The Bartender’s Detox Plan
Professional nutritionist and author of The Detox Bible Rob Hobson shares his top tips for rebooting your system after a busy festive season behind the bar reenergizing you for the year ahead.
Over the Christmas period, it was all about maximizing energy levels, fighting fatigue and keeping your immune system in tip-top shape to help you maintain a good level of health while working behind the bar. As we enter the New Year and the pace has slowed down, you have the opportunity to focus on rebooting your health and giving your body the perfect chance to rejuvenate, helping you to regain a renewed sense of vitality.
Some of the more common complaints after a month of bad foods are poor digestion, fatigue and unhealthy-looking skin, all of which can be addressed with simple changes to the way you eat. What better time to make these changes than the start of a fresh new year?
Overindulgence can wreak havoc with your gut and cause issues such as heartburn, indigestion and bloating. One way to help improve the health of your gut is by opting for foods that are high in fiber.
Foods with the highest amounts of fiber are beans, legumes, vegetables and whole grains, all of which can easily be added to your diet on a daily basis. Prebiotic foods (Jerusalem artichokes, bananas, fennel, onions, garlic, chicory) also help keep the gut healthy as they encourage friendly bacteria to thrive. Try choosing small servings and eating slowly and think "light and lean" when choosing foods.
Choosing the wrong foods can leave you feeling sluggish and lacking in energy. To help improve your energy levels when working, choose foods that contain B vitamin group (found in many foods including whole grains, eggs and bananas) and magnesium (found in nuts, seeds and green veggies) that are both involved in converting food into energy. Consuming foods high in iron (lean meat, green veggies, nuts and dried fruit) will also help.
A poor diet and lifestyle can be reflected in the state of your skin and after overdoing it people often complain of unwanted blemishes and dull skin. This is also compounded by a month of poor sleep and parties! Some of the foods that are good for the health of your skin are those high in healthy fats (such as salmon, avocado and nuts) and especially omega 3 rich foods (oily fish) as these help to plump the skin and retain moisture.
The B vitamins are also important for skin and a lack of B2 (eggs, green veggies, nuts and seeds) in particular can leave the skin looking dull and dry.
Healthy Eating Plan
Getting healthy has to be one of the most common New Year’s resolutions ever spoken; it’s worth trying to avoid being blinded by the new fads that hit the shelves this time of the year. Keep it simple and remember that the most effective method is the one you can stick too.
The plan below should help you to understand the types of foods and calories you should be eating as well as how to fill up on highly nutritious foods that will help to nourish your body with the good stuff after the Christmas binge. The calories are there to give an idea of how to spread your intake across the day, which is useful if you're buying food out of home.
Breakfast (300 cals)
Sugar-free granola and dried apricots with low-fat Greek yogurt
Juice (mostly veggie-based such as green goddess below)
Snack (150 cals)
Small handful of nuts
Lunch (450 cals)
Avocado, chopped boiled egg and pumpkin seeds on rye bread
Handful of berries
Snack (150 cals)
Hummus with chopped veggies
Evening meal (500 cals)
Grilled salmon (coated with chopped chilli, ginger and garlic) served with plenty of dark green veggies and cannellini beans lightly sautéed in olive oil
Herby Green goddess juice
Nothing says "healthy" like a green juice and I find this one below does just the trick. I personally can’t bear the taste of broccoli or kale juice so I have added in a little pear and plenty of ginger and lime juice to make this one a little friendlier on the palate! Not just a pretty color, this juice is also a source of potassium, calcium, magnesium, iron, folate and vitamin C. Try this juice for yourself at home. It’s also perfect for bringing into work and using during a shift.
120 calories per serving
- ½ Cucumber
- 3 Large kale leaves (stalk removed)
- 1 Small handful of coriander
- 1 Head of romaine lettuce
- 1 Thumb-sized piece of ginger
- 1-2 Pears (or apples)
- 1 Lime, juiced
- Run all the vegetables except the lime juice through a juicer. If you’re using a high speed blender such as a Vitamix then add all the ingredients, blend high for 30 seconds and strain the juice through a piece of muslin or a fine sieve to remove the pulp.
- Squeeze the juice from half a lime into each glass before serving.
Rob Hobson is a professional nutritionist and regularly writes for Grazia, Men’s Health and The Times. Check out another of Rob’s exclusive articles for Diageo Bar Academy "The Healthy Bartender" with top meal ideas for a busy bartender.