EVER had one of those weekends where you attended more functions than your stomach can handle? It probably happens more often than we realize, but attending family parties and business functions typically involves food, the kind of food that can derail you from a well-intended eating plan. If your appetite was greater than your will power and you consumed more than your fair share of fast foods, snacks and beverages, you may want to consider a rapid detox plan with a “Meatless Monday.”
Meat eating is not bad for you, but it can come with some disadvantages. Meat-centered meals are often high in calories, and animal products contain cholesterol. Though neither are “bad” for you, they can produce negative effects when consumed frequently and in high volume. Some examples include high cholesterol, atherosclerosis, hypertension and fatty liver disease. Adequate physical activity and regular consumption of fresh produce can reduce these negative effects and somewhat neutralize some of the disadvantages of meat eating.
Why Meatless Monday?
When your weekend was filled with cholesterol, calories and an abundance of carbohydrate-rich non-essential foods, your body will suffer. Fluid retention and systemic inflammation is the most immediate response to a glutinous weekend. Athletic performance suffers, endurance and intensity are diminished during activity, lactic-acid tolerance diminishes, brain function becomes “foggy” and the intestinal microbiome become destabilized enough to affect your central nervous system.
It’s a significant cascade that can flare up old symptoms and affect your immune system. Having a whole day of eating colorful living food can recharge your immune system and reverse some of the above negative effects. Here’s how you do a “Meatless Monday”:
Eat At Least Three Different-Colored Veggies With Each Meal: Color in produce indicates richness of nutrients. The richer the color, the more dense the vitamin content and enzymes.
Eat Your Beans: Soy, peas, almonds, walnuts and beans provide various amino acids that can complete the protein makeup of your meal. Always be mindful of your protein intake when choosing vegetarian meals.
Eat Your Seeds: Hemp, chia and flaxseeds are great sources of Omega-3 fatty acids. Don’t forget that avocados with each meal can give you the feeling of satiety and provide necessary fats in your diet.
Drink Your Water And Electrolytes: If you are active and perspiring, try to consume one liter of water for every hour of activity. Otherwise, make a goal of two to three liters total per day. A pinch of Himalayan salt under the tongue with every one liter of water can give you an abundance of trace minerals and electrolytes without all the calories from sports drinks.
Aspire To Perspire: Sweating by increasing your heart rate during activity is a known way of detoxing. Raising your cardiovascular system’s demand through activity increases oxygen consumption, improves blood flow and conditions muscle tone. Calorie expenditure through activity stimulates your body’s demand for nutrients and vitamins.
Dedicating one day to eat like a vegetarian is helpful in mitigating a derailed diet. It’s not as helpful as eating two to three days in a row like a vegetarian. But try “Meatless Monday” for a few weeks even when you’ve had a fairly clean eating pattern on the weekend. It helps train your sensibilities for a variety of nutrient-dense whole foods and for making your protein profile more complete per meal. Good luck!
Dr. Adrian Pujayana has been providing drug-free solutions for health and wellness to adults, athletes and youth since 2000 through his private practice at Family Chiropractic Center of South Pasadena, a place for strength training and nutrition-based health care. For comments or questions, email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.