Choices. Life is full of choices. When and how to indulge is a choice we have all faced. Delicious, beautiful meals enjoyed with loved ones are one of the greatest pleasures in life. When done in a thoughtful manner they are an important part of a balanced, healthy lifestyle.
Earlier this week, a client came bearing gifts, two shopping bags of food. They brought homemade meatballs, sauce, pasta, fresh sourdough bread, and cannoli! I was blown away by the intention and love they poured into that meal. I grew up in Upstate New York around lots of Italian families and a pasta dinner finished with cannoli is one of my love languages. On the other hand that meal had more gluten and dairy than I normally eat. What's a girl to do?
I ate a big ol' bowl of spaghetti and meatballs with bread and butter and finished it off with a cannoli. I savored EVERY. SINGLE. BITE.
Yes, it was a meal outside of my usual, healthy rotation, but it was worth it! I also have developed a toolbox of easy ways to recalibrate after eating an indulgent meal. Let me share a few of these tips with you.
Enjoy the meal. Yes, it is an indulgence. Yes, it is not "healthy". But you are choosing to eat it, so enjoy the meal. Food does not have morality. It is not inherently good or bad. Stop bringing negative emotions like, shame and guilt, to the meal. Often the emotions we bring to the table have a greater impact than the food itself. If you are choosing to partake, do so with full presence and savor every bite.
Alkalize the body. Indulgent foods tend to be inflammatory and acidic to the body. You can counteract this by alkalizing the body. After my meal, I drank herbal tea to aid digestion and bring in antioxidants. Several hours later, immediately before bed, I drank some liquid sodium bicarbonate mixed into a glass of water. The sodium bicarb is very alkaline and helps balance out the acidic meal. Do not drink this until several hours after your meal. The stomach needs to be acidic to properly breakdown and digest your meal.
Biomagnetism. During the night I woke up feeling extra congested. I placed a few magnets and fell asleep with them on. The next morning the congestion was gone. Later in the morning I placed magnets to stimulate gut motility and detoxification. Both are important for resetting the body after a rich meal. Biomagnetism grade magnets are available for purchase in my store.
Fasting. After consuming a heavy, indulgent meal an extended fast can help the body reset. I chose to wait 16 hours until eating my next meal. This allowed by body plenty of time to digest. After digesting, it had time to switch over to detoxifying before having to start digesting my next meal.
Exercise. This can be a leisurely stroll after your meal or more vigorous activity the following day. Exercise stimulates lymph flow, reducing swelling and stiffness. It also increases gut motility, reducing bloating and gut discomfort.
Reset to baseline. After enjoying your meal return to your normal healthy way of eating. No need to punish yourself for "cheating" or slip into a cycle of binging and restricting. Remember, food has no morality. You did not do anything wrong. You were enjoying life and life is all about balance. Your body is resilient, occasional indulgences will not derail a healthy lifestyle.
Tell me, how do you bring balance to your healthy life?