Last night I went to a party, and like I do regularly, I had a light yet nourishing meal at home to prevent me from eating too much or having heavy meals too late at night. Unfortunately, my evening didn’t go as planned. There were veggie rolls and a Thai curry that I had to taste, then a glass of wine and vegan pizza, followed by more wine and some crazy-amazing sugary treat.
By the time I hopped in the cab to head home, I knew I was in trouble. You know what I’m talking about. You’ve been there too. You’ve officially “pigged out,” and now you’re feeling too full, a little nauseated and almost ill; you’re starting to hate the decisions you made, but there’s nothing you can do now, and your body is working in overdrive to digest that. You go to bed, cursing at your lack of self-control, hating yourself a little, and praying that it all goes away by morning.
As a wellness and nutrition coach, I know very well how taxing poor food combinations, heavy meals and processed ingredients can be to the body. I was a bit ashamed of myself, but like a true wellness warrior, I realized that once in a while, routines get out of whack, and there is no shame in indulging from time to time. What’s important is to focus on the present moment and how to help your body recover from an awesome night of overindulgence.
After enjoying my fabulous night with friends, wine and lots of decadent food, here’s how I recovered and allowed my belly to heal and feel wonderful again:
1. Do not self-deprecate. You had a wonderful time with friends and loved ones. Yes, you overindulged and now your body is not feeling very happy. There is no need to add fuel to the fire by using negative, even abusive thoughts towards yourself. Focus instead on how you want to feel (keep it positive) and let your body know that it has an immense ability to heal and that you will do anything in your power to help it feel better ASAP.
2. Start the day by drinking a large warm glass of water with lemon. This will act as a liver tonic, restore your alkalinity and kick-start your metabolism. In fact, you should have no less than 10 glasses of water the day after a big “pig-out.”
3. Concentrate on elimination. The morning after, you must ensure you empty your bowels properly. Take longer than you ordinarily do and allow your body to relax into it and do what it is naturally designed to do. A great tip is to use boxes or a stack of books to raise your feet up so your knees are closer to your chest. This will ensure a more effective emptying of the bowels.
4. Avoid hard food combinations for the next 48 hours — cheese and starches, meat and potatoes, even rice and beans. Your body may still be digesting and processing the foods from the last eight hours and you’re probably feeling tired and sluggish. Do not put anything in your body today that will create more distress.
5. Concentrate on easily digestible meals for the next day or two. Vegetable soups are great recovery food. They have high water content, and have cooked vegetables in them, making them a pre-digested meal that will allow your digestion to rest, repair and replenish.
6. Drink herbal teas. There are a few herbs and spices with well-known digestive aid properties. My favorites are ginger/fennel or fennel/cumin/coriander. Add these herbs to a large pot of boiling water and sip throughout your day. And if you don’t have time to make a homemade herbal remedy, ALOHA’s teas are an excellent and clean option.
7. Do some yoga stretches and focus on poses that help improve digestion and relieve gas and bloating. Try poses like downward-facing dog, cat/cow or seated twists that will help you break down your food, absorb nutrients and improve elimination.
8. Drink some magnesium at the end of the day. Magnesium will help your body absorb other minerals like calcium, but with respect to your digestion, it is essential to help you push debris into your large intestine and promote effective elimination of waste. It also helps calm your central nervous system so you can have a more restful sleep.
9. Drink an alkalizing green juice or a green smoothie for breakfast. I love ALOHA’s The Daily Good. It is a strong detoxifier, tastes great and is the fraction of the cost of a pressed green juice. It also retains all the fiber lost in the store-bought versions. After a night of overindulgence, this dried green juice can give you much-needed vitamins and minerals that will help you assimilate the meals of the night before, while giving your digestive tract a break from all that hard work.
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