IT'S ALMOST THE MOST WONDERFUL (er, unhealthy) time of the year. But honestly, the GOOD NEWS is the effects of holiday indulgences – particularly in regard to weight gain – tend to be quite exaggerated.
In actuality, a 2016 study published in The New England Journal of Medicine found that the average American gains 1.3 pounds in the 10 days following Christmas. Even more so, a previous study found that the average person only gains 0.8 pounds between mid-November to mid-January. Thank goodness it is considerably less than the 5 pounds we hear about.
But keep in mind, very soon there will be all these delicious treats everywhere we turn and in spite of our best efforts to keep food indulgences to a minimum, there are times when we find it's nearly impossible to resist.
AND YOU KNOW WHAT... IT'S OKAY! Just have a plan, since the sort of BAD NEWS is that our temporary lack of constraint... the what feels like the believed 5lb weight gain is actually an upset tummy, bloating, gas, constipation, brain fog, and lethargy. It may be better than weight gain, but still makes for uncomfortableness, added stress, and crankiness.
But don't despair, remember it will be okay. Here are some natural and inexpensive remedies to keep or jump start your digestive system back into high gear. Just by staying present and turning easily assessable foods into goldmines for the digestive system.
First a quick biology lesson.
Our digestive system is an important key to living a long and healthy life. Digestive function is made up of numerous organs working together to break down, absorb, & process nutrients in the food we eat. Without healthy digestion, the body can become malnourished and toxins may build up, leading to degenerative diseases.
Before anything else, when walking in a minefield of edibles, pick out what really pleases your taste buds and savor it. This will help with only eating until satisfied and not until unbuttoning your jeans is the only thing on your mind.
When you are picking up that third fruit tartlet, think about why you have to have it. Is it scarcity thinking? This will not be here next month. Is it stress? If I have to replace one more bulb in this string of lights, I'll scream. Is it loneliness? Holidays just aren't the same without a past loved one.
Warm and soothing caffeine-free herbal teas can reduce an uncomfortable, bloated system. These medicinal leaves become digestive support upon contact.
Peppermint - Used for centuries to ease dissipation of gas and indigestion.
Chamomile - With anti-inflammatory and anti-spasmodic properties, the calming effects of this tea also help relieve stress, which is often linked to digestive problems.
Lemongrass - Soothes the digestive system and calms the nerves.
Green juices are packed with nutrition and enables the release of stored toxins throughout the system. Green juices can cleanse your digestive system, helping to move things along while providing an extra dose of readily available nutrients. Energizing for the body and brain.
Start with vegetables that are gentle on your system like celery and cucumbers, adding a little apple to sweeten things up.
Warning, be careful not to overload a healthy green juice with too many sugary fruits/ingredients. Stay on the low glycemic scale.
Pineapples contain the digestive enzyme bromelain, and papayas contain papain.
These natural enzymes support the digestive system in breaking down and absorbing nutrients from the foods we eat.
Consuming the fresh juice from these fruits can help relieve gas, upset stomach and occasional constipation and diarrhea.
Lemon activates the liver to release toxins and helps to cleanse and move any roughage that stays behind in the intestines.
Mix half of a juiced lemon with eight ounces of warm water. Drink upon waking on an empty stomach.
Spice It Up
Ginger stimulates digestion by speeding up the movement of food from the stomach into the small intestine.
Widely used all over the world for many digestive disturbances, ginger has been found to soothe the digestive lining and balance gastric juices, making it a great remedy for overeating.
Peel and slice a two-inch piece of fresh ginger. Add to three cups of boiling water. Brew for five minutes, strain and sip the tea slowly. You may add some natural sweetener to taste.
Naturally high in probiotics, foods such as raw sauerkraut provide beneficial enzymes that increase the digestibility of any food. This enhances lactic acid which in turn promotes the growth of healthy flora throughout the intestines as well as preventing the growth of harmful bacteria and increasing nutrient absorption.
If we start now, with practicing mindfulness and using herbs & whole foods to support the natural detoxification organs of our body we will feel like an angel gracefully floating through the holiday season and be comfortable in our skin and cute festive clothes.
Even though the temptation to indulge may be more likely to occur during the holidays, these simple, natural remedies can promote healthy digestion any time of the year.
Do you have any of your own natural remedies or tips for managing seasonal overindulgences? I'd love to hear from you! Please click here to leave a comment. Be sure to share with your friends.
How would you like to feel be in control during this holiday season? Let’s talk! Schedule an initial complimentary consultation with me today by emailing me at firstname.lastname@example.org or click below to learn more about my unique approach to Living Truly Healthy, Fit & Happy.