Happy New Year Everyone!
I hope I find you all well and fighting fit after the holiday season. At this time of year we’re bombarded with lists of diets and resolutions to help us feel fitter and healthier for the new year after all the excesses of December. I love these lists even if I don’t manage to stick to all my resolutions! I think the secret is to keep it simple and fun so here’s my Irish detox list for 2018. Best of all, it involves taking a trip to some of my favorite places in Ireland.
Lulu’s Top Irish Detox Tips
1. Take A Walk
This has to be my #1 favorite pastime without doubt. The benefits of walking are well known; it de-stresses, burns calories, lowers blood pressure and blood sugar levels and it’s absolutely free! Getting out into the natural light also gives us that all important shot of vitamin D improving our mood and helping to fight those winter blues. I just love a good long winter walk on Streedagh Beach in Sligo (pictured above with Benbulben in the background) wrapped snugly in my favorite Aran Zipper Cardigan with my dog Lucy.
A favorite mountain walk is much closer to home in Dublin and like the beach walk it’s nice and easy. Sugarloaf mountain is perfectly formed and the gentle climb to it’s 500 meters height rewards you with gorgeous views of the surrounding countryside. Of course The Wicklow Mountains are an absolute wonderland for walkers. Ireland’s largest national park boasts a stunning rolling landscape of mountain peaks, swathes of forests, tranquil lakes and twisting country roads.
2. Take A Seaweed Bath
This is the perfect way to unwind, detox the body and you don’t have to lift a finger! There are seaweed baths all over Ireland but my favorite has to be the century old Kilcullen Baths in Enniscrone in county Sligo. The Edwardian bathhouse is still intact complete with deep porcelain baths, brass faucets and individual wooden steam cabinets.
After a favorite invigorating walk there’s nothing better than a relaxing steam followed by a soak in a heated bath full of Atlantic seawater and iodine-rich rejuvenating seaweed. Aches, pains, cares and worries just float away and the sense of well-being afterwards is nothing less than heavenly. If there are no seaweed baths near you, there’s some wonderful products available online now so you can enjoy the superpowers of a seaweed bath in the comfort of your own home! I can’t recommend it highly enough!
3. Take a Dip in The Ocean
Ok so this might not be so feel good for everyone but as far as I’m concerned it’s the simplest and most effective Irish detox method! I’m a big fan of taking a dip in the Atlantic Ocean no matter what the weather. In the winter months, half my friends think I’m crazy and the other half dive in with me!
There are many reported benefits from swimming in mineral rich seawater but for me there’s an undeniable feelgood factor. Admittedly the dips I take are much shorter in the winter months but the after-effects are always the same. There’s a definite increase of dopamine/serotonin levels in the brain and I always feel ready for anything after an invigorating dip.
Apart from that, there’s also the relenishing effects of being surrounded by the stunning west of Ireland coastline. Especially if you take a dip at the breathtaking Silver Strand at Malinbeg in county Donegal. (pictured above).
4. Take a Class
I’m a great believer in learning something new. It gives you an exciting challenge and it’s the perfect new year work out for the brain. Learn to paint, make pottery, take up yoga or meditation. One of my favorite things last year was a weekend cookery course at The Ballyknocken Cookery School in county Wicklow run by celebrity chef Catherine Fulvio. They do great cookery short breaks where you can learn a new skill as well as soaking up the delights of county Wicklow. Maybe put it on your list if you’re planning a trip to Ireland this year.
5. Retail Therapy
Well I have to end with a little shopping, after all, I run The Irish Store! Not sure how much of an Irish detox this is but it can certainly make you feel better. Especially if you manage to grab yourself a bargain in the January sales! After the past month you may be all shopped out but if you’re still in the mood for the best of Aran knitwear, Celtic jewelry and Irish homeware with up to 65% off then continue shopping below.
Thanks so much for dropping by and once again, a very happy and healthy new year to all!
See you next week,
Slán go fóill!