Tis the season for overindulgence! Without even realizing it, most of us tend to take in far more calories, in the form of sugar, alcoholic beverages, and other simple carbohydrates, this time of year. This translates into energy deficits, extra weight, imbalanced gut flora, and intestinal permeability, leading to chronic, low level inflammation anywhere in the body. No wonder we all feel so drained come January 1!
Here are five easy food-based tips for surviving holiday festivities:
- Eat fibre pre-event! Fibre will fill you up so you’ll eat less of the undesirables, and at the same time it acts to cleanse the digestive tract of the extra toxins landing there this time of year.
- Drink an elixir of raw apple cider vinegar and water (up to 1 tablespoon to 1 cup water) a few minutes before eating. This helps wake up your stomach’s own gastric secretions, to help you digest better. (Avoid if you are diagnosed with hyperchlorhydria, or high stomach acidity)
- For your biggest holiday meals, consider using digestive enzymes. Find a good quality brand at your local health food store, ensuring it contains proteases, lipases, and amylases to assist in digesting protein, fats, and carbohydrates.
- Sip on ginger or peppermint tea post-meal (or anytime, they are caffeine-free). Both are powerful digestive tonics.
- Eat naturally fermented foods at least twice daily – Start the day with a banana and berry smoothie, adding flaxseed (there’s your fibre!) and using organic, plain greek yogurt or organic, plain coconut yogurt. Throw in a handful of spinach for a festive flair, plus bonus B vitamins for an energy boost. Add a side of naturally fermented sauerkraut or kimchi to your holiday meals. If this doesn’t excite your tastebuds, try drinking kombucha tea, a fermented tea beverage which is loaded with enzymes and probiotics. Find this at many grocery stores, farmers markets, or certainly at your health food store.
Notice anything in common with the above? All five tips support the digestive process in some fashion. Because a healthy inside starts in the gut!
Allow yourself some indulgence this season (I do!). Just remember to offset the damage using these five easy nutritional tips.
Wishing you a beautiful Christmas filled with peace, happiness, and of course, vibrant health!