Post Weekend Recovery
We have the best intentions on the weekends. We plan to exercise, catch up on sleep, and finally get around to that big pile of laundry. But how many times do all our best laid out plans turn into brunch and cocktails instead? There are birthday parties, lunch dates, happy hours, and restaurant outings. We ditch exercise and healthy eating and opt for fried food, sugar, and alcohol instead.
If your plan to go to yoga class has ever turned into brunch, and brunch into “Sunday Funday”, then this Monday detox will help you get back on track to rehydrate and energize you for the week.
If you’re hungry, eat vegetables and other fiber-rich foods. Fiber breaks down alcohol and will aid digestion. Drink extra water to start to rehydrate and lay out exercise clothes for Monday morning.
Sleep! Go to bed early. Sugar and alcohol deplete energy levels, so turn in early on Sunday night.
1. Drink lemon water. Drink a full glass of lemon water when you wake up before you eat breakfast. It alkalizes the body and improves digestion.
Better yet, before you go to bed on Sunday, fill a jar with cucumbers, lemon, mint and water. Mint aids digestion, increases bile flow from the liver, and helps soothe your stomach and tension headaches. Cucumbers are filled with Vitamin K and extra water. Cover and place in the fridge so it’s all ready for you to go for the morning.
2. Jump-start Monday morning with some cardio. After a weekend sugar binge, you may feel lethargic and crave fats and carbohydrates. Exercising will increase natural energy and release endorphins that will counter the depressant effects that alcohol has.
3. Cut back on caffeine. Though you may be reaching for that coffee mug first thing in the morning, drinking too much of it will further dehydrate you and cause you to crash later. If you regularly drink caffeine, replace your coffee with green tea, which is full of antioxidants and is less caffeinated or drink half caff and lay off those lattes! Extra sugar will make you feel sluggish the rest of the day. And if you do need your caffeine, avoid drinking it after noon, so it doesn’t affect your sleep.
4. Eat your greens. Your body is probably depleted of vitamins and minerals. Dark greens are loaded with vitamins, fiber, and chlorophyll, and are also high in water content
One way to do this is to make a green smoothie for breakfast.
Mango Kale Smoothie:
Blend 2 c. Kale (spinach and spring greens work too) with 1/2 c. water and 1 T. Lemon juice. Once liquefied, add 2/3 c. Frozen mango pieces and blend until smooth.
5. Healthy proteins and fiber. Though you may be craving foods high in sugar and fat, these will make you crash, and will cause bloating and indigestion. Instead, choose lean proteins, whole grains, and vegetables. For lunch, try a vegetable stir-fry with tofu and quinoa, or a whole grain chicken and spinach wrap.
6. Herbs. Rather than reaching for an extra cup of coffee in the afternoon, try ginger or mint tea. Both can relieve nausea and soothe aching stomachs. Mint has been proven to increase alertness and lower fatigue.
7. Energizing Snacks. It you get hungry in the afternoon, eat healthy proteins. Try a cup of yogurt or a handful of almonds.
8. Relax. Try a restorative yoga practice or take a bath. Let this be your time to detox the mind.
9. Get extra sleep. Even if you went to bed early on Sunday, if you were sleeping off alcohol and sugar, you need extra rest.
By Tuesday you'll forget the weekend ever happened (unless your friends posted photos all over Facebook. I can't help you there).
Know you’ll have an over indulgent weekend?
- Don’t set unrealistic expectations. If your best friend’s birthday party is Saturday night, don’t plan to go to that 8 am yoga class Sunday. Of course the healthiest option is to skip the alcohol, go to bed early, and get up for that class, but let’s face it… you know that probably won’t happen. Instead…
- Plan ahead. Work out the morning of the day you have plans. Make healthy food choices. If you know you will be eating 5 pieces of cake and drinking beers that evening, eat healthy carbohydrates to absorb the alcohol and fiber-rich foods to break it down. Today is not the day to do that juice cleanse or eat only vegetables. Load up on vegetables to get extra nutrients into your body, but eat balanced meals. Avoid skipping meals to prepare for the extra calories. It will only make you eat more later.
- Have fun! I’m not advocating imbibing alcohol and eating unhealthy foods every day, but if you maintain a healthy lifestyle then drinking a couple beers or eating cake once in awhile won’t hurt. Enjoy your life.
Megan McGowan is a yoga teacher, student, vegetarian food lover, and world traveler from Chicago. Her love for healthy food has instilled a passion for cooking since she was a child. When she’s not on her mat or in the kitchen, you can find her exploring the city or playing with her bunny Lola. Find her at www.meganmcgowan.com or on Facebook.
Images via: @jaybejay