How to Kickstart your Post-Christmas Recovery

By Roz Glanfield

I hope you all enjoyed the holiday festivities, 'tis the season to be jolly after all! But if you woke up with the Boxing Day blues don't worry, you weren't alone! Most of us plan to indulge a little over the holidays, but oftentimes those moderate plans can grow into serious overindulgences & lead you to feeling distinctly average. Maybe you ate more than intended, or had a few drinks too many, or maybe you just consumed foods you wouldn't normally go near. Whatever the case, you're head is pounding, you're feeling sluggish, bloated & sloth-like & you're wishfully hoping that pulling the covers back over your head for another few hours will transform you into a sparklier, more refreshed version of yourself! Well as magical as it might feel hibernating under your duvet, you're going to need a little more than a cosy blanket to get you back to feeling at your best. 

A lot of people believe the only way to get their bodies back on track is by throwing all their efforts into some sort of cleanse or detox. No sugar for 30 days, Dry January or Juice Cleanses will be popular topics of conversation come January 1st. Whilst these diets may bring about some benefits, they are short-lived fads and leave you with few useful tools to put into practice daily as healthy habits. If your goal is to develop meaningful long-term, healthy habits then why put yourself through the misery of something that you're not going to be able to sustain? I've seen people go from a week of juicing to 48 hours of binge drinking! The bottom line is the healthier we can eat and live day-to-day, the better we can bounce back when we vere off-course. So before you jump in the deep end to overhaul the damage you've done, consider these more modest suggestions to improve your condition.

Rehydrate

Even if you managed to drink modestly over the holidays, your body is probably dehydrated. That doesn't mean you should down a gallon of water as quickly as possible. With a stomach full of food you want to drink your water slowly so as not to dilute your gastric juices and slow down the digestive process. Instead, try sipping tea or hot water with lemon.  Decaffeinated teas like peppermint or chamomile will be soothing and help your body return to a more relaxed state.

Fast

There's some school of thought that says fasting can ultimately lead to bingeing, but after a day of overeating your gut will thank you for some extra recovery time. Try to hold off eating until early afternoon if you can. Drink tea and go for a walk to distract your mind from the thought of food.

Do some Exercise

Depending on how fragile your condition, some movement can do you wonders! A light workout or active recovery day will give you a healthy dose of endorphins & make you feel on top of the world again. 

Get some Vitamin D

Don't underestimate the power of some fresh air and sun on your skin. Even if you live somewhere cold, the chill air and a brisk walk will certainly help liven you up and is often a perfect antidote for symptoms of nausea.  

Relax

Feeling a little overwhelmed just considering these previous suggestions? No need to push it, listen to your body and take the day to recover. Have a nice long hot bath, do yoga or take a nice trip to the spa!

Boost Your Immune System

This is the classic time of year for people to get sick. The stress, late nights & poor diet, depress your immune system, making you highly susceptible to any viruses going around. Ginger & turmeric are well-known natural immune boosters and can easily be added to smoothies or used to make tea. Raw garlic is also known for its immune boosting properties. Every night after dinner I'll eat a clove of raw garlic washed down with a glass of water. I swear by it and attribute my good health to this daily habit as in spite of my frequent travels, I haven't had a cold all year! 

Restore your gut flora

The gut is amazingly resilient & adaptable, but a few days of bingeing can damage your bacteria profile. Help restore a healthy gut environment by consuming natural probiotics such as sauerkraut, kombucha, yogurt with live & active cultures & even sourdough bread!

Get some extra sleep

As wonderful as the holiday season can be, it is often a busy and stressful time of year for many of us. Christmas parties, business lunches, gift shopping, tree decorating & entertaining family suddenly consume all your free time. Your nervous system takes a hammering! Your poor body has been working on overdrive to keep up with your daily demands and to compensate for that additional food intake. So allow yourself an opportunity to reset by taking time to rest & digest. Get to bed early for the next few days and see how revived you feel!

What natural remedies work for you when you're recovering from a period of excess? I'd love to hear what works for you!

Contact Roz via her website www.confessionsofasuperfoodie.com

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