“Mmmm…that looks absolutely delish!”
“But I’m just going to have one.”
“Really? You made it from scratch? Delicious!”
“I definitely want the recipe for this!”
“What’s in the punch? It’s amazing!”
“Oh, boy…. there goes my diet!”
Yes, it’s that time of year alright: the holiday season. The time of year when we over indulge our taste buds starting with Thanksgiving and continuing until the clock strikes midnight ushering in the New Year. And even beyond that!
All the while, we promise ourselves we will “make up” for eating our way through the holidays. We’ll fast for an entire week, or consume nothing but shakes and smoothies for a month, or invest in the latest, greatest must-try ‘cleanse.’
Well, just as lost hours of sleep may not be recovered, we cannot just ‘make up’ for a month’s worth of pigging out on sugar, carbs, salt, and alcohol with a quick fix that may even do more harm than good.
True, many of our body’s organs – liver, kidneys, lungs, large intestine and skin – are amazing systems that continuously detoxify our bodies twenty-four-seven. But like any operating system, they too need special attention when overworked.
Following are some tried and true measures to get you started detoxifying, and back to healthy eating; back to feeling energized, clear headed and awake.
- The first step in successful post-holiday detoxification, is to hydrate. Next, drink several glasses of water throughout the day. Following this, re-hydrate. After that, consume several glasses of water. And finally, stay hydrated.
Seriously, the necessity for water cannot be overstated. Toxins must be flushed from your body and drinking water is the best way to get the job done.
- And while you are sipping, squeeze some fresh lemon into that glass or water bottle a few times during the day. Dietary professionals agree that fresh lemon “works wonders” for the digestive system, especially first thing in the morning in a glass of warm water. It also helps “boost the immune system, balance pH levels and stimulates elimination of toxins,” say the experts.
- And speaking of “first thing in the morning,” try avoiding caffeine. While over-indulging can make us feel tired and sluggish, that cup of Joe will not help perk you up, as the caffeine in coffee and tea will further dehydrate you.
- However, you can compensate for your special latte guilty pleasure with a different one: a professional massage. No kidding. A massage can not only help release toxins, but improves blood flow as well.
- Another way to get that blood pumping, which helps enormously in the detox effort, is to move … as in, exercise. Sure, we understand that exercising may be the last thing on your mind when you are feeling tired, bloated and mentally sluggish. But increased blood circulation is vital when it comes to pushing toxins out of important organs.
- Exercise can also get you perspiring, another method of releasing toxins from your body. But you don’t necessarily have to spend hours on the tread mill. A long walk or bike ride can do the trick, as will some yoga. In fact, yoga twists and inversions are especially good for detoxing, according to enthusiasts.
- You can also sweat it out in a steam room or sauna, if you have access to either. Not only will you flush out toxins, you can brighten up your complexion at the same time.
And importantly, last but not least on the post-holiday detoxification list of suggestions: let go of any guilt. If you are mentally agonizing about holiday over indulging, stop. You are now in self-care mode to achieve balance. It’s all okay and so are you. Keep loving yourself.
L.E., C.P.E., LMT Aesthetician