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How to Avoid the January Blues

How to Avoid the January Blues
  1. Rethink Your Resolutions 

“Typical New Year’s resolutions set you up for failure,” If you want to better yourself in the New Year, follow these tips for success: 

  • Start small. Break your goal into tinier steps over the course of the year. If weight loss is  your goal, it doesn’t have to be drastic. Try to eat more veggies during your first month and gradually cut back on sweets throughout the next, suggests Gould. 
  • Be kind to yourself. If you didn’t achieve last year’s resolution or stray from the path this  time around, let it go. “We often contrive these stories (‘I’m never going to quit smoking!’)  that only add to our distress,” says Gould. “With practice, we can notice this self-critic, let go  of that negativity and pick our goals back up without the guilt or shame.” 
  • Ask for help. It is always easier to achieve your goals with the support of others. Recruit your family or join a group. 
  1. Don’t Lose Sight of What Really Counts

We spend way too much time putting things off until…until..until. You know you hear people saying “When I do such and such then I’ll be able to….. We need to start living. (e.g. example of retiree conversation) 
  1. Anxiety

Approaching the new year may trigger anxiety, particularly when faced with reflecting on unmet goals, regrets or disappointments. Acknowledge this anxiety, using the new year as an opportunity to reassess and recalibrate expectations. Approach the new year with flexibility and self-compassion, embracing the potential for personal development. 

  1. Forget the ‘detox’ - Look after your liver and support it as it recovers from the Christmas season Phase I CYP 

Phase II Sulphonation, glucuronidation, glutathione conjugation, methylation, acetylation,  glycination 

Foods for liver support – antioxidants, anti-inflammatory foods, foods to support our liver with  biotransformation and detoxification. A diet rich in phytonutrients from fruit and vegetables is  essential. Also food sources containing resveratrol (grapes, blueberries), green tea, quercetin (apples,  agarlic) and curcumin (turmeric). Cruciferous and allium vegetables to increase the activity of our  liver enzymes. Choline rich foods like Liver, egg yolks, beef, chicken breast, fish (salmon, haddock,  white fish), broccoli, tofu, dairy, cauliflower. When dietary intake is inadequate you can supplement 

Supplement support: 

If you’re sensitive to processed foods or gluten or dairy, you may need to include digestive enzymes  to support your digestive system and keep food moving through the system. Sometimes when we eat  foods our bodies are not used to seeing all of the time our bowels can become sluggish which can  cause constipation. This adds to the load on our liver, which may already be struggling with increased  alcohol and lower levels of fruits and vegetables. (Solgar are great and reasonably priced) 

Stop toxins getting into the body – use a binder that will support your liver especially if you are  sensitive to histamine in alcohol, or foods like cheeses and such Toxaprevent is a great product. The  powder in the sachets will bind histamine in food and alcohol and prevent it being absorbed into the  bloodstream. The capsules will bind and remove it from the digestive tract via the stool. It supports  the liver and lowers inflammation and frees up space in the liver to process and remove other toxins.

Other liver supportive supplements: 

Sulforaphane, DIM (di-indole methane)or Broccoli sprouts 

Antioxidants: Beta carotene (Vitamin A), Vitamin C, selenium, CoQ10,  

Glutathione, alpha lipoic acid, active folate and vitamins B2, B6 and B12  

N-Acetyl Cysteine (NAC)

N-Acetyl cysteine is a precursor to the powerful antioxidant glutathione, which helps  neutralize cell-damaging free radicals that cause inflammation and fatty buildup in the liver.  In addition, NAC has been shown to play a pivotal role in promoting your liver's natural  ability to filter toxins from the blood. In this way, this essential compound offers the dual  purpose of liver protection and detoxification.

Mil Thistle

Milk thistle contains compounds collectively known as silymarin, a group of flavonoids which  have been shown to protect liver cells from toxic substances. Like NAC, milk thistle is a  strong antioxidant that supports healthy liver function by defending against oxidative stress.  Keep in mind, however, that not all milk thistle has the same level of silymarin content. Look  for milk thistle standardized to at least 70% silymarin.

Choline is an essential nutrient naturally present in meat, fish, poultry, dairy, and eggs. One  critically important role of this compound is to transport fats out of the liver, thus avoiding  lipid buildup within healthy tissue. Due to dietary restrictions, vegetarians and vegans are  particularly at risk of a deficiency. Soy lecithin.


Dandelions are rich in antioxidants, which help protect the liver against free radical damage  and the inflammation that follows. In addition, it supports the production of bile, which aids  in the efficient digestion of fats and their expulsion from the body. Look for formulas which contain dandelion root rather than an extract of the entire plant, as the root has a higher concentration of liver-cleansing compounds.


Like milk thistle, artichoke contains silymarin and another similar compound called cynarin.  While these antioxidants help promote optimal liver function, other compounds help  improve bile flow to flush toxins out of the body. Artichoke leaf extracts are rich in liver protective flavonoids, while extracts of the stem and root are less so.

Gut health and lots of fresh water - elimination 

  1. Make being happy and healthy your goal 

Get a full MOT in January. Weigh in, BMI, Nutrition review, Bloods, mood evaluation. The whole lot.  Be proactive about your health. Don’t ignore little niggles that have been bothering you whether  they be physical or psychological. Take the time for yourself so you can give to others. You can go to  your GP or there are labs such as Randox health who offer an Everywoman and Everyman blood test for €340 which includes a second test in 6 months. It means you can really track your health and  monitor it for changes while being proactive about staying healthy. €170 to me is totally worth it. 

Check your vitamin D level and supplement – the winter blues are a real phenomenon and lack of  sunlight is a real issue for us here in Ireland.  

