The Holidays are upon us, and once again food, drink, and sweets will be plentiful.
The buffet tables. The endless sweets. The mere presence of these in your office and at celebrations will challenge your willpower to avoid overeating. Inevitably bloating, constipation, indigestion and heartburn follow suit. You go home wondering why you did this to yourself? And ultimately, you feel defeated!
Often this leads to the kitchen-sink mentality – you already did it, so why not throw all vestiges of willpower out the window, and continue to indulge, vanishing all hopes of a “bikini” body with each tasty morsel until after the New Year. Of course there is always January. And you can join the many for whom our Happy Gut book and 28-day program have created new healthy bodies and lifestyles (order your copy here)
…but what can you do now?
Before you resign yourself to Holiday bloating, heartburn, and a 10-lb weight gain, try these simple tips to keeping your taste buds pleased, without feeling it in your waist.
7 Easy Tips to Beat the Holiday Bloat:
- Eat first, not last. When you’re going to holiday parties – never go hungry. And don’t start drinking alcoholic beverages before you eat. By eating a small, healthy snack, like an apple, carrot sticks, or hummus before the event, you won’t want to eat everything off of the table.
- Plan for a Big Meal. Pace yourself. Try a little bit of everything. You don’t need to rush. Take your time enjoying each course. By slowing down, you will allow time for food to digest and for “I’m full” signals to reach your brain so you don’t overeat.
- Take plant-based digestive enzymes. As an added precaution, if you think you will eat more than usual, take a digestive enzyme approximately 20 minutes before you start eating. A favorite product is SerenAid® by Klaire Labs®, a broad-spectrum plant-derived enzyme blend which contains Dipeptidyl peptidase IV (DPP-IV) to help break down gluten for those with Celiac disease or gluten sensitivity.
- Test for food sensitivities. Often, undiagnosed food sensitivities play an underlying, indolent role in postprandial bloating, constipation, and irritable bowel syndrome. Food sensitivities are slow immune reactions to food, unlike typical food allergies (e.g. peanuts), which are sudden and can lead to dangerous swelling of the windpipe. A Functional Medicine provider can help you test for these and design an eating plan based on the results.
- Start the day off right. Start your day with a lemon squeezed in eight ounces of room-temperature water. A glass of lemon water helps your liver prepare for the day’s eating. It’s a great way to keep the system cleansed while engaging in holiday festivities. Follow this with Dr. Pedre’s Super Energy Smoothie full of fiber, natural enzymes, healthy omega-3 fats and antioxidants:
Dr. Pedre’s Super Energy Smoothie
1 cup Filtered water
1 cup Unsweetened Vanilla Almond milk
¼ cup Organic Spinach
¼ cup Organic Blueberries
½ cup Papaya
1 Tbsp. Chia seeds
1 Tbsp. Almond butter
Blend together in a blender. Enjoy while you get ready for work. Be creative and invent your own smoothie by varying the fruit or substituting ground flax seeds for chia seeds.
- Take a magnesium supplement to stay regular. Magnesium citrate 200 – 400mg at bedtime not only can help you stay regular, it has the added benefit of calming the nervous system. The worst cause for holiday bloating is several days of eating in a constipated system. Keeping your bowels moving will help you feel lighter and happier.
- Drink tea. The party is over, and you did it. You over ate! Your stomach is distended, and you feel nauseous or simply may feel like regurgitating your food. Try ginger, chamomile or fennel teas as ways to soothe an upset stomach. My favorite is Yogi® Tea Ginger blend. Steep for 5 minutes with 1 tsp of wildflower honey.
Good Luck and Happy Holidays!
(image: Blue and White Restaurant, NYC)