It is that time of the year again where all the diets, weight loss goals and eating healthy goes out the window! With the holidays here and the numerous festive meals we digest, it does become a challenge to maintain a balance of eating healthy.
I often see a lot of patients after the holidays with digestive issues of bloating, changes in bowel habits, fatigue and just poor energy overall.
Often enough, it is usually a case of indulgence of more rich foods, alcohol and sweets that are not part of their usual diet routine. In order to avoid some digestive turmoil post-holiday season, here are some helpful tips that you can easily adapt during the holidays to help your gut!
Being mindful is a simple term but often challenging to practice! Mindfulness is all about being present to what you are doing at this moment and being aware of how your body is reacting and of the actions you are performing. Usually our mind tends to drift off after 5-10 seconds so it is important to keep bringing yourself back to the ‘now’. Over the holidays, whenever you are eating or drinking, practice being mindful of what goes into your mouth, and pay attention to your body. When we are eating socially or in an externally entertaining setting, we often do not realize what we put into our mouth or how much alcohol we intake. When you bring attention to your body and to what you are eating or drinking, it will be clearer to you on how you are feeling in terms of fullness, indigestion, bloating or overeating.
Hydration and more
Dehydration if quite common during the holidays. Some people just tend to ‘forget’ to drink water because there are often so many things to do or there is an excessive amount of alcohol intake! The best way to get your water intake for the day is to do most of it in the morning: as soon as you wake up, work up to drinking at least a full liter of water. Adding a few slices of lemon to your water can also help in cleaning out your system and supporting healthy detox pathways.
In addition to adequate hydration, a green juice a day can go a long way to provide your body with rich nutrients, assist in detoxing and supporting a healthy digestive tract. Vegetables such as celery, bitter melon, green peppers, yellow ginger, kale, lemon, and any green leafy veggies are a great source of nutrients.
Probiotics have been the new rave for the past 10 years. More research is being done to understand the role of microbes in our gut and how it impacts almost every system in our body! Making sure our gut has a healthy population of microbes will ensure we have a healthy digestive tract and a strong immune system, among other things.
The best way to maintain healthy microbes in our gut is to provide it with the right foods- fruits, vegetables, fermented foods, and fiber. Another great way to support our gut is to supplement with probiotics, which are capsules of billions of tiny beneficial bacteria that make up the healthy microbe population in our gut. Purchasing a good multistrain probiotic and using them during the holidays can go a great way to maintain a healthy digestion!
Who doesn’t love a nice cup of herbal tea a day! There are so many fantastic herbs out there in tea form that have a lot of benefits to consume during the holidays or at any time.
Chamomile tea: This is one of the more popular herbal teas available everywhere. It is really great for gas and bloating post meals. Chamomile tea is also great to take in the evening to help have a restful sleep.
Peppermint tea: Another common herbal tea used for gas, bloating and to support healthy digestion. Peppermint is very soothing for a cramping stomach and can sooth indigestion and reflux for some people.
Fennel tea: This tea can be bought at local grocery stores or you can also boil 1 tbsp of fennel seeds to make a tea. Fennel is great for soothing a bloated stomach, and combined with chamomile tea, it works great for constipation! Fennel tea also helps to sooth your throat and respiratory airways during a cough.
Matcha green tea: Matcha tea is rich in antioxidants and supports a healthy immune system.
Holidays or not, the above tips are applicable to daily life as well and can be added to your routine for healthy living! It would be good to start implementing some of the above tips today so your body can get adjusted with this routine.
Gong Xi Fa Cai !