What does loving your liver have to do with fab abs? Your cute little liver is a busy body organ, responsible for ridding your body of nasty toxins as well as breaking down and metabolizing fat. In our modern world, jam packed with chemicals and pollutants, our livers get a serious workout before we even start ingesting food and beverage.
Then comes the processed food.Yikes. Processed food can do so some very unloving stuff of our systems (think blood sugar, adrenal glands/cortisol levels, etc. but our livers are really being stressed when we start pumping that packaged, expires 3013, mystery food into our bods. You know all those words on the package you can’t pronounce/don’t really know what they are (high fructose corn syrup isn’t really a food)? Well, your lovely liver doesn’t know what they are either. It screams, “All men on deck! Drop anything that is not crucial to survival and filter this gunk out! aaaaaaahhhhhh! Mayday! Mayday!” Or something along those lines. So, it starts filtering like mad–to rid your body of the toxins–and it stops doing its other important jobs like metabolizing fat. uh-oh, spaghetti-o.
What happens to that fat that’s not being metabolized while your liver is in “survival of the fittest, filter like mad” mode? You guessed it, it gets stored away for safe keeping–hello muffin top. Not cool.
Sadly, the “health food” industry is in on it–what a conspiracy. So much of what we buy in the name of health really isn’t so healthy after all. Foods sold to us as “healthy” such as some whole grain breads, nutritional bars, cereals, and what have you, give our livers HELL.
Not to be a negative nancy, but meat and dairy also cause havoc for our liver. When we eat animal products, our bodies create byproducts that our livers must eliminate from our bodies. If its low quality meat or dairy, our livers also have to deal with the antibiotics, hormones, and goodness only knows what other chemicals.
So what can we do? This Valentine’s Day, show your liver some love by:
Increasing the amount of whole foods you feed yourself–go for foods with only one ingredient (and then combine those single ingredient foods into “BLOW YOUR MIND,(almost) better than sex” recipes.
Laying off the “health foods”–for the most part, avoiding foods that make health claims on their packaging is best. Read the label–is it complicated? Does it list things that our great-great grandmothers would not recognize as food (ie. “Why, my deary, what in heavens name is this high fructose corn syrup and what kind of tree does red #5 come from?”).
Drinking up! But mostly water–just plain ol’ water. Many fancy pantcy waters and sports drinks are like liquid satan for your liver. Again, the health food industry tries to trick us with things like vitamin water. Squeeze some lemon or lime juice in there for some added zaz and liver lovin’. A great way to start your morning is a glass of water with lemon juice and dash of cayenne pepper. It will wake your liver up lickety-split. Drinking lots of water will also decrease the likely hood of overeating! So often our bodies get confused over the hungry/thirsty thing.
Going easy on the booze. Trust me, I L-O-V-E a glass of red wine in the evening and I intented to write a post one of these days about why a serving of alcohol per day will help you live to be a 100 (it’s science, what can I say?). But over doing it on the devils drink is not a good way to love your liver. Drinking 1 serving of alcohol per day for women and 2 for men (this is not intended to imply men deserve an extra serving, they’re generally just bigger people) is okay in my book. Any more than that? If its only once in a while, just make sure to drink copious amounts of the aforementioned lemon water. It is Valentine’s Day after all, a bottle of champagne shared with your sweetie pie isn’t going to kill ya.
Change Your Mind Set. Instead of thinking “I hate myself because I want to eat a candy bar/eat that processed stuff” think, “Damn, I’m too sexy for that junk!” When you stop thinking, “I feel so deprived, whoa is me” and start thinking, “I deserve to nourish and love my body” its a heck of a lot easier! Say it out load. Shout it! Shake your booty while you sing it! Of course you’ll indulge from time to time (if you’re human anyway). Don’t beat yourself up about it! Just say (out loud if ya want), “I made that choice but now I’m making the choice to love my liver/body.” Boom. The more your practice, the better you’ll get. Before you know it, you’ll be a lean, not so mean, lovin’ machine (lovin’ has about a million different meanings in this sentence. You choose which one is most appropriate for you).