How to Recover From a Holiday Binge
- Written By:Dr. Amy Shah
We’ve all been there, too much to eat and too much drink. The holiday binge. How do you recover? How do you reset in the midst of having more holiday shopping and family gatherings to attend? Instead of feeling bad, mad or guilty, start the recovery process by setting yourself up to have an “ideal day.” Remember, your body is amazing with recovery. Here’s an outline for how to structure your detox day. This can be adjusted based on your activity level and size.
Get a good night of sleep the night before, it’s one of the best ways to repair your gut. Wake up and drink one full glass of water. Your day should start with an intermittent fast, which means you shouldn’t have your first meal until at least 16 hours after your last meal. If you finished dinner at 9PM the night before, try to wait to eat until 1 or 2PM. Intermittent fasting can give the gut a rest and improve hormone and bacterial balance.
Go outside and stretch in nature. Try it barefoot and if you can, get in some sunlight. Sweating and nature are essential for a detox. Drink one tablespoon of apple cider vinegar. Once you’re ready to break your fast, make sure you include prebiotic fiber, leafy greens, spices, fermented foods, healthy fats and water. Your first meal should include roasted or steamed vegetables and berries and then stick to the following:
Prebiotic fiber from vegetables
Vegetable fiber like that in broccoli and artichoke is essential for the gut. These types of plant based fibers are actually food for the good gut bacteria. To make it easy on your stomach, make sure they are well roasted or steamed.
Leafy greens like spinach contain fiber as well as easy digestibility. They also are a great source of antioxidants to help neutralize free radicals from pollution, processed foods, sugar.
This is going to be a key way to reset your gut. You need tiny amounts of miso, kimchi or pickles. Study after study (like the one mentioned above) show that food-based probiotic bacteria is hardy and does not get degraded by the time it gets to the colon! Adding more fermented foods, at least one tablespoon, is a great way to get those gut bacteria back in action. They make for a great snack on your reset day.
Healthy fats like avocado have also been shown to be beneficial for the gut both for their fiber content and fatty acid profile.
Make sure to make time to break a sweat with a warm or hot yoga class or spend time in a sauna. For dinner, stick to soup and root vegetables, like sweet potatoes. If you can, go for a brisk walk in nature after you eat dinner. Before bed, try to do a five minute meditation and take a magnesium supplement to help you relax. It also helps to surround yourself with positive friends and family to lessen anxiety and bring down inflammation at the end of the day.
Keep this guide on hand when you need to detox after a bad day of eating!