You think this post is going to be about how to avoid gluten, dairy and sugar throughout the holidays.
If you know me, you’ll know that I have struggled with digestive issues for a long time, which is what lead me to becoming a health professional. For the last 2 years I have been sitting in classrooms learning about all the ways that food can harm you, and all the ways that food can heal you. So when I sit down to eat, I’m always analyzing what’s on my plate. It’s a blessing and a curse.
Let me explain,
I was at acupuncture last week, and my acupuncturist told me “you eat with your brain, not with your stomach”, basically meaning that I worry so much about what I put in my mouth that I am actually making digestion more difficult!
Yes, I believe that you should eat well and cook with whole foods to nourish your body. But I think it’s also important to go with the flow sometimes and when you’re at a social gathering and the food is not the healthiest, embrace it, give thanks for it, and enjoy it. No guilt.
I was talking to a colleague the other day and he said to me
“it’s not what you eat, it’s who you are when you eat it.”
I thought this was fascinating and think we can all learn a little something from that statement. Take a second before you eat, whether it’s kale salad, or pizza and cupcakes, and give thanks for that food in any way you know how to, whether it’s a prayer, or just an acknowledgement of your gratitude before you start eating.
Stress and guilt will only make your body unable to digest that food.
So here’s to working through all the holiday feasting with no self judgment, and a sense of balance!
Also, speaking of balance, here are some tips to counter the effects of the holiday yumminess:
Alcohol: take a bunch of chlorella, before, during and after drinking to help detoxify that alcohol in the body. Also, alcohol uses up a lot of your B vitamins which is why you feel so tired when you’re hungover. Double up on your B complex the day after drinking (2 capsules with breakfast, 2 with lunch, 1 with dinner)
Gluten/Dairy/Sugar: this inflammatory trio needs to be balanced with tons of anti-inflammatory goodness. Think fish oils, curcumin, and tons of fresh produce, especially leafy greens.
General tips to improve digestion: take digestive aids before holiday party meals. Some considerations include
- Apple cider vinegar (1 tsp 15 minutes before meals – dilute if you need to)
- Digestive bitters (St. Francis’ Herb Farm has a great tincture, take 1 dropper full 15 minutes before meals)
- Super Enzymes (NOW Brand, take 1-2 just before, during or right after eating)
All of these will be help to strengthen the digestive system when necessary.
Eat some super healthy meals to counter the not so healthy ones.
Also remember to drink tons of water and eat lots of natural fibre to keep the bowels and kidneys moving toxins out of your system!
p.s. after all the holiday eating, if you feel like crap, or emotionally down, swollen, puffy, bloated, or pain in your joints, you will know it has to do with the food. This makes you well equipped to make the decision next time as to whether it was worth the indulgences. When I eat badly and feel negative effects, it’s a nice reminder to myself why I cook and eat the way I do most of the time in my regular routine!
One day at a time…