did I seriously write that?) Meal (and snack!) prep helps me fill my belly with goodness, rather than bloat. Preparation can include washing and cutting celery for a quick celery + hummus snack, slicing lemons for ^warm lemon water^, and cooking anything that can be kept in the fridge and reheated when needed. Preparing your food for the week is one giant step toward making all the good decisions.
There you have it.
A few simple changes that help me feel healthier, fast. It's not easy at first and it's never what I want to do. But it does get easier the longer you go. And as we get older, we're finding our detox month extending a bit. It's nice to feel good in body and mind. We want to feel good as many days and hours of days as possible!
*Vegan-inspired - meaning I closely follow a vegan diet but I am not actually vegan. I wear wool, silk and leather. The diet helps me feel great, so I follow it. And maybe I have a slightly smaller footprint.