Serena Simmons Consultant Psychologist

Change. Motivate. Adapt. Improve. Perform

Did you do a New Year detox?…

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Did you start a New Year detox? Maybe you didn’t start a detox, but you decided to just forgo on some of those naughty treats that you over indulged in over the Christmas period? Maybe you decided to give up alcohol? Or maybe you are in the midst of starting a big new, maybe scary, diet or exercise plan?

I’ve talked before about the potential pitfalls in waiting for a New Year or even just ‘waiting for Monday’ to start something. The best way to really take on something that you want to be routine or practice is to just do it and do it now.

Let’s just be realistic for a moment though. It’s certainly not unusual, and completely forgiven I might add, to give in to cravings sometimes. I mean life would be pretty grim if we couldn’t over indulge a little at Christmas, wouldn’t it?  Maybe you indulge when on holiday, or you choose to have a ‘day off’ at the weekend.

Personally I’m usually quite good with my diet and I have a regular exercise plan (that skipped a little over Christmas too I hasten to add). In my diet I eat a lot of fruit and veg, and being vegetarian, am careful to think about how I get protein into meals, so think about trying to include beans and pulses when I can. I also eat eggs and dairy and sometimes eat fish, though it’s a rare addition at the mo. I also really like Quorn based products which are a great source of protein. I also like a tipple ; )…she adds quietly.

So why am I telling youth this? A couple of reasons. I’ve talked to several people lately who are all doing some form of ‘diet’ or period of abstinence. I’ve more than 6 friends that are doing ‘no alcohol’ for January. I’ve 4 friends that are doing a ‘green juice’ detox and I’ve another friend doing a, let’s just say ‘well known’ diet. Then of course there are the big exercise plans for the year!

It’s the season and most of us start with big plans….better body, better life, happier you. Diet and exercise are hugely important to your general health and wellbeing, but sometimes it seems as though we set ourselves up to fail.

There is good evidence to suggest that with some things, such as exercise, that small, scalable steps are better for you as they are more sustainable to keep in place in the long run (no pun intended).

You will after all feel terrible if, having never run before or not for some time, that you dash out thinking you will run for half an hour….manage 7 minutes and then feel a failure. Or decide to go on a diet and lose a stone in 2 weeks. Clearly this is setting yourself up to fail, not to mention being completely unhealthy!

So, I’m not writing this blog to give you specific advice about diet and exercise.  I am not a specialist in either area, but I do know that human beings are pesky things that don’t usually respond well to big change.  For example if someone told you to never eat chocolate again, you might have a big problem with that?  However, if you were asked to instead,  ‘cut back’, assuming that good advice was given about how/boundaries etc.,  then this might be much more ‘do-able’.  Admittedly there are always the ‘all or nothing’ type characters, so maybe for these people, this kind of cold turkey works.  But that is just it….the whole ideas is about finding something that works for you. Something that you know is realistic for your long term future.  This is why fad diets don’t last and your new thigh-master (OK, showing my age), gets pushed to the back of the cupboard.

Making something your routine, and not overthinking the minutiae, as thinking sometimes paralyses you, is a big step forward to making a change.  The other I like to do is look for inspiration.  I do this by looking at others that have achieved things that I aspire to and learning from them.

Personally, I’ve decided to forgo on big detoxes and diets in January.  I figure that I am better off to make some subtle changes that not only are better for me, but inspire me too.  And so, I’m going to leave you with a few of my favourite sites and blogs that I hope might also inspire you on your own quest for a better body, mind and spirit this year….

The first is the site of my friend Claire from

Screenshot 2014-01-21 22.49.32

Claire is knowledgeable, passionate and more importantly a rare bod in that she is a ‘walks the walk woman’ when it comes to exercise.   Her site is a fantastic one-stop-shop to learning all about exercise and she also gives great advice about nutrition as well as including some great recipes.

The next three sites I’d like to share with you are my favourite recipe blogs, they are Liz & Jewels:

Screenshot 2014-01-21 22.49.18

My New Roots:

Screenshot 2014-01-21 22.48.39

and Smitten Kitchen:

Screenshot 2014-01-21 22.48.26

I love all three of these sites, for not only their fabulous recipes, but also the stories of the women behind each of these sites as well as the beautiful photography.

During February I’m going to be trying out some of these fab recipes….if you want to see what my finished creations look like, please sign up to my Twitter and Facebook accounts both at SerenaCoaching.

I look forward to popping into your in-box again next week where I’ll be sharing photos and all the gossip from the Women of Influence dinner I’m attending this Thursday here in sunny Nottingham.

Till then…here’s to making subtle, yet effective, changes!


One thought on “Did you do a New Year detox?…

  1. Pingback: My week in pictures… | Serena Simmons

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