Vitamin D – may need additional in the winter – so important for immune health and also mood over  the winter season. Although the most recognised function of vitamin D is in calcium and phosphate  metabolism and therefore in maintaining and supporting bone density, vitamin D is also used  therapeutically for many other conditions including immune health, diabetes, autoimmune disease,  dementia, and cardiovascular disease. A number of scientific studies have shown a link between  vitamin D deficiency and depression. This is a research paper released by TILDA in 2019 finding  Vitamin D deficiency was associated with a 75% increase in the risk of developing depression in our  older population. Vitamin D is not found in abundance naturally in food but the best sources are oily  fish followed by fortified milk and eggs. Things like salmon, mackerel, tuna, sardines, milk, eggs, beef,  liver, and cheese are examples of foods that naturally contain Vitamin D. More recently some makes  of processed foods are fortified with added vitamin D. 

During exposure to sunlight, ultraviolet B (UVB) radiation penetrates into the epidermis photolyzes  provitamin D3 (7-dehydrocholesterol – derived from cholesterol by the way!) to previtamin D3  (cholecalciferol). This cholecalciferol, in turn, binds to vitamin D-binding protein (VDBP) and is  transported to the liver, where it gets converted to calcidiol, aka 25-hydroxyvitamin D3 or 25 hydroxy  cholecalciferol. It then travels to the kidney. 

Remember: Calcidiol is the storage form of vitamin D in the body. Calcidiol is later converted to the  active form of vitamin D in the body, meaning calcitriol, or 1,25-dihydroxy vitamin D in the kidney  and cells of the immune system, such as lymph nodes alveolar macrophages and alveoli themselves. 

Vitamin D is made when UV (more precisely, UVB rays) react with a compound (7 dehydrocholesterol) in the skin. The best rays for UV synthesis have wavelengths between 270–300  nm. These wavelengths are present when the UV index is greater than 3. 

In the winter months it’s just not possible for us to make vitamin D from sunlight  In the summer months our ability is influenced by a couple of things 

Our skin colour 

The amount of skin exposed 

Whether we wear sunscreen or not 

For lighter skin we need 10 minutes at least of skin exposure – arms and torso, if possible, without any  sunscreen 

For darker skin we need 30-40 mins of unprotected sunbathing 

Our bodies will make approx. 20,000IU from this, which can be stored in our fat cells.

  • Make time to sleep 7-9 hours per day 
  • Eat a plant-based breakfast full of fibre with protein 
  • Make time for friends. 4, 5 or 6 hours of time per week with people you really like – coffee or  lunch with friends 
  • Volunteer – find a way to give back. Volunteers are happier 
  • Spend some time reviewing your work-life balance. Work less if you can. Make sure you are  getting time to spend with your loved ones, children and family. The years fly by very quickly.  People who work less than 35hrs weekly report the most happiness. Of course, you need to  make enough money to satisfy your needs but make sure your needs are realistic and  grounded in what is essential. Leaving time to actually live. 
  • Practice some form of spirituality – belonging to some form of faith, it doesn’t matter what it  is, gives you a much stronger chance of happiness,  
  • Watch some TV and social media - yes you heard right. 30mins per day or each is associated  with increased happiness. It provides a little bit more happiness than none. Afte about  90mins of either one of those, your happiness starts to really drop off sharply 

Multivitamin and mineral for everyone – additional needs based on testing 

For stress management and sleep support:  

Kalmassure Nighttime– for stress management and sleep support - it contains Vitamin B6  (pyridoxal-5-phosphate); Magnesium (as bisglycinate and taurate); Black Cherry (Prunus serotina  fruit); Hops (Humulus lupulus flower); Camomile (Matricaria recutita flower); Lemon Balm (Melissa  officinalis leaf and stem); L-theanine; Ashwagandha (Withania somnifera root) 

Magnesium has been shown to support nervous system function as well as physically relaxing the  muscles, to encourage peaceful slumber. The ingredient list also includes Black Cherry, which  contributes to sleep regulation as well as easing muscular pain 

NaturesPlus NightTime has been created combining a unique magnesium blend with a powerful  botanical complex. With tried and tested ingredients such as chamomile, ashwagandha, lemon balm,  L-theanine, hops and black cherry, blended together with vitamin B6 in the active P5P form  alongside magnesium glycinate and taurate for a peaceful night's rest.  

Not all forms of magnesium are created equally. In this supplement we use two highly absorbable  magnesium forms; glycinate and taurate which have become very popular amongst health  professionals in recent years for their efficacy. We have designed this formula to support you  psychologically and hormonally† as well as giving your nervous system the support it needs to rest  efficiently. A non-drowsy formula, effective throughout the night to help you feel well rested and  energised in the morning. 

EFFECTIVE NIGHT FORMULA: A restful night is essential for the regeneration of your  body. We are combining a unique complex of nutrients designed to work quickly and  throughout the night to ensure you are getting the rest you need. 

UNIQUE HERBAL COMBINATION: Soothing herbs such as chamomile, hops,  ashwagandha, lemon balm, L-theanine and black cherry perfectly combined with  magnesium glycinate/taurate and B6 in its active form of P5P.

SUPERIOR MAGNESIUM COMPLEX: Scientifically proven, magnesium glycinate and  taurate are the practitioner’s favourite form for night time use. This gentle magnesium  formula is also more suitable for those with a more delicate and sensitive digestive  system. 

Vitamin B6 helps the body make several neurotransmitters, chemicals that carry signals from one  nerve cell to another. It is needed for normal brain development and function, and helps the body  make the hormones serotonin and norepinephrine, which influence mood, and melatonin, which  helps regulate the body clock.

January 08, 2024

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