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Elizabeth Beaton, student dietitian Curtin University (2017)

Every January we see another round of diets, detoxes and exercise programs for those of us who have indulged (or just enjoyed ourselves) over the Christmas period. This is a great time to think about changes we can make. But let’s tackle it a bit differently this year. Here are five tips to ‘detox’ your life!

1. Clean out your pantry

jars in a pantry

No, I’m not talking about throwing all those delicious leftover chocolates out. I mean take everything off the shelves and count how many tins of tomatoes you have ‘just in case’! Look at those jars of olives/curry pastes/fancy oils and decide if you really will use them. If not, consider donating any extras to a food aid organisation (try Foodbank: or Second Harvest: This is also a great time to check use-by dates and any open packets for weevils or pantry moths. Give everything a wipe down and a re-shuffle.

A clean, organised pantry helps you see instantly what you have and makes meal planning and shopping much easier.

2. Clear your mind by moving

family doing pilates

Consider making a weekly or fortnightly walking date with a friend, or joining a social sporting club. Or if sweating is not your thing, look into local yoga or pilates sessions. Exercise is one of the first things we drop when life gets busy. But if you find a way to move your body that you enjoy, it becomes easier to squeeze it in.

Moving more is also great for your mental health, particularly if ‘me’ time is in short supply.

3. Detox your social media accounts

woman on phone

Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat…they're all fun and it's hard to imagine life without them. But they are also a time vacuum and can leave us feeling inadequate. You don’t need to cancel your accounts but look at who you’re following. Do you feel good or bad after reading their post? Unfollow or remove yourself from groups that don’t bring you joy. Hide that friend who keeps posting pictures from her impossibly perfect life. Ask around for recommendations – I like Jamie Oliver and Callum Hann (just to name a few!)

If you’re going to lose hours on social media, at least walk away with a great recipe or a good belly laugh!

4. Refresh your food supply

vegies at a market

Why not investigate local food suppliers close to home? Nothing beats the big supermarkets for convenience but if you have some extra time, visit your local butcher or fruit and veg retailer. Markets are also a great place to source locally produced food as well as connect with growers and retailers. Check with your council for what’s on in the area.

Eating local and seasonal produce (where possible) can be cheaper, and helps build relationships within your community.

5. Re-focus on your food


Instead of changing WHAT you eat, try changing HOW you eat. Mindfulness is a hot topic right now and it’s easy to make it part of how you eat. Turn eating a meal into an event instead of something you fit in between tasks. Switch the TV off or move from your desk. Put your phone away or eat with a friend.

When you focus on just the eating, you enjoy and appreciate your food and are less likely to ignore your body’s signs of fullness.

The start of a new year doesn’t have to be about guilt and best intentions. Try making just one of these changes and give yourself the best possible start to the new year!

LiveLighter supports future health professionals through engagement with Australian Universities. This student blog was created for LiveLighter as part of Advanced Public Health Nutrition Practice coursework (Master of Dietetics at Curtin University, Western Australia).

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