The temptations of seasonal treats is strong at this time! Here's how you can make the best out of the holiday indulgences.
It’s a busy, holly jolly time of year and many of us are looking forward to spending time with our family and friends, having a glass or two of wine and best of all - enjoying the yummy local food we know we can count on! But before we dig right in and indulge in that ‘all-you-can-eat-buffet’ we should think about what we are actually doing first. I’m just suggesting to be mindful about the food and drink you choose to put into your body. Remember that all food needs to be digested in order to offer your body nourishment in the form of nutrients.
It’s really easy to over burden your digestive system with a multitude of different foods all at once causing bloating, gas and often indigestion, all of which are highly toxic reactions that put extra stress on your liver and digestive organs. Based on food combining research our digestive systems are designed to digest simple meals the best. That means that the fewer different types of foods we combine together in our stomach during a meal – the better it will digest and the less discomfort we will have. Your Christmas meals should make you feel energized and nourished – not feeling bloated, fatigued and ill. You can’t expect your body to digest and metabolize an unrealistic amount of foods without a huge strain on your body.
Now if you’re like me – you’re gonna bend those rules a bit over the holidays, but not without some guidelines, so here’s what I do;
- Use a digestive enzyme supplement with meals. This will aid in the breakdown of my food and reduce all of those nasty symptoms you get from over-eating. My favorite is Digest Best because it has lots of protein digestive enzymes which are great for when I eat extra meat…and I love meat!
- Wait at least 1 hour between the meal and dessert. Yes, that’s right dessert! Special occasions call for dessert, but only special occasions. My mom makes absolutely irresistible pies. By waiting at least an hour you give your stomach acid (and your enzymes) time to digest your meal prior to eating something with sugar. Sugars should never be consumed immediately following a protein rich meal. That brings me to my next point…
- No sweet drinks during or after meals. Only bitter drinks such as wine or herbal tea, which can be an aid in digestion. Sweet beverages cause fermentation and putrefaction with undigested proteins which is just bad news!
It’s important to set your intention for the holidays and eat with purpose. Focus on what the holidays are really about and enjoying it surrounded by family and friends. Let’s enjoy the foods for what they are, why they are here and be thankful for who grew and produced them for us to enjoy!
Healthy Eating Tips for Your Christmas Holidays:
- Don’t go to Christmas dinner starving! You will eat faster and you will eat more when you’re hungry. Be sure to have a nourishing breakfast and lunch. This will help you to avoid overeating at dinner.
- Don’t eat EVERYTHING! The more different types of foods that you combine in your stomach during your meal – the more strain it has on your digestive system.
- Try to pick only a few foods to fill your plate. Make sure you look at the food choices available to you and ensure that 1/2 of your plate is veggies!
- Pay attention to your portion size. Choose 1 or 2 side dishes you are looking forward to and again moderation is key!
- Don’t overindulge in bread and cheese (they are the most difficult to digest)
- Eat slowly, mindfully and STOP when you are full. Your body will let you know when it’s had enough so pay attention!
- Since you can’t always control the ingredients that go into a dish, choose carefully and keep your portions smaller.
- Drink plenty of water leading up to your meal but stop about ½ hour before to allow you digestive juices to accumulate without being diluted by water.
- Limit alcohol and caffeine as they dehydrate you.
- Eat your calories instead of drinking them. Example: Beer, sugary punches, commercial juice cocktails are high carb drinks.
- Make sure you don’t eat right before going to bed; this will stress out your digestive system, your liver, destroy your ability to have a good sleep and can lead to lots of extra weight gain.
- Enjoy your food - Especially if it’s homemade
- Taste your food! Food is awesome and it makes life possible…just make sure it’s actually real food from local, sustainable sources and not a bunch of fake ingredients.