New Yorkers live fast. Most of us work at least two jobs in order to tackle the rising cost of housing and when we aren’t working, we are out enjoying the most exciting city in the world. We love our lives but sometimes the pace becomes unequivocally chaotic.
Sometimes we are too overwhelmed with the rat race of life to properly eat while hacking our way through the concrete jungle. Some of us grab a frank while swinging past a hot dog stand. Others get through their days charged up on cold pressed juices but far too many of us neglect consuming vital nutrients until after we clock out at 5 (or 10). We make our way out of the office and as the stresses of work begin to evaporate, an immense hunger gains control of our thought process. Our noses direct our mouths rather than heads and we are transplanted into the Olive Garden to consume bottomless portions of bread sticks and countless glasses of wine.
Before we realize, it is 5 hours before we have to wake up again, and we drift towards our beds, weighted down by alcohol and a massive amount of calories. In our inebriated state, one would assume that sleep would come easy but instead we spend the night tossing and turning until our alarm strikes again and lets us know it is back to the grind.
Why couldn’t we sleep? We worked our asses off all day, didn’t drink any coffee and our conscience was clean.
Two things. Firstly, despite common belief, excessive alcohol consumption disturbs sleep. As your body metabolizes alcohol and leaves your body somewhere in the middle of the night, there are significant neurological changes occurring in your brain which cannot help but disrupt your recharging process.
Secondly, consuming fatty and starchy meals puts our digestive track in overdrive. Digestion accounts for 80% of our energy use. It only stands to reason that while our body is working so hard to process those processed foods, that the tossing and turning of linguine in our stomachs would cause our bodies and minds to do the same.
So what can we do? Firstly, let us consider that eating natural foods and drinking cold pressed juices throughout the day will satiate our hunger as well as provide a steady flow of nutrients. Secondly, we understand that going to bed on an empty stomach could be challenging in itself but instead of reaching for fatty foods, we suggest drinking green juices which contain minimal sugar and are low on the glycemic index. Save juices containing acidic fruits like oranges and grapefruit for the morning but rather drink vegetable juices with and apples or pears. My favorite bedtime juice is kale, romaine, spinach, celery, cucumber, green apple and parsley. This easily digestible, nutrient packed juice which we call Dr. Greenthumb fills me up without overtaxing my stomach. I avoid spicy juices at this hour as well, I like my ginger and cayenne drinks as a pick me up in the late afternoon.