Friday, November 23, 2007

Detox' From the Thanksgiving Feast

Detox' From the Thanksgiving Feast

© 2007 Johns Hopkins University.

It's the day after Thanksgiving, better known as Black Friday thanks to all the huge sales.

But instead of shopping, you may be feeling lazy and sluggish, trying to recover from a day of overdoing it on the foodstuffs (and I do mean stuff!) during the traditional Thanksgiving food fest. The question now is, how to repair the damage we've done to ourselves by overeating?

While there's no magic bullet that will quickly allow you to jettison all those extra calories and fat the day after Thanksgiving, you may feel better doing a short "detox" diet.

No, I'm not suggesting laxatives or lemon juice and cayenne pepper, or some other unusual concoction. There really isn't a need for a long-term diet like that, which can cause vitamin and mineral deficiencies. I'm talking about healthy eating that lets your body recover from the great Turkey Day insult.

There is normal day-to-day digestion, but there is also the need occasionally for our body's organs to help us get rid of extra amounts of substances we don't need, like waste products, chemicals, fat, and sugar. Here are some guidelines that will help your body get back into healthy eating. Try these tips for three days:

* Drink plenty of water and other low-calorie, non-caffeinated fluids. Fluids help to flush out toxins from our body. Our kidneys must do the hard work of filtering out the toxins and they need water to their job. Drink as much fluid each day as is comfortable for you.
* Choose lower-fat foods. Our bodies have to work longer and harder to digest higher-fat foods. Give your digestive system a rest and choose low-fat alternatives.
* Include high-fiber foods. Fiber is the body's scrub brush; it can help sweep out your colon.
* Aim for lots of fruits and vegetables. These foods are not only naturally low in calories and fat but also high in fiber. Over these three days, eat less protein and starchy foods and fill up on fruits and vegetables — aim for six to eight servings per day.
* Don't forget about exercise. Exercise itself is a great way of detoxifying the body. Plan to go for at least a 30-minute walk each day.

And what about all the Thanksgiving leftovers? You can save and freeze some of them, but don't feel guilty about tossing away the sweets and higher-calorie and -fat foods. This will save you the calories later and you will be the healthier for it!

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