At this time of year many of us take time off work to relax and celebrate the summer holidays with friends and family. In many households, this involves hosting gatherings and parties with edible and drinkable treats.
Most of our clients at Holden HealthCare come away from their consultations with dietary advice, what to eat and what to avoid. However, let’s bear in mind that unless you are coeliac, have an anaphylactic (life-threatening) reaction or an immediate reaction such as diarrhoea and cramps (or if there are other serious circumstances present), these dietary guidelines may be relaxed a little occasionally. Far from being extremist, modern naturopathy is about regaining balance in our lives, and Christmas and New Year is a time where applying the 80:20 principle (do everything right 80% of the time, and allow things from the “naughty” list 20% of the time) can come into its own for a short period.
So, we may have more alcohol and sugary food than normal over the festive season without feeling guilty if our normal pattern is more restrained.
Remember that we have other tools apart from pharmaceutical medication if we feel worse for wear. Vitamin C (as a supplement or as squeezed lemons) and plenty of water is excellent to help rehydrate after imbibing excess alcohol, and bicarbonate of soda in water is helpful for settling a stomach queasy after too much rich food.
If you have been told that your digestive enzymes are low, then our summer fruits that are coming into stores now are great to perk these up – think of kiwifruit or pineapple, mango or pawpaw, and have a slice or two or a small glass of their juice before meals – a delicious way to make sure you are getting nutrients from the lovely food you may be serving or being served.
All toxins (and yes, alcohol is one too!) pass through the liver, and these days there are many tasty salads which incorporate liver cleansing foods.
A favourite, and so easy to make, is the Grated Beetroot and Carrot salad. Both these vegetables are very liver-friendly.
Simple grate a raw beetroot and a raw carrot (some like to grate in an apple as well), mix well and add a little salt, pepper and red balsamic vinegar, and a tablespoon of pumpkin seeds. A dash of pure maple syrup is nice. A tiny bit (½ teaspoon) of umeboshi plum paste cuts through any blandness and is so-o-o good for digestion. But don’t overdo it, it is very strong! It is also wonderful for morning sickness, by the way.
Any type of green smoothie or berry smoothie is full of antioxidants and can help you feel virtuous the morning after a big night.
Once it is all over, a one-day fruit or vegetable juice fast can give the body a chance to recover. Contact your practitioner for tasty combinations. And make sure you drink plenty of clean, filtered water – one guideline is 1 glass per 10kg of your own bodyweight.
If after the celebrations are over you feel that you need an extra liver clearance boost (feeling sluggish, skin not looking so good, or weight gain), do not hesitate to book in to see Marianne the Medical Herbalist for an herbal liver tonic (liquid tincture or tablet, your choice) or for more nutritional recommendations to build on the foundations of good health which were laid in 2016.
Wishing everyone a Happy Christmas and all the very best for 2017!