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You know how it feels to wake up on Monday or Tuesday morning after a weekend of less-than-healthy eating… Your body is puffy and bloated. Your joints are achy. Your clothes feel tight.

Maybe you are feeling that way right now.

Here are 5 steps to get you back on the fast track to health:

Get Focused

Your crazy weekend happened. You ate things from your “never eat these” list, you drank more than you should have, but now it’s over.

Draw a line in the sand. Today is a new day with new choices.  The bad eating stops now.

If you’re serious about your goals, then look at this weekend as the exception and not the rule.  Don’t beat yourself up for falling off the health wagon this one time. Simply get back up, dust yourself off and get re-focused. Leave the past in the past.

Get Hydrated

While bad eating can take on many forms, the end result is most often dehydration and water retention. The only way to restore balance is to get hydrated.

Your first priority in getting back on track is to drink plenty of water throughout your day. Start with a tall glass of water in the morning, and carry a water bottle around with you so that you always have water readily available to you.  To augment the many benefits of hydration, add half of a freshly squeezed lemon to help you to detoxify. Flush those bad choices right out of your body.

Don’t add artificial sweeteners or stimulants to your water – these will work against your hydration efforts. To add flavor, infuse your water with fresh fruit, veggies and herbs.  Here’s one to try: Cucumber & Mint Citrus Water

Get Picky

For the next few days, you need to be extra picky about what you eat. Stick with only whole, real and natural foods like vegetables, some fruits and lean protein. Whole, real foods will quickly help you to restore balance.

Stay away from packaged foods for the next few days. This means saying “no” to snack foods, processed meat slices, dairy, baked goods and alcohol.

Try this wonderful, whole food paleo comfort food: Paleo Chicken Chow Mein

Get Juicing

Making your own juice or green smoothie can be beneficial when recovering from a weekend of bad eating. The key is to use ingredients that will hydrate and nourish your body and to avoid ingredients and fruit that are high in sugar.

Ingredients for Recovery

These ingredients are fantastic for your recovery:

Fresh ginger – this powerful antioxidant can also help reduce nausea

Spinach and kale – green leafy vegetables are a sure way to clean out your system

Cucumber – high in vitamin C, these vegetables are known to raise your pH – making you more alkaline.  A beneficial quality after a weekend of junk food.

Green apples and lemons – bitter foods are known to support your liver, a primary organ responsible for detoxification.

Celery – other than helping with digestion, celery has a diuretic effect which also helps your body to detoxify.

These fruits and vegetables are higher in sugar content and should be used sparingly: carrots, oranges, red apples, melons or pineapple.

We love this Blueberry Kale Smoothie: Blueberry Kale Smoothie

Get Moving

Now that you’re refocused, you’ve rehydrated, you’ve eaten only whole foods and you’ve enjoyed a recovery juice or smoothie…it’s time to sweat it out.

Lace up your athletic shoes, put on your favorite tunes and move your body. Whether it be a walk with your dog or a class at the gym, ease in slowly. Take the time to warm up and stretch your muscles before powering up to a solid 30-minute movement session.

What’s important to remember is that every day is an opportunity for you to move closer to your health goals.  When you go off track, and we all do occasionally, let it go and get back to your objectives. You are stronger than you think.  Face forward and embrace the next food choice one-by-one.

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