The post Christmas Detox

Posted on: 20th January, 2015

Category: Health & Lifestyle

Contributor: West Cork People

Laura Holland, nutritionist, gives advice on detoxing to shed those extra pounds.

As we settle into the New Year, many of us will find we have an extra few pounds to carry around after a little over-indulgence during the Christmas period.

At Christmas time, the house is full of treats and it’s very hard to resist the boxes of chocolates and the seasonal mince pies that are around the home and workplace. Then there’s the Christmas day and New Year’s day dinner. The BBC reported that the average Christmas dinner contains on average a whopping 2500 calories! More important than the calorific value of food however, is the nutritive value (as a nutritionist I look more at how nutrient dense a food is rather than the number of calories it contains). At Christmas we tend to consume more ‘comfort foods’ — processed foods high in sugar/fat that are low in fibre and nutrients, which have a stagnating effect on digestion leading to flatulence, bloating and constipation. We also tend to consume more alcohol, which puts extra pressure on the liver, as well as the waistline!

To detox properly it is important that the organs or ‘waste management systems’ responsible for elimination of toxins are working efficiently. The bowels along with the kidneys are the two main organs of elimination. Eating fibre rich foods such as wholegrain foods, apples, nuts, flaxseed, prunes, rhubarb and so on are good for maintaining a healthy colon by keeping things moving through the intestines. To help improve this process further, I recommend a heaped tablespoon of psyllium husks in a big glass of warm water before your evening meal, taken daily for one month. Personally, I love Pukka’s Fibre Plus, as it contains a little antioxidant rich cocoa giving it a pleasant chocolatey taste, but if this is not available, Psyllium husks available from any health food shop will do the trick just as good.

Also, try some of the following juices / teas: Aloe vera juice — stimulates activity in the colon, useful for constipation; Peppermint tea — helps tone the digestive tract and helps with bloating by eliminating gas; Cinnamon tea — a great digestive aid, also useful for heartburn; Fennel tea — helps with flatulence and acid stomach, also good for liver function.

The liver is the only internal organ that has the ability to regenerate itself after it has been damaged. In fact up to 25 per cent of the liver can actually be removed and will grow back to its original shape and size within a short period. A great supplement to take to help with liver function and regeneration is milk thistle. It’s also a good one to take before you head out for the night, if you plan on having a few drinks. Upon waking, drinking the juice of half a lemon added to some warm water will help cleanse the bloodstream and kickstart the liver, helping it detoxify. Furthermore, the blood and urine have the highest level of toxins in the morning so hydrating yourself early will help dilute and eliminate these toxins.

To flush the kidneys, buy yourself a nice one litre water bottle, fill it with water in the morning and sip at it throughout the day until its empty. If you’re not so keen on drinking water you can let herbal teas count towards your fluid intake. You should be aiming for a fluid intake of 1.5 litres a day. If you have a juicer — get juicing! Two of my favourite juices for detoxing are: 1. Carrot, apple, celery and ginger and 2. Kale and apple.

Once you think your bowel movements are regular (at least once a day) and you are keeping yourself sufficiently hydrated, some important nutrients to help your liver detox include: Glutathione — onions and garlic; Coenzyme Q10 — nuts and seeds, oily fish, spinach; Selenium — nuts and seeds and fish; Vitamin C — citrus fruits and berries, broccoli, parsley; Vitamin E — nuts and seeds, avocado, fish; Beta-carotene — carrots, sweet potato, butternut squash, peaches, watercress, parsley

Other foods that are also important for detox include apples, bean sprouts, berries, eggs, sprouts and cruciferous vegetable (Brussels sprouts, cabbage, broccoli, kale, cabbage, cauliflower). Try to have a serving of cruciferous vegetables every day and include garlic and onions in your diet every day.

Finally, foods to avoid when detoxing…wheat, which causes sugar swings and bloating; dairy, which is mucus forming; caffeine and alcohol, which are dehydrating and put pressure on the liver

Just by gradually, making a few changes to what you put on your plate and to your lifestyle you will be sure to notice an improvement in how feel and your liver will be like new again in no time!

Laura Holland is a fully qualified nutritionist and  can be contacted at

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Wave to Mary! 65-year-old Mary Nolan Hickey is running around the entire coast of the Island of Ireland to raise funds & awareness for the RNLI and is currently running the roads of West Cork.

Mary is the only woman to have completed every single Dublin Marathon (all 38 of them). She’s also completed the grueling Marathon des Sables in the Sahara Desert, known as the ‘toughest foot race on earth’.

To mark her 50th year involved in Athletics Mary is taking on her biggest challenge yet (even though she thought she’d already done that when completing the Dublin Marathon when she was over six months pregnant!) She wants to raise as much money as possible for the RNLI.

