Champagne toasts, delectable homemade cheese platters, and rich, buttery casseroles… Is your mouth watering?
For many, holiday meals bring the temptation to overindulge.
Hey, it’s natural. “Party food” is a big part of how we celebrate and share our love.
Being healthy doesn’t mean being perfect, and you shouldn’t feel bad about indulging in those less-than-healthy-treats from time to time.
But you’ll be better able to manage the dietary challenges of the season if you have a clear strategy. Here are a couple of ideas on how to handle those holiday treats!
Do you fall into an all-or-nothing mindset when it comes to what you eat?
Let’s say you’ve eaten a Christmas cookie. If you have an ‘all-or-nothing’ emotional reaction, you might suddenly feel like you’ve failed.
Perfectionists will often say to themselves (perhaps subconsciously), “Well I’ve already failed, so I might as well enjoy myself on the way down!”
A whole cascade of thoughts, emotions, and desires follow- guilt, anger, and self-loathing. You can’t even enjoy the cookie you ate. The solution, naturally, is to eat another cookie. You can see where this is going...
Inflammatory foods can wreak havoc on our digestive system. As you probably know, inflammation contributes to many serious health problems. A recent study showed that nearly 60% of Americans suffer from at least one chronic inflammation-related condition.
Avoiding chronic health problems doesn’t mean that you can never indulge in party food! But you’ll need a strategy so that one cookie doesn’t turn into 5 or 6, or 10.
Digestion is about more than just what you eat. It’s also about what you feel and think and what makes you stressed. Stress can have a direct impact on gastrointestinal issues like cramping, bloating, and inflammation.
Here’s something that might surprise you: stress can have as much of a negative effect on your health as those party foods you ate. So don’t add insult to injury by stressing out about what you ate!
Did you know that chewing your food more thoroughly can improve nutrient absorption and digestion?
Chewing your food longer stimulates the release of several digestive enzymes that can help break down food in the stomach. You’ll ease the burden on your internal organs and allow your body to absorb more nutrition from the same amount of food.
Try this: after each bite, put down your fork and focus on the taste of the delicious food you’re eating. Not only will you reap the nutritional benefits, but you’ll be able to savor Grandma’s unbelievably tasty apple streusel to the fullest!
According to experts, sipping warm water in the morning helps to clear the intestines, prevents bloating, and removes excess water weight via contraction of the bowels. In addition, drinking hot water after a meal emulsifies fats, which also aids digestion.
The “fire” in your belly should be at its hottest around mealtime. Certified Ayurvedic practitioner Sarah Kucera, D.C and author of The Ayurvedic Self-Care Handbook, recommends drinking 8 ounces of warm water or ginger tea 20 minutes before your meal to enhance digestion.
Here are a couple of other options: try drinking warm water with fresh lemon juice and pink sea salt, herbal teas (dandelion and nettle teas are especially beneficial for digestive health), or Willowy Tea for Digestion (you can find here).
When we get busy we tend to put self-care on the back burner. Keep exercise at the forefront of your mind during the holidays- it can be a great way to help reduce inflammation. Studies have shown that yoga and tai chi, in particular, are powerful inflammation reducers.
Here’s an easy way to get the most bang for your exercise buck: Intestine Exercises. These can be performed with or without the help of a tool like a Belly Button Healing Wand.
If you’re just getting started, try intestine exercises while lying down (they can also be done sitting or standing). Lying down will help you relax and monitor the sensations in your body. Be sure to breathe as naturally as possible during the exercise.
1. Gently press your belly button rhythmically with either your thumb or a healing tool. Take some time to get used to the pressure. You should notice it becoming more comfortable as you keep going. If you feel pain even with light pressure, it may mean you need to get your condition checked out by a medical professional.
2. Once you feel the pressure is more comfortable, you can begin to add more pressure. Don’t overdo it! You should get more of a sense of the ‘internal’ feeling of your abdomen and internal organs.
3. After 3-5 minutes of gentle to moderate pressing, massage your belly button in a clockwise motion. This will help you to relax and release any remaining tension after the belly button exercise.
By stimulating the digestive tract and blood vessels around it, Belly Button Healing can improve the flow of nutrients and blood in your body. It may help to rid your body of tension and toxins and improve digestion.
Here’s one last tip: Don’t waste time during the holidays getting upset about what you’re eating. Enjoy that cookie! If you enjoy it enough, you won’t need another one.
Remember, the holidays are a time to rejoice and reconnect with loved ones, and food is a natural part of that. So make a plan and enjoy comfortably. When practicing these intentional habits