During the holidays our diets tend to reflect the over-indulgence of the season. Lots of heavy, processed foods that are rich in sugar, butter, dairy and carbohydrates will send our bodies spiraling out of control and we will begin feeling it’s effects.
Too Much of a Good Thing
When we load up on inordinate amounts of rich food during the holidays it causes deficiencies in our vitamin and nutrient intake. According to the 2010 food pyramid, we should get 2 to 3 cups of dairy a day. However, scientists in Harvard are arguing that this can do more harm to our bodies than good. During the holidays, our carbohydrate intake can easily double or triple (depending on how many parties we attend) and we end up feeling bloated and lethargic as a result. To add insult to injury, GMO and overly processed foods tend to exacerbate these symptoms. All of these foods can cause diet-induced inflammation on a variety of different levels including digestion issues, arthritis flare-ups immune issues, depression and migraines. Do you wonder why you get the holiday blues? The culprits are foods high in trans fats, sugar, foods made from refined or bleached flours, animal fats, alcohol, dairy and those high in MSG and gluten.
Doing a detox after the holidays is a great way to get your body back in working order. Specifically, you want to focus on helping your internal detoxification system: the colon, the kidneys and the liver. Make a concerted effort to be mindful about what you are putting in your body and avoid GMO and processed foods.
Here are some tips of detoxing after we’ve been too festive during the holiday season.
The Holiday Detox
- Drink lots of water. Your kidneys and liver are in overdrive right now trying to filter out toxins that were in the holiday food and drinks. Drinking lots of water helps to flush those toxins through the colon and help your liver and kidneys filter them out.
- Exercise for at least 20-30 minutes. Exercising helps to stimulate the digestive tract, aids in constipation and gives you an energy boost. Go out for a walk or dust off that treadmill.
- Detox teas and herbs. These are wonderful at naturally helping the body filter out all the rich foods you’ve digested. You can find detox teas in your local grocery store (some of my favorite brands are Celestial Seasonings and the Yogi brand) or you can make your own. Lemon and ginger is a wonderful detox tea or even calming chamomile is a wonderful tea to help detox the body. Rose hips, wild burdock root, lemon balm and nettles are also great herbs to use in a detox tea.
- Eat foods that are easily digestible. Give your colon, liver and kidneys a break for a few days and avoid foods that are harder to digest. Specifically, eat more low fat protein sources, avoid foods high in fiber, non-citrus fruits. and foods low in dairy.
- Eat your fruits and veggies. Green leafy vegetables are a great way to begin adding essential nutrients back into your diet. You can also juice them for added nutrition. Here is one my favorite juice recipes. Further, celery is also an excellent vegetable that is abundant in vitamins and will also help to balance the acid in your stomach and body. Cut some celery for a snack and feel confident that you are not only eating something healthy, but helping to clean up your digestive tract. I have also found that cranberries are an excellent addition to detoxing the body. Extract the juice and dilute it with water to help the body.
- Take a supplement. Supplements such as probiotics can assist in boosting energy levels, increase immunity and combat the effects of alcohol, stress and lack of sleep. Magnesium supplements are another supplement that helps in detoxing the body. It also has other health benefits such as transmission of nerve impulses, body temperature regulation, energy production, and the formation of healthy bones and teeth.
- Take a bath. After you have been detoxing, you may begin to see the effects on your skin. You can pull toxins through the skin taking detox bath. This will also help you relax a little after the holidays. Here are 3 great detox baths you can do to help promote your health. Further, exfoliating with sea salt or sugar scrubs will also help rid your body of toxins.