Have you ever woken up the morning after a day or night of overindulgence and felt bloated, sluggish, puffy, or just not yourself. Sometimes it doesn't take much at all to tip the scales from feeling great to feeling like junk. I'll explain later why feeling like you've been rolled over by a train isn't such a bad thing, but first, you need to know what you can do - pronto - to get yourself feeling good again. I've laid out a full-body detox for you to follow the day (or days) after you went a little overboard.
The full-body detox is not just for the morning after Thanksgiving, a birthday celebration, or a much-needed vacation. You can follow this detox any time your feel like your body needs a bit of a tune-up.
Get On Board with a Full-Body Detox
I really like food. And fortunately for us, there are plenty of unprocessed foods that can help our body detoxify garbage that holds us back from reaching our goals. This single day of detoxification is made of up the foods you can find in your local grocery store. While there are plenty of fluids, of course, you'll also eat plenty throughout the day.
Why Feeling Bloated or Sluggish Isn't Such a Bad Thing
Your body has limitations for what it can and can't tolerate. This is true for all areas of life, not just the food we eat, but the amount of sleep we get and how much stress we can handle. Too much of any of these whittles away at the core of our body's ability to stay resilient. We should all take time to restore the areas that have been lost. This full-body detox does just that.
Here are a few reasons why some of us feel the effects of overindulgence more than others.
You're Living a Clean Lifestyle
If your day-to-day generally consists of eating healthy, unprocessed foods, abstaining from alcohol, and getting a decent amount of sleep most nights, you're much more likely to feel the effects of overindulgence than if you actually ate crap, drank often, and barely slept. When you live a cleaner lifestyle, your body simply becomes less tolerant of toxins. This could be a weaker tolerance to alcohol, sugar, excess food, or even not getting the benefit of the human growth hormone you'd get if you slept 8 hours.
Your body is basically saying, "You never do this. I don't like this!"
As unhelpful as this is, feeling terrible after overindulging because your body is used to living the good life means your detoxification system is working as it should. You literally have a low tolerance for garbage. That's a good thing!
You're Getting a Little Older
When you're young, your body's functions are on point. Hormones, enzymes, liver function, metabolism - all of it - are on the upswing. Your enzymes, the little proteins in your body type do things like help you digest food, diminish as you get older. Hormones fluctuate wildly, sometimes as early as our mid-30s. Liver function, even in the absence of alcohol, can be affected over the years by processed foods and environmental pollutants. Metabolism naturally slows with slower muscle development and collagen production.
With all that being said, it's quite possible to start feeling the effects of overindulgence more and more as the years go by. Fortunately, this full-body detox will certainly help you get back on track. I can't say that it will help all of the other areas I mentioned, but it won't hurt!
You're Intolerant to Something
If you didn't really overdo it the night before but had a little bit of something that really didn't agree with you, and you feel like junk because of it, you could be intolerant to something. For example, if you had a single glass of red wine and woke up with a splitting headache, there is a chance that the wine or something in the wine (i.e. tannins) are the problem.
The same could be true for gluten, dairy, corn, soy, all alcohol, etc. You can develop an intolerance to certain foods or drinks over time. A lot of this has to do with the function of your digestive enzymes. For example, the digestive enzyme for dairy is called lactase. Lactase is there to break down lactose, which is found in most dairy products. You may not feel the effects of the dairy-filled food the night you ate it, but it could definitely make itself known the morning after
Intolerances are subtle. Some people may never know they have them. Intolerances, however, can create inflammation. Inflammation is never good, especially when it relates to a specific food you ate. If you know you're intolerant to something, do your best to avoid it.
Your Just Overdid It
A likely scenario is that you simply overdid it. Excess food and drinks along with less sleep and more stress can have a cannonball effect on your body. If you're not accustomed to excess, try not to get used to it! Developing a tolerance for garbage in your body is never a good thing and always ends badly.
Morning to Night Full-Body Detox
When you wake up in the morning and your body is still feeling the effects of the day before, you need to restore. Your body is more stressed than it's used to being, which means that the sympathetic (fight or flight) side of your nervous system is overly active. You need to turn on the parasympathetic (rest and digest) side of your nervous system ASAP.
