The Best Remedy for Holiday Bloat: Natural Detox

The Thanksgiving feast, holiday parties, carry-in lunches at work and the special homemade ‘treats’ that make their way into your life at this time of year may tempt you to look for a way to undo all of the damage overeating and drinking is doing to your system.

After an extended period of eating sugary, high-fat foods loaded with empty calories, and drinking too many special holiday drinks (whether it be a couple of shots of Tequila at the after-party or a 460 calorie Eggnog Latte from Starbucks) your liver could use a break.

Detox Diet

Do You Need A 48-Hour (or 7 Day) Detox or Cleanse?

The desire to get rid of that stuffed, sluggish feeling that comes after a few days of overdoing the food and drinks sends a lot of people to the drug store for a commercial liver detox or cleansing product. But, research shows that the liver doesn’t need you to spend your cash on a product that promises to flush your system of all of the toxins you’ve consumed.

According to Dr. Andrew Weil, “If you are in good health and not overloading your system with toxic substances (such as alcohol), the liver will cleanse itself very well.” Dr. Weil also reminds us that liver toxicity does not cause cancer, heart disease, gastrointestinal problems, auto-immune conditions, or aging.

The best thing you can do for your overall health is to get back to a plan of eating and drinking foods and beverages that promote liver, colon, kidney and heart health. Drinking six to eight glasses of water daily, eating lots of fresh fruits and vegetables, avoiding tobacco smoke and limiting alcohol can get your system back in top-notch condition.

The Good and The Bad

A commercial cleansing product might not be as beneficial to your healing as promoters of the products would have you believe. But, there are some foods that are particularly bad and good for the liver. If you work to avoid those on the bad list, and consume plenty of those on the good, you’ll begin to feel better quicker.

Six substances to avoid (besides the obvious tobacco and alcohol) are sugar, artificial sweeteners, fried foods, monosodium glutamate, acetaminophen (Tylenol) and fuel exhaust.

Foods that support liver health are beets, broccoli, sweet potatoes, lemons, lentils, minimal amounts of healthy fats (found in avocados, nuts, and chia seeds), apples, onions, and leafy greens. In general, whole foods that are low in calories, sugar and salt, but high in nutrients and vitamins are what you need to get and stay healthy this year.

Natural Detox

Components of a Natural Liver Detox

In particular, large amounts of leafy green vegetables, six to eight glasses of water with slices of lemon, cucumber or other fruits, green tea, and moderate amounts of daily exercise are all you need to naturally ‘detox’ your system.

A while back I posted a recipe for a delicious and super healthy kale and pomegranate salad  that provides a ton of nutrients, and fiber and would be something to add to your natural detox plan.

Your Liver On Sugar

One of the best things you can do for your liver is limit the amount of added sugar that you consume each day. Too much sugar, and more specifically fructose, turns into fat in the liver. Over time, this buildup of sugar leads to a condition known as nonalcoholic fatty liver disease and damages the liver in the same way that too much alcohol does.

The American Heart Association recommends no more than nine teaspoons a day for men and six a day for women.

For more reasons why you should say no to sugar, click here.

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Eleven Non-Food Holiday Gifts For Under $20

Most of us have at least a short list of people that we need to purchase a special, yet inexpensive, gift for at the holidays.  The mail carrier, dog groomer, hair stylist, boss and school teacher are all deserving of a thoughtful gift. A typical gift is a home-made tin of cookies, a bottle of wine or a box of truffles.

But since these food items are so common – and not always appreciated if someone is trying to lose a few pounds – here is a list of under $20 non-food gifts to give this year. All of the gifts can be purchased easily at your local mall or department store and are versatile enough for nearly anyone on your list.

1.  Bath & Body Bath Shower Gels – These these bath gels let you give the gift of scent.  They come in delicious fragrances that are too numerous to count. They retail for $12, and most stores offer an ongoing buy-three-get-three-free special. Body gels comes in fragrances for men too.

Bath And Body Gels

Bath & Body Shower Gels. Retail $12 each.

2.  White Barn Candle Company Three Wick Candles – These wonderful candles can be found at Bath & Body or at a White Barn Candle store and come in a variety of sizes and fragrances.  The large three wick candles retail for $20 and many stores run two for $22 specials.

Candles

White Barn Candle Company three wick holiday candles.

3.  Cheerful Snowman – Who doesn’t love a cheerful, colorful snowman?  These can be found at TJ Maxx, Kohl’s, Macy’s and nearly anywhere that has a housewares department.  Your dog-sitter, mail carrier, or hair dresser will love receiving one. Most retail between $10 and $15.

A cheerful, colorful snowman makes winter seem more fun.

A cheerful, colorful snowman makes winter seem more fun.

4.  Decorative Holiday Towels – This is one of those gifts that people love to get because they don’t think to buy it for themselves. Special occasion towels are fun to put out when you have company and make inexpensive, yet appreciated, teacher gifts.  I purchased these for $7 at  TJ Maxx.

An inexpensive gift that's perfect for anyone.

An inexpensive gift that’s perfect for anyone.

5.  Athletic Wear Jackets – If you have someone to buy for that likes to wear athletic gear you can find trendy jackets in stores like Burlington for under $20.  The selection is somewhat overwhelming and you’ll find that there’s one for every athlete on your list. I like the white one so much I may keep it for myself.

Athletic Jackets at Burlington for under $20 each.

Athletic Jackets at Burlington for under $20 each.

6. Yoga Pant Sets – This gift won’t work for everyone, but for the females in your life that like the comfort of yoga pants and tanks for lounging or sleeping, these are the perfect choice.  They come in a variety of colors. I purchased the sets at Kohls for under $20.

Yoga pant sets for under $20 each at Kohls.

Yoga pant sets for under $20 each at Kohls.

7.  Decorative Wall Art – These signs are fun and catchy and you can easily find one to match the personality of the person you’re shopping for.  An assortment of trendy wall decor can be found at any retailer that has a housewares department. Big Lots also has a good selection for less than $20 each.

Trendy wall art at most large retailers.

Trendy wall art at most large retailers.

8.  The Big Jar – Big jars are fun to give because there are so many ways to use them.  They can be filled with wine bottle corks, potpourri, or even a candle.  I purchased this jar at TJ Maxx for $8.

The Big Jar

You can fill big glass containers with wine bottle corks, potpourri, or other items.

9. Flavored Olive Oil – This might be on the fringe of a food gift, but I thought it was too good to pass up or leave off of the list.  Plus, it is a healthy item and if you have someone who enjoys cooking with olive oil, they will love this gift set of three flavored oils. I purchased at the local grocery for $15. It’s a perfect hostess gift.

Flavored olive oils are an excellent choice for a hostess gift.

Flavored olive oils are an excellent choice for a hostess gift.

10.  Scented Oil Pot – Fragrance pots can be purchased for about $15 at Wal-Mart or other department stores.  They will fill the house with aroma and use a light bulb instead of a flame to heat the wax so you reduce the risk of fire.  The chips melt down and fill the area with scent and come in a variety of fragrances.

Scented oil pots fill the house with fragrance.

Scented oil pots fill the house with fragrance.

11.  Wokout DVDs – Perfect for the person in your life who likes to work out in the comfort of their own home.  Check out Collage Video.com for the latest workout DVDs.  You can read reviews and watch video clips before you buy.

Workout DVDs for the person that likes to workout at home.

Workout DVDs for the person that likes to workout at home.

What’s your favorite non-food gift for under $20?

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