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 digestive distress, energy deficits, extra weight, imbalanced gut flora, extra aches and pains etc. No wonder we all feel so drained come January 1!
Below are some pointers for surviving holiday festivities:
- Eat pre-event! A meal with fibre, healthy fat and protein will fill keep you fuller, longer so you’ll have less room to sample too many treats.
- Drink an elixir of raw apple cider vinegar and water (up to 1 tablespoon to 1 cup water) a few minutes before heading out to the event. This helps wake up your stomach’s own gastric secretions, to help you digest better. It has also been shown to prevent the typical spike in blood sugar that happens after we eat refined carbs such as breads, crackers, and cookies. That is, it helps offset the negative metabolic consequences of refined carbs! (Avoid if you are diagnosed with hyperchlorhydria, or high stomach acidity)
- For your biggest holiday meals, consider using digestive enzymes. Our bodies naturally release enzymes to help us digest our food. But any big meal will be too much for your system to handle. Find a good quality brand of digestive enzymes at your local health food store to help you 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.
- Set your mindset to “moderation” before you go! If you wait until January to think about what you’ve eaten and drank for the month of December, it’s a bigger hole to crawl out of.
Allow yourself some indulgence this season (I sure do!). But these tips will help you offset the damage so your body doesn’t take a beating.
Wishing you a beautiful Christmas filled with peace, happiness, and of course, vibrant health!