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The Day After Thanksgiving

Updated on March 21, 2011

If you can't believe that you "ate the whole thing", don't be humbled into feeling ashamed and repentant. Throw away your guilt with those unhealthy leftovers and get right back on that healthy track!

After the horn of plenty spills its bountiful harvest on to your table, you may utter another prayer of thanks that Thanksgiving only comes once a year. With the holiday season just beginning and every conceivable edible substance finding its way into your home and more, it is a good thing to have a counter plan of attack for the onslaught.

We err on the side of politeness when it comes to accepting food contributions to our table. People mean well but that does not mean that we have to keep and eat everything that they bring. A good rule to follow is this: When the party is over and your guests go home, take an inventory. Anything that has a lot of preservatives, chemicals, hydrogenated fats, loads of sugar, tons of salt, doesn't look so good, and if you have the slightest suspicion that it won't make you look so good either, toss it out. If you can't read it, don't eat it. This practice will restore your kitchen back to the way you want it to be, and you won't be tempted to extend yesterday's festivities into another breakfast, lunch, and dinner tomorrow.

Everyone should be able to enjoy eating on the holidays and often it is the only time we allow ourselves to indulge in foods we ordinarily would not eat. One day of eating this way will not add pounds to the fit shape that you have sweated and tortured yourself over, nor will it hurt a normally healthy body. Sometimes it is tempting to go overboard. If you wake up on the day after your feast with a slight tinge of green about you and feel a bit unwell, you can improve your condition by eating and drinking certain foods that cleanse the system and provide nutrients.

If the wine was flowing and much of it found itself flowing into you, it is helpful to eat a banana or some oranges to replace the potassium lost. Besides losing potassium when we ingest too much alcohol, our bodies can become very dehydrated. Drink a lot of water and that is putting it mildly.

Fresh fruit is always good for you, as well as freshly squeezed fruit juices. Fruit cleanses the system while providing nutrients and antioxidants.

Clear homemade broth with some rice or a few noodles will satisfy your hunger without you having to repeat your performance of yesterday's spread. Here’s a recipe to help you:

In a soup pot with about 8 cups of filtered water, place a large bunch of fresh, flat-leaf parsley, preferably organic, and washed well. Add 3-4 fresh organic carrots, trimmed and cut in half, 1 small onion, peeled and sliced in half, 5-10 whole peppercorns, and some sea salt to taste. Cover and simmer gently until the parsley looses its bright green color. This takes about 10-15 minutes. Strain just the broth into another pot and throw all the vegetables away. You now have a delicious, nutritious, easy to prepare vegetable broth.

If you find yourself craving protein, you can cube some tofu into the broth. A fresh piece of broiled fish or a chicken breast without the skin, with a little salt, pepper, and lemon will also do the trick. Yogurt is light and easy to digest. If you sprinkle some shelled unsalted sunflower or pumpkinseeds on top, you are adding even more protein, as well as potassium, iron, and calcium.

Herbal teas, such as chamomile, peppermint, and ginger can soothe an upset stomach. Lemons are good for cleansing the digestive tract. Squeeze a lemon into a large glass of pure spring or filtered water, preferably at room temperature, and drink this often during the day. You can add some honey to sweeten it if you want. Stay clear of foods and beverages that are heavily sugared or salted and beware of fats. Refrain from all diet sodas.

The nourishment of fresh, wholesome, simple, unadulterated food can make you feel better. Resting and getting cozy after all the noise from the day before will also help the body to replenish itself and restore energy. Get a good night's sleep. By the next morning, you will be up and ready for the next holiday blowout.

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