Now that the food comas, sugar hangovers, and holiday binges are over, it’s a good time to “clean house” with a detox diet. A detox diet calms inflammation, stimulates repair and recovery, and boosts energy. A detox diet should never involve frequent hunger or lack of nutrients, factors that only stress the body further.
Many people don’t realize they have food intolerances. These foods trigger an immune reaction and cause such symptoms as low energy, rashes, joint pain, digestive issues, headaches, anxiety, depression, and more. They also prevent weight loss. The foods people most commonly react to are gluten, grains, dairy, eggs, and nuts.
Other common immune triggers include nightshades (potatoes, tomatoes, peppers, etc.), legumes, coffee, and, of course, foods high in sugar. Don’t forget, sugary foods include sweet fruits and natural sweeteners, such as honey, maple syrup, and agave.
At this point you might be saying, “There is nothing left to eat!” On the contrary, the detox diet resembles what our ancestors ate prior to the industrialization of food, and there is plenty to eat. In fact, it is important not to get too hungry as the low blood sugar caused by chronic hunger causes inflammation. Eat frequently enough to sustain energy and avoid crashing.
Grass-fed and organic meats, wild fish, plenty of vegetables, healthy fats, and fermented foods, such as sauerkraut, make up the detox diet, along with plenty of water and non-caffeinated herbal teas.
An appropriate amount of good fats ward off hunger and sustain energy. Include healthy fats such as coconut oil, avocado, olive oil, ghee (butter oil), and salmon. Avoid processed vegetable oils and strictly avoid hydrogenated oils, or trans fats.
Yes, the diet is difficult at first. It requires planning and preparation. Initially you may experience sugar and carb cravings, low energy as your body adapts to burning fat instead of sugar for fuel, and such detox symptoms as headaches, rashes, or joint pain. Please call our office for guidance if so.
However people who stick with the diet inevitably feel such a boost in energy and well being that they come to enjoy the diet.
Many find the detox diet is the best weight loss diet yet. Cutting out sweets and high-carb foods naturally promotes weight loss. More importantly, however, the detox diet becomes a weight loss diet plan by reducing inflammation, stabilizing blood sugar, and restoring balance to the adrenals, our stress-managing glands.
After 30 to 90 days of the detox diet, you may wish to add in some of the foods you eliminated, one at a time every 72 hours to see whether you react in any way to them. This will help you build a healthier lifelong diet. However many find a gluten-free and even grain-free diet builds lasting health.
I can help you enhance the effects of the detox diet with nutritional compounds to aid in cleansing and ease the symptoms of transition. They support the liver, the digestive tract, blood sugar balance, and stress handling. Just call my office for advice.
Left in their wake, however, is the sugar hangover, that annual holiday tradition that may include an upset stomach, headache, lethargy, brain fog, skin problems, join pain, mood swings, allergy symptoms, and a heap of regret.
While alcohol hangover cures are a folklore staple, you can take solid steps to recover from your sugar hangover:
To recover, put blood sugar levels on an even keel by eating protein every two to three hours, eating a good breakfast, and avoiding starchy foods, desserts, and sweet drinks (soda, sweet coffee drinks) that spike blood sugar. Instead focus on quality proteins, leafy vegetables, and good sources of fat (olive oil, avocado, coconut oil, salmon, etc.)
Drink plenty of water. This is also the most popular alcohol hangover cure for a reason. Staying hydrated with clean filtered water will help flush your body of toxins and aid in recovery.
Support your liver. Processing all those sweets burdens your liver. Help your liver flush these toxins with such liver detox nutrients as milk thistle, dandelion, N-acetyl L-cysteine, beet root, panax ginseng, and more. Contact my office for more advice on liver detoxification.
Restore your gut. Sweets cause inflammation, promote overgrowth of harmful yeast and bacteria, and irritate the gastric lining. You can restore gut health by avoiding sweets and other starchy foods, temporarily adopting a strict detox diet that eliminates common immune triggers (i.e., gluten), and by eating cultured and fermented foods.
Move your body. A brisk walk, a swim, yoga, or some other gentle exercise will get your lymphatic system pumping and blood flowing to help flush toxins and rejuvenate cells. You may want to avoid extremely vigorous exercise until hangover symptoms subside so as not to further promote inflammation.
These are some basics to help you recover from a sugar hangover and get you back on the wellness path. In fact, all of these tips will help you recover from an alcohol hangover, too. For more advanced strategies and to get started on a detox plan for the New Year, contact my office.
Of course the best way to cure a sugar hangover is to avoid one. But if you happen to overindulge on special occasions, what are some of your tips for a sugar hangover cure?]]>