My 4th of July was a blast: with friends, fireworks, and my personal favorite, food, what’s not to love about this patriotic holiday? It always starts the same: we honor our friends, family and those who lost their lives protecting our rights, and then we celebrate those lives by gathering with our nearest and dearest in a spirit of celebration. For some, this holiday is an excuse to party, eat and drink way too much and light things on fire. Coming from a family of those who have served, this holiday has always been very special to me, and seeing as I haven’t celebrated our Independence day in over ten years (I lived abroad and moved back March 2016), this year’s bash really reminded me just how much I love living in the States – but I digress!
A typical 4th of July celebration is not complete without BBQ and other sinful delicacies like hot dogs, chips and dip, deviled eggs and a plethora of desserts. Keep in mind we haven’t even mentioned the drinks yet, of which there was a bountiful selection. If you are anything like me, then you don’t feel the repercussions of your actions until the morning AFTER the fun… Whether it is the food or the alcohol, or a combination, all I know is that it hits me right in the gut, and this year’s gastronomical adventures has taken its’ toll on me.
In actuality, I am a bit of a health nut. I drive people insane should we go shopping together, as I look painstakingly at the ingredients in every product that I purchase, sometimes reading labels in the bread aisle for up to twenty minutes. If it is chock-full of stuff I can’t pronounce, chances are it is going back on the shelf. This is usually why I have a love-hate relationship with holidays: on one hand, I get to taste food I don’t normally eat (mixed with a cocktail here and there), but the next day is awful until about noon. My stomach, a best friend hours earlier, now shows its’ disgust and remorse for my poor decision-making. Though I knew this was going to happen, I’ll do it again in the future depending on which holiday graces my calendar.
Seeing as the holidays cannot be avoided, as well as the food (unless you have super-human determination to not eat despite the edible abundance before you), there are several things you can do to support your body in detoxifying the unnatural substances you ingested over the holidays. Whether it was too much alcohol or too much fried and oily food, there are some things you can do to take better care of your liver and set yourself up for success the next round.
Set Your Liver Up For Success BEFORE the Festivities
First and foremost, if you know that you are going to have a night of food, fun and drinking, there are some things you can do to set your liver up for success.
- For one, if you have a sensitive stomach like yours truly, stay away from anything with a lot of cheese, oil or that is fried. If you MUST try it (like yours truly) sample in small doses so you don’t overwork your digestive system.
- Two, if you are adding some liquor to the mix, make sure you drink water throughout the night in between cocktails or beers to support you in avoiding a hangover. Also, if you are drinking beer, stick to beer. If you are drinking wine, stick to wine and, as always, please remember to drink responsibly. Find a designated driver if you know you are going to go overboard.
- Third, get out early! Stop eating and drinking at least an hour before bed, although two or three hours would be better. I had a philosophy In Malaysia when I met up with a girlfriend for wine, and this included starting early and ending early. My days usually started at 4:30 am and I couldn’t afford to work with a food or alcohol hangover, so we would get together around tea time (4:30ish) with dinner and wine, and we would stop around 7:00 pm. This worked wonders for my liver, and seeing as the wine nights were mostly at my house, I didn’t have to worry about eating over oily or deep-fried foods that were going to upset my stomach!
Natural Ways to Detox Your Liver After the Festivities
While I woke up feeling fine with morning (aside from not getting enough rest), I still do what I can to take care of my body. Here is what you can do to detox your liver after a night of food and fun:
- Sleep Tight!
Sleep not only puts your body into rest mode, but it goes into regeneration mode as well. Additionally, certain foods and alcohol can disrupt your sleeping patterns which is why it is important to quit early on. If you aren’t getting a solid seven to nine hours of sleep a night, your organs may not get that much-needed recharge so they can function optimally.
- Sweat it out!
Sweating is a great way to detoxify your body: whether that means going for a bike ride in the afternoon, doing some hot yoga, running around Phelps Grove Park or sitting in a Far-Infrared Sauna. The benefits of sweating are abundant and according to Dr. Mercola, includes boosting endorphins (those feel-good hormones), preventing kidney stones, improving your skin, AND releasing toxins from your body. (http://fitness.mercola.com/sites/fitness/archive/2015/07/24/benefits-of-sweating.aspx).
- Drink plenty of water.
While this may seem remedial to you, it is one of the most important things you can do for your liver. Keep in mind that your body is already a professional detox-machine: our job is to assist or help it along and drinking water is no exception. Aside from ingesting less synthetic or unnatural foods, drinking plenty of water to help our body with its’ natural processes is a great way to set your liver up for success.
- Eat raw fruits and vegetables every day.
Raw fruits and vegetables carry many vitamins and minerals, but they also help move things along in your digestive tract if you catch my drift. Foods like avocados, berries, broccoli, and bananas contain fiber and magnesium which helps you do your business and push out all the stuff you ate the day before (although sometimes the alcohol does that for you). Additionally, certain fruits and veggies, such as garlic, lemons, and leafy green vegetables are known for cleansing the liver. Doing a little every day can do a lot for your body.
In summary, there are many ways you can assist your liver and clear it of unnatural substances. Sure, you could partake in a juice fast or a liver cleanse, but these can be really difficult to do ESPECIALLY if you are a foodie. Doing a little every day can do wonders for your digestive system AND your organs.
When the holidays come, whether it is Christmas, Thanksgiving or the 4th of July, yummy food and adult beverages are usually included in the equation. Life is meant to be lived in celebration, but some celebrations cause more harm than others and end up giving you a splitting headache in the morning. Setting yourself and your liver up for success will help you, your moods, your health and your productivity in the long-run.
Wishing you all the best!
WeDames Organization is all about women in Springfield, Mo. Aside from being an online women’s magazine and women’s community, we love being and hanging out with women in the spirit of fun. Part of our women’s community includes hosting women-only events in and around Springfield based on empowerment, education and women’s networking. Ladies’ night out is our flagship event, and is an excuse for us ladies to get dolled up, look our best and hang out with and schmooze with other awesome women in Springfield, Mo.
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