We are coming to the end of the holiday season, but with Christmas/Hanukkah/New Years on the horizon, some of the biggest food-fests may still be in your future. In my last article I wrote about dealing with the emotional aftermath of a binge; today I’ll talk about some of the physical remedies.

 

  • Make peppermint or ginger tea—both peppermint and ginger are known for their digestive properties. They are anti-spasmodic, meaning they relax intestinal muscles to keep gas from getting trapped in the digestive tract. Peppermint has a cooling effect, and ginger a warming one, but for a bloated, upset stomach they both are very soothing. I like to steep them fresh if I can, but dried tea bags will work, too. If you buy food-grade essential oils you can also ingest them in a more concentrated form that can be even more powerful.

  • Take activated charcoal ASAPIf you haven’t heard yet about activated charcoal, it’s a detoxifying compound with a staggering number of uses. You can do everything from whiten teeth to wash veggies to detox mold from your body. Charcoal is an adsorbant, so it reacts with and binds to toxins. It also binds to substances that cause gas and bloating, so it can reduce or eliminate the uncomfortable post-binge effects. For more info on activated charcoal and its uses, check this out. Oh, it’s also a great hangover cure!

     

  • Drink lemon water with cayenne first thing the next morningLemon alkalizes the body and helps the liver process toxic byproducts of overeating party foods. Cayenne pepper jumpstarts the metabolism and helps regulate blood sugar. The morning after your binge, start first thing with half a lemon in 12 – 16 ounces of water, with a pinch of cayenne to help flush the anti-nutrients out. If you don’t like cayenne, use cinnamon instead. It also helps stabilize your blood sugar.

     

  • Return to your regularly scheduled diet—After a night of overdoing it, we are often tempted to skip meals the next day to try to ‘balance the scales’. DON’T DO IT. Blood sugar levels swing wildly for a long period after binging, and skipping meals will just make it worse. Try to wait till you’re actually hungry again to have your next meal, and make it a light but satisfying mix of protein, vegetables, and healthy fat. A veggie omelette is a great choice.

     

  • Take DGL—Licorice root has been used in traditional medicine for centuries. It has many uses, but one of the main ones is to ameliorate digestive issues. Unfortunately, one of the compounds found in licorice—glycyrrhizin—has been found to have negative side effects if taken over a long period of time. DGL ( deglycyrrhizinated licorice) has had the glycyrrhizin removed so it is safe for long-term consumption. It comes in pills and is very soothing to the digestive tract.

     

  • Eat your leafy greens—All low-starch, nutritious vegetables will help replenish the minerals and enzymes that are lost processing heavy and depleted foods, but leafy greens are hands-down the best. And I’m not talking about lettuce here (although lettuce is great). I’m talking about kale, collards, spinach, chard, dandelion,etc. Sautee with some garlic and ginger and you will be feeling better in no time.

     

  • Drink some green tea—Green tea has been shown to help stabilize fluctuating blood sugar levels. I don’t particularly recommend consuming caffeine after a binge, for the reason I explained in my Thanksgiving post, but green tea is gentler than coffee, hydrating and full of antioxidants. All good reasons to include it in your post-splurge diet.

     

Of course, the best remedy of all is prevention. How do you keep yourself from overindulging? Let me know in the comments.

Enjoy your holiday!

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