Clean Up After Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving at the Trolls

Have a wonderful Thanksgiving, and keep this post in mind when dinner is over, and the next day. At this traditional American celebration, people tend to eat too much and eat the wrong things. It all contributes to both adult obesity and childhood obesity.

The holiday leaves most people with what Anytime Health calls “the inevitable 24-hour post-Thanksgiving food coma.” Most of us then feel the urge to clean up not just the kitchen, but our own insides. The article offers suggestions, like planning to spend part of Friday doing an interval workout. That’s where you alternate between short bursts of intense exercise and intervals of low-intensity activity.

Dietary fiber helps to clean the internal house. Yoga movements are like a massage for the organs. They also recommend drinking warm lemon water, for the vitamin C and antioxidants, and because it apparently assists hydration and helps to flush out toxins. However, there are people who take the idea too far, and do something silly like a “lemonade diet.” That is definitely not the thing to do, says Deborah Dunham of Blisstree. Even a person who is trying to slow down on eating and recover from a holiday needs more vitamins and minerals than that.

Here’s a not-so-cheerful thought from the same writer:

Did you know that some food can remain in your system for up to four days? This can make your body constipated, your mind foggy and your overall energy and mood sluggish.

The object is to cleanse and detoxify the system in a natural way, and there are four things you want your cleanup to accomplish:

1. Stimulating the liver to release toxins from the body;
2. Promoting waste elimination through the intestines, kidneys, and skin;
3. Improving circulation throughout the body;
4. Refueling you with healthy nutrients.

Dunham quotes nutritionist Marlena Torres on the need to “awaken the toxins” by consuming alkaline substances whose negative ionic charge somehow helps to pry toxic molecules loose from the inner surfaces of the body. From there, they go into the bloodstream and organs, to be neutralized insofar as the body is capable, and then flushed out. The body needs not only fiber, but plenty of plain water, as much as two quarts of it a day, to speed this process along.

After holiday excesses, it’s also wise to cut down on all the bad stuff — sugar, nicotine, caffeine, alcohol, and even topical chemicals like those contained in shampoo and perfume. As always, the minimization of stress is important, because stress will cause the manufacture of hormones that mess things up and slow down the enzymes that a healthy liver needs when doing its detoxification work.

Yoga exercises are also recommended by this writer, and she describes a program of hydrotherapy that can be done at home. If a sweat lodge, steam bath, or sauna are available, that’s even better, because bodily toxins are eliminated through perspiration.

Janelle Sorensen, for WebMD, recommends short-circuiting the whole process by not pigging out in the first place:

Most people wonder how to detox after the holidays, but have you ever considered getting a jump start on the process? Detoxing your diet by choosing healthier foods and drinks throughout the holidays can go a long way towards curbing post-gluttony guilt and, more importantly, it can also reduce your family’s exposure to questionable additives and contaminants commonly found in holiday feasts.

Sorensen asks that we be aware of what comes in cans besides food. Like many other health professionals, she is not a fan of BPA, which is found in the lining of the metal cans. Professionals may debate over how much damage it does, but it certainly doesn’t do a bit of good. Since this is the National Diabetes Month, it’s worth mentioning that the chemical is suspected of contributing to Type 2 diabetes.

This writer offers a link to recipes for specifically Thanksgiving dishes — pumpkin pie, green bean casserole, cranberry sauce, creamed corn, and turkey gravy — that do not depend on using canned ingredients. We may have already made our plans and bought our groceries for this year’s feast, but it’s worth making a note of these recipes for next time.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Your responses and feedback are welcome!

Source: “The Best Day After Thanksgiving Detox,” Anytime Health, 11/24/11
Source: “Post-Thanksgiving Detox: How To Cleanse Your Body After All That Food,” Blisstree, 11/28/11
Source: “How Can I Detox My Thanksgiving?,” WebMD, 11/23/11
Image by martha_chapa95.

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About Dr. Robert A. Pretlow

Dr. Robert A. Pretlow is a pediatrician and childhood obesity specialist. He has been researching and spreading awareness on the childhood obesity epidemic in the US for more than a decade.
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Dr. Pretlow’s invited presentation at the American Society of Animal Science 2020 Conference
What’s Causing Obesity in Companion Animals and What Can We Do About It

Dr. Pretlow’s invited presentation at the World Obesity Federation 2019 Conference:
Food/Eating Addiction and the Displacement Mechanism

Dr. Pretlow’s Multi-Center Clinical Trial Kick-off Speech 2018:
Obesity: Tackling the Root Cause

Dr. Pretlow’s 2017 Workshop on
Treatment of Obesity Using the Addiction Model

Dr. Pretlow’s invited presentation for
TEC and UNC 2016

Dr. Pretlow’s invited presentation at the 2015 Obesity Summit in London, UK.

Dr. Pretlow’s invited keynote at the 2014 European Childhood Obesity Group Congress in Salzburg, Austria.

Dr. Pretlow’s presentation at the 2013 European Congress on Obesity in Liverpool, UK.

Dr. Pretlow’s presentation at the 2011 International Conference on Childhood Obesity in Lisbon, Portugal.

Dr. Pretlow’s presentation at the 2010 Uniting Against Childhood Obesity Conference in Houston, TX.

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