Weekends are wonderful, especially summer weekends. The people and places around us are in full bloom, our favorite social events come and go in a flash, and we tumble into the week with a case of the Mondays. Long, hot summer days and high UV indexes can be taxing, especially when the late evening light keeps us on the deck, drink in hand. So how do we bounce back when we’ve just jolted our blood sugar and disrupted our sleep cycle?
Don’t mix sugar with sugar
Navigating health choices in social situations is challenging at best, and weekends are full of temptation. Modern work-weeks include early mornings, caffeine highs, and stresses, all leading to blood sugar imbalances. Refined sugar creates a potent double-edged sword – the immediate blood sugar boost is exactly what we crave, yet it leaves us less inflamed, anxious and exhausted. Chemically speaking, alcohol is essentially sugar. Though wine can have some mild health benefits, all alcohol is made by fermenting sugar to varying degrees. Liquor also has the added punch of being distilled and concentrated. This means an ounce of liquor mixed with a sugar-laden soft drink is a double-whammy for the metabolism! To lower the effects of mixed drinks on your blood sugar, mix your favorite drink with soda water along with a complimenting fruit garnish for that something extra! Do you realize how we always crave greasy foods after we drink? Since alcoholic drinks negatively impact blood sugar, this subconscious craving is actually an intelligent physical response! Fats counter the irritating effect of sugar by slowing bowel transit. Breakfast restaurants reap the rewards when patrons are consuming mountains of toast, hash browns, and greasy proteins. Keep in mind that breads and starches can look very appealing on Sunday mornings, but they are mainly empty calories too! Avocado, fruits, bacon, and homemade paleo pancakes are not only easy to make, but can also fill your craving and leave you feeling fuller for longer.
Rehydrate (and not just with water!)
Every cell, tissue, and organ requires water to function, making it our most critical nutrient. Loss of cellular hydration occurs more rapidly after heat or metabolic stress, and playing catch up after sunbathing or consuming sugar is just plain smart. Your ideal cellular hydration is based on many minerals and proteins that are always balancing themselves according to your ever-changing metabolism. Water intake is undoubtedly important, but perfusion of fluids into your cells is more effective where the balance of minerals is closer to the body’s own. Soda water doesn’t count! Although it is a great alternative to soft drinks, its carbon dioxide and mineral content aren’t ideal for re-hydration.
Coconut water is trendy for a good reason. Its mineral content mirrors the fluid inside the body cavities, making it easy to take in.It also contains natural sugars that can keep your blood sugar stable, preventing headaches and nausea caused by dehydration. Another excellent choice is raw aloe juice from a health food store. It’s delicious, supremely hydrating, and will soon rival coconut water in popularity! The aloe fibers are mineral rich as well as soothing for the gut lining. It has a very mild laxative effect and is often used in high amounts as a stool softener- so use caution when consuming more than 1 cup per day. Adding fruit pieces like apple, cucumber, and lemon nicely complements its bitter taste. Ad
d equal parts to water and ice with a straw and presto! This makes an excellent (and fancy-looking) looking refresher by the pool or on the dock.
Feed the liver
If we could watch the productivity of our internal organs, the liver would likely be promoted to Master of the Gut. It’s one of our biggest abdominal organs, and its job is to clean the blood while managing a large portion of the metabolism. In Traditional Chinese Medicine, sugar damages the digestive organs. This creates increased work for the liver and disrupting its communication with the intestines. A post-binge visit to the bathroom usually demonstrates this effect! An easy first step to promoting liver function regularly is drinking water with a slice of lemon each morning. Water signals the body to wake up, and citrus prompts the liver enzymes to start working. You can find packets of B vitamins on the counter of most health food stores, marketed as hangover cures. In theory, supplementing the B vitamins supplies the liver with tools it needs to offset a night of binging. What’s more effective is restoring your B vitamin levels ahead of time instead of a Sunday morning dose. Make sure to ask me if a B vitamin formulation can help you.
The difference between enduring your life and celebrating every moment can be as simple as getting a longer, better sleep. All over the world, research facilities have documented how important sleep is to our memory, coordination, focus, weight, and even the healing of soft-tissue. Sometimes it can be hard to get a deep, refreshing sleep and melatonin is a great way to cheat. It offsets cortisol and resets your circadian rhythm. A high-quality melatonin supplement contains the ‘liposomal’ form that is sprayed in the mouth. It induces a beautiful kind of drowsiness, decreases anxiety quickly and promotes deep, high-quality rest. Sunday nights are great opportunities to reset the sleep before the upcoming week. An early dose of melatonin will have you prioritizing bedtime by 10 pm. You might even wake before the Monday morning alarm with a refreshed sense of work goals and a can-do attitude!
In North America, we are famous for going to extremes with our professional and social lives, particularly when summer weather is cherished for its brevity. Understanding our cravings and finding small ways to balance our energies is our best defense against burnout.
As a Naturopathic Doctor, I know how to navigate the modern lifestyle pressures and work around them in a traditional and holistic perspective. Book in today to find out what your next step is! First-time patients get a free, 15-minute consultation.