Mary started her epic journey in Arklow, Co. Wicklow, on New Year’s Day. She aims to cover up to 5000 kilometers, using coastal routes, over the next five months. She hopes to get back in time to get her first pension payment in June when she turns 66.

Mary will stop off at as many RNLI stations as possible, on her once in a lifetime adventure. As far as she knows no other woman has ever taken on this challenge.

Speaking about her journey Mary said:

“I wanted to prove that age not a barrier. Coming from a coastal town I have a deep affinity with our local RNLI station & volunteers and have huge admiration for the brave men and women who risk their lives to save lives at sea”.

Mary, who’s depending on the goodwill of communities along her route for accommodation, has been astounded by the response so far. “The support has been overwhelming,” she said. “I have met the most amazing and encouraging people along the way”.

To see more about Mary’s adventures, and to pinpoint her location today, check out her Facebook page - rnlilapofthemap2018.
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20th March, 2018  ·  


This Saturday the 10th March, will see some magically curious activity as local Bandon national schools compete in a Wizarding Harry Potter Quiz. The prize will be the beautiful Bandon Banshee Perpetual Cup.

As any Harry Potter enthusiast knows, Bandon has the unique honour of having a character named after the town. The Bandon Banshee, was referred to as the nemesis of Gilderoy Lockhart in the Chamber of Secrets. The book grossed €60 million in sales and was the 7th highest earning film of all time.

Locals, looking to enhance the town for young people, saw the quiz as an ideal way promote the connection. The universally absorbing book series brings young readers on a huge adventure of magic, adversity and triumph. It is also an exploration of loyalty and friendship, good and evil – so it is not only popular way to engage young people, it is a hugely positive connection.

Zoe Tennyson, one of the organisers said they were delighted with the response from schools who ran a qualifying quiz as part of World Book Day. On Saturday Bandon Town Hall will be transformed into Hogwarts Great Hall, with proceeds going Bandon Playground Group, and to cover costs of the event.

Bandon Books will be rewarding the winning team with vouchers to each of the five members. The Bandon Banshee, or Bean-sidhe na Bandaan Perpetual Cup will be hotly contested – but which school will the Banshee go to??

If you have any questions please call Marguerite McQuaid on 087 900 9494
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8th March, 2018  ·  

Ballineen Foróige Young Engineers Exhibition 23 February 2018

The inaugural Ballineen Foróige Young Engineers Exhibition will take place in Gort Mhuire Hall in Ballineen this Friday 23rd February. As part of Engineers Week 2018, leaders and members of Ballineen Foróige Club have organised an exhibition which will showcase a diverse and exciting range of engineering projects that have been undertaken by members of the club over the last few weeks, with the aid of leaders and a number of local engineers.

With the aid of local pharmaceutical company Eli Lilly, along with the support of STEAM Education, a UCC based company focused on promoting science, technology, engineering, arts, and maths subjects in primary schools, Ballineen Foróige has been engaging members and leaders in all things engineering over the last six weeks. From researching, designing, and prototyping a project based on local problems, to participating in various workshops on coding and careers in engineering, Ballineen Foróige have been extremely busy in preparation for the exhibition this coming Friday night.

On the night itself, Michael Loftus, Head of Engineering at CIT, Fintan Goold, Manager at Eli Lilly and All-Ireland Cork winning Footballer, along with Geraldine Coughlan of GCA Architects & Designers, a local business, will act as judges on the night, evaluating the different engineering projects and offering some advice to the members of the club. Also in attendance will be the CEO of Foróige Seán Campbell, along with a number of local councillors, TD’s and Senators.

Leading the team of Ballineen Foróige leaders organising the event, is Rebecca Dwyer, a bioprocess engineer at Eli Lilly. Rebecca recently became a leader in the club and says that Ballineen Foróige Young Engineer Exhibition 2018 “promises to be a fun, challenging and rewarding experience for all involved and we look forward to welcoming parents, relatives, friends and members of the public to the exhibition and film screening on the evening of Friday 23rd February.” Overall, there are twelve projects entered in the exhibition. One project, led by Cian Kennefick and Charlie Nolan, members of the starting out club, examines the possibility of installing speed ramps on the road near local primary school. Fourteen-year-old Charlie says he got involved in the project as it was something to do and it gets you thinking. Cian says the most exciting part of the project was the building of the prototypes.

Both Cian and Charlie, along with thirty other members of the club will display their projects this coming Friday 23 February in Gort Mhuire Hall in Ballineen. Doors open at 8pm and the event runs until 10pm. All are welcome to attend, and admission is free. Catering, including tea and coffee, will be provided on the night.
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20th February, 2018  ·  

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Main course

17th February, 2018  ·  

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