Sometimes the worst part of the holidays is how bad you feel after overindulging for days on end. If you really overindulged, you may have even picked up a cold or the flu–extra misery. A return to eating raw can help you feel better and boost your health.
Hydration is important after overindulging, so drink plenty of water or herbal teas; ginger tea is an ancient remedy for indigestion and nausea that still works today. Green tea is excellent for raising your immunity.
You can counteract continuing indigestion a number of ways depending on what is causing it. If you are middle-aged or older, you may have too little hydrochloric acid in your stomach to digest your food properly. For this problem, squeeze a lemon into a glass of water, sweetening it with a little stevia if you like, and drink it. Many people who take heartburn drugs could get relief just from drinking this lemon water instead and skip all the drug’s side effects.
If you have had your gallbladder removed, then your ability to digest fatty foods is likely impaired. In that case, take a Jarrow’s Bile Acid Factors capsule with every meal containing fat.
If you have trouble digesting any food, try taking a digestive enzyme tablet with your meal. However, if it’s mainly protein foods that give you trouble, you can find relief just by eating the right raw fruits. Pineapple contains the digestive enzyme bromelain, while papaya contains the digestive enzymes papain and chymopapain, all of which are good at digesting proteins. They provide an extra benefit to help you feel better too; they lower inflammation in the body.
For meals, switch from heavy foods to lighter fare like green salads, maybe with chopped raw vegetables in them, and fresh fruit. Include some fermented foods to improve the health of your digestive tract and soothe it. Plain yogurt without all the sugar added is great, and you can add your own natural sweeteners and fruit if you like. Even better is kefir, which many grocery stores now carry in their dairy or health food refrigerated section. Yogurt gives you the benefits of live bacteria for a day, while kefir gives you the benefits of live bacteria longer than that, because kefir bacteria colonize in the intestine.
To ease that difficult transition away from all the sweet treats, try drinking smoothies. Smoothies are the next best thing to a milkshake and can be a nutritional powerhouse if you include fresh fruit and fresh leafy greens along with some superfoods. Water, coconut water, almond milk, or other non-dairy milks are good in smoothies, but real milk is also healthful despite a lot of bad press–especially if you have access to raw milk.
A nice smoothie combination is mandarin orange, raspberries, and a chard leaf stripped off its tough stem, sweetened with stevia or honey and liquefied in your high-powered blender with one of the liquids above. For a more milkshake-like sensation, throw in a couple of ice cubes too.
Smoothies deliver a lot of nutrition in a glass, but you can increase it even further by adding small amounts of superfoods such as maca, raw cacao, chia seeds, or goji berries. Or you can add some chlorella for a little gentle detoxing, but keep in mind that it will turn your smoothie quite green.
If you’re not ready to give up cooked food entirely just yet, major on cooked vegetables like baked sweet potatoes, yams, or butternut or acorn squash with a drizzle of real maple syrup. Or choose steamed Asian vegetables seasoned with sea salt accompanied by a little brown rice. Homemade vegetable soup is another option, especially if you’re suffering from a cold or the flu; the hot liquid will help open up your sinuses. For a soup with more pizzazz, try Inspiralized’s Spicy Ginger Scallion & Egg Drop Zucchini Noodle Bowl, which is phenomenal if you like Asian soups.
Fresh fruit is a great snack when you’re eating light. Almost any fruit is good—apples, peaches, apricots, any kind of berries, pears, pineapple, papaya, and citrus fruits. Pomegranates are especially rich in antioxidants, as well as beneficial for lowering blood pressure and cholesterol, and they also reduce plaque in the arteries. Bananas are rich in potassium.
Dried fruits tend to be sweet-tasting, so they can be a sweet treat without all the fat and calories. Dates in particular have interesting health benefits. Dates help prevent the growth of candida, which tends to be a problem if you have overindulged in sugar-laden desserts. Dates also can have a laxative effect, but you have to soak them overnight and then make them into a syrup the next day to get that effect. If you have overindulged in alcohol, dates will come to your rescue. Just drink the water that dates have soaked in.
Of course, the hardest part of post-indulgence recovery is giving up those desserts you’ve been enjoying in abundance. Fortunately, there are raw desserts that do a good job of replacing the unhealthy kind. How about these Sunday morning doughnuts for a sweet breakfast treat, or this raw fudge to help you get your chocolate fix? They taste rich, but they’re good for you.
A day or two on raw food recovery will have you feeling great again. In fact, you may not want to go back to your old diet when you find out how good this way of eating makes you feel. It’s healthy AND it includes chocolate. Yeah!