BY DR. LYDIA THURTON
Four-day work weeks are great. Having Friday off is amazing. (Happy Canada Day Readers!) No one talks about the week after a long weekend. It’s rough. Most of my patients were not feeling their best. Everyone seemed to need a little pep talk. If you felt like you were dragging too, do these things to perk yourself right up again.
First, green juice! Even healthy eaters succumb to greasy goodness at a long weekend cookout. That’s ok! We are all human and we eat socially. The week after, you need to put down the macaroni pie and chicken fried rice and juice some vegetables. If you have a blender or a juicer now is the time to gather some kale, ginger, beets, carrots, apples, frozen fruit, lemon and mash them all together in a cool, nourishing green juice. Your body will thank you for the vitamins, fibre and overall cooling and liver friendly dose of greens. And you will have healthy poops. The rum and cokes will be a distant memory your liver is happy to forget.
Second, sleep. Avoid all after work plans and general frivolous commitments. Rest up. Many of my non-alcohol drinking patients imbibe on long weekends. A couple of glasses of wine, a beer or six, it happens. Alcohol interferes with your Rapid Eye Movement sleep (REM). REM sleep is when our system reboots. It happens about ninety minutes after we fall asleep and kicks in nicely in the second half of your night’s rest. Alcohol disrupts this second half of sleep. This is why you have permission to cancel plans you didn’t really want to keep anyways and go to bed extra early.
Third, put something sour in your water. Examples include, lemons, limes, apple cider vinegar, sugar free cranberry juice. That sour flavour makes you salivate, salivating wakes up digestion. When your digestive system is awake you can move waste through your body more easily. Not to mention your liver and gallbladder get in on the action, secreting bile acids and helping you digest greasy food items
Fourth, get going on the fibre. Bran flakes, chia seeds, flax seeds, hemp seeds, nuts, pumpkin seeds, psyllium husk, it really doesn’t matter what. Again, the goal here is to restore digestion. Fibres feed the healthy bacteria in your gut. If you read this column regularly, you know I’m a big fan of probiotics and having healthy bacteria in your gut. Very important! Healthy bacteria is one of the best ways to ensure your overall health, immunity, mood and tendency for inflammation. Bacteria loves fibre. Restore your gut’s love bugs. Also note, the green juice is packed with fibre.
Fifth, think about what you did right this weekend. Maybe you slept in, drank less alcohol, ate more green vegetables. Celebrate the wins. Time with family and friends is invaluable. After all, relationships are truly what’s important at the end of the day.