Here are my 5 top tips for making it through the holiday season without feeling bloated and over stuffed!
I like to keep health in general pretty simple.
As humans we need 4 things. Food, Water, Movement & Connection.
Make this time of year about CONNECTION with your loved ones! Focus on the memories and time you get to spend with friends and family that you might not get to see all the time. Spend that extra 10 mins at the table listening to your Grandma’s or Grandpa’s stories! Catch up with your cousins! Play with your little nieces and nephews! Soak it all up! 🙂
Ok, now back to food.
Let’s be honest, even with our best intentions, sometimes, ok a lot of times we over eat during this holiday season. When that happens, we need to be nice and give our guts some help.
Optimize your digestion!
- Take digestive enzymes. These are extra “worker bees” that breakdown our food into smaller pieces. These enzymes are great for bloating, increasing nutrient digestion, absorption of vitamins and minerals, and promotes healthy gut bacteria.
- Have some HCl (supplemental stomach acid) on hand. This is a great digestive boost for those big meals. **Pro Tip: Have HCl + Digestive Enzymes on hand for emergencies! If you get the early warning signs of food poisoning. These will help your body kill those bad bugs you accidentally ingested. * Ideally followed by a good probiotic at the next meal.
- Raw Apple Cider Vinegar: Take a shot glass add 1/2 – 1 Tb of ACV, fill rest of shot glass with water. If too strong dilute to taste (Make sure to get ‘raw’ ACV for an extra probiotic boost). This “old wives’ tale” is great for regulating an upset gut, diarrhea, constipation, indigestion, etc.
- Take an 8 oz glass of room temperature water add a squeeze or slice of organic lemon upon rising or 15-30 mins before a meal. This will help stimulate digestion and a proper acidity in the stomach to help breakdown your food.
Take those recipes back you your ROOTS! Think basic WHOLE food ingredients!
- The main: Enjoy organic free-range poultry, or organic pasture raised pork and beef.
- Marinades: check the ingredients, avoid sugar, check out Tessemae’s dressings & marinades. They are delicious and made of high quality, whole food ingredients.
- Mashed potatoes: Mash boiled potatoes, add 1-2 Tbs of organic grass-fed butter, S&P and spices (Optional – Almond or coconut milk for extra ‘creaminess’).
- Brussel sprouts cooked with bacon: (Bet you didn’t expect that tip from your nutrition advisor! – just make sure it is good quality bacon.)
- Cranberry sauce: make it from scratch! Cook the cranberries down over medium heat, add maple syrup or honey as sweetener to taste instead of corn syrup or sugar.
- Pumpkin pie: Buy a gluten free crust and swap the sweetener in your old recipes for coconut sugar, stevia, maple syrup or honey.
- *Stay tuned for a FULL Christmas Menu with healthy swaps to keep you feeling good this holiday season!
- Sign up for a fun family race like a Reindeer Run or other 5K. If you plan these fun events you are more likely to keep to your preparation schedule.
- Don’t wait until January 1st! Start building those exercise habits now! Even if it is only 1 day a week or a 20-30 min home work in the morning in will make a difference!
- Go for a walk after dinner with the family.
- Extend your overnight fast a little longer in the morning in preparation for that big family meal later.
- Use a reasonably sized plate. The bigger the platter the more likely you are to load it up! Grab a medium size bowl or plate to keep portions in check. You can always go back for seconds if you are truly still hungry.
- Take a little bit of everything and see what you really want – get seconds of just that.
- CHEW YOUR FOOD! Put your fork down! Chew some more. Talk with your family over dinner, share stories etc. Then keep chewing. “Chew your liquids, drink your solids”. Chew your solid foods until they are liquids, so your body can prepare to digest the food properly.
Stay hydrated – between meals.
- Water is great, but we don’t want to dilute that good stomach acid trying to do its job of breaking down your food. So, try to drink most of your water between meals when possible.
Looking for new recipes to try? Use the search term “paleo” + recipe name. This cuts out dairy, gluten, traditional sugar, many common allergens. I am not saying “paleo” cookies are a health food… I am saying they will likely not contain the ingredients just mentioned that will make you feel sick. So still keep portions in mind.
Plus keep an eye out for those PEAK approved Christmas recipes!
-Ali Parkerson, BS- NTP