12 Steps for great December digestion 12-18-18
It’s tricky to maintain great digestion during the holidays. There are so many factors working against us. Our schedules often change. We’re tempted with party food, alcohol and later nights. Our bodies are in hibernation mode as our social calendar tells a different story. When digestion is off kilter, it affects our mood, energy, vitality and our immune response.
Here are 12 powerful and easy strategies to keep your gut strong.
- Stay hydrated. Proper hydration supports the entire digestive process including elimination. If you experience even a mild case of constipation check your hydration.
How? Start your day off with a tall glass of water. Drink a large glass of water before each meal and sip on herbal teas throughout the day.
- Move. Ate a heavy meal that left you sluggish? Get up and move.
How? Bundle up and head outside. The fresh air and natural light is a bonus. If the weather is doing it’s schizophrenic Ohio thing, put on some happy tunes and dance around your house. Or, be the first to volunteer to get up and clean up after the party.
- Breathe. The holidays can be stressful. Stress and overwhelm trashes our digestion. Luckily, we can shift out of the stress mode digest mode, with breath.
How: Throughout the day, close your eyes and take several deep breaths with long audible sighs. Then relax and breathe gently and slowly for a minute. Notice your stress melt away.
- Listen to your body. Eat when you’re hungry. Don’t when you’re not. Sometimes we need to give our digestion time to rest and catch up.
- Eat a light and early dinner. When your calendar is clear, make a plan to eat a very small dinner before 7pm. Your body will have a chance to digest for a solid 12-14 hours before breakfast.
- Eat “party foods” with your meal. Tis’ the season to go into a sugar stupor. Pair your treats with your meals. This prevents taxing your pancreas and liver throughout the day. Limiting sweets and treats to meal times, gives your digestion a break.
- Make your homemade gifts non-food items. Instead of cookie trays, gift something non-caloric. If you want to make something with love, consider a non-edible. Body care products or aromatherapy for the home, are great alternatives. Your loved ones will appreciate it and you might save yourself a few hundred calories.
- Ginger! Ginger root is an awesome digestive. Keep fresh ginger root to slice into mugs of hot water for tea. Find ways to add ginger to your meals. Keep cans of ginger ale in stock.
- CCF Tea. Put Cumin, Coriander and Fennel tea into your digestive arsenal. Sip on these spices daily. It’s easy and inexpensive to make too. I buy in bulk at my local Asian market, grind up a batch and brew a pot of this tea every day during the holiday season.
- Take triphala. Triphala (3 fruits) is an Ayruvedic herb combination. Triphala supports balance throughout the body. It also serves as a mild, non-habit forming laxative. Triphala can be found at most health food stores.
- Have your biggest meal at lunch time. Based on your biorhythms, noon is the best time to eat large. Digestion is strongest in the middle of the day. Have your most satisfying meal then. You won’t be ravenous at night when your body is trying to rest (instead of digest).
- Do an intermittent fast once a week. Remember that earlier, lighter dinner in step 5? On a day that you close your kitchen (and your pie hole) by 7pm, do this step. Wait until you feel a strong hunger signal before you eat again. This is different for everyone. Some folks will be ravenous by 8am the next morning. Others won’t feel the urge to eat until dinner time.
You now have some simple and awesome tools to make your holiday much brighter. And on the lighter side, you’ll be well on your way to a healthier, happier new year.
Cheers! Kate Hammond, Holistic Health Coach
PS. Still struggling? Reach out. I’m happy to help.
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