Resist the urge to roll out of bed and run 5 miles. Rather, take a deep breath, read through the steps below, and feel better by the end of the day.
Step 1: Early Morning
First, take 5 to 10 minutes to stretch yourself out. Yes, stretching feels good, but the physical act of stretching activates the parasympathetic nervous system, literally helping you relax. My absolute favorite stretch to do in the morning is a frog stretch. Anyone can do it. It helps to open up the hips and inner thighs. The hips, also known as the "emotional junk box" of our bodies, need all the love they can get. Stretching is an essential part of my full-body detox.
Second, drink 12 ounces of room temperature water. Room temperature water will help your intestines and colon stay relaxed. Cold water will have a constricting effect, making elimination a little harder. Straight water is fine. If you want to take things up a notch and improve detoxification, add a tablespoon of lemon juice or apple cider vinegar.
Third, turn on the kettle or boil a little water on the stovetop. Pull out a big mug and throw two Dandelion Root tea bags in it. Add boiling water and allow to steep for at least three minutes. Throw in a little lemon juice to improve taste and sip away. Research has shown that the polysaccharides in dandelion root tea improve liver function, which aids in detoxification. You can buy dandelion root tea here.
With breakfast, take magnesium glycinate and a good probiotic. This is what I like.
Wait 15 or 20 minutes before moving into mid-morning.
Step 2: Mid Morning
First, add 1/2 c old-fashioned oats + 2 tbsp chia seeds + 1 c water + 1 c berries + 1/8 c walnuts to a pot on the oven and heat up. This full-body detox mixture contains lots of fiber that help to drag toxins out of both your blood and digestive tract, omega 3 fatty acids that help to reduce inflammation, as well as plenty of healthy fat and protein to keep you going throughout the day. If you want to add more flavor, add cinnamon and a little bit of real maple syrup. If you don't like or can't tolerate chia seeds, substitute ground flaxseed instead.
Second, have a big cup of green tea. Any unsweetened green tea will do. I like a basic organic green tea. You can also add lemon to this if you'd like.
Green tea has a nutrient called L-theanine in it, which helps keep you calm but alert. Your body will appreciate the calmness.
Step 3: Lunch
First, drink 12 ounces of room temperature water 15 minutes before you eat. Of course, add lemon or ACV if you'd like. It's so important to drink water before you drink. First of all, it helps you stay hydrated. Second, if you have the water with lemon juice, you'll increase your available digestive enzymes.
Second, chop up some romaine or grab a couple of cups of baby spinach and throw it in a bowl. Add in 1/2 chopped avocado, a couple of tablespoons of chopped onion, a chopped carrot, and 1/2 c cooked quinoa or brown rice. Option to add chopped walnuts or sunflower seeds on top
Drizzle with my Belly Burn dressing, which is: 1 clove crushed garlic + dash sea salt + 1 tbsp olive oil + 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar + 1 tbsp maple syrup. Mix and add to salad.
Note: I know this sounds really boring and my meal plans are usually much more exciting, but to get back on track, all of these ingredients have strong detoxifying properties and are important for the full-body detox.
Step 3: Late Afternoon
First, you know it...drink at 12 ounces of room temperature water.
Second, keep it simple and good. Have either a sliced green apple w/ 2 tbsp almond or sun butter or a big bowl of fresh berries w/ 1/8 c walnuts or slivered almonds.
Third, an option to have another cup of dandelion root tea with lemon juice. Try to avoid green tea as having caffeine later in the day can mess with your cortisol (stress) levels.
Step 4: Dinner
First, drink 12 ounces of water at room temperature.
Second, enjoy a heaping serving of this Cauliflower Kale Lentil Detox Soup (download). I made the servings big for this recipe as a small cup of soup to close out the day just doesn't really hit the spot. This soup is loaded with fiber, protein and healthy fat.
Do your very best to try to stop eating three (3) hours before bedtime. This is roughly the amount of time it will take for your stomach to digest the soup. You'll have better insulin regulation by doing this.
What About Exercise with The Full-Body Detox?
You can absolutely work up a sweat by doing up to an hour of light cardio. Sweating is a great way to work out toxins, and it's good for your heart, too! Yoga is also a great option.
Try to avoid doing any strenuous strength training. Weight-bearing exercises are really important, but this is one day you don't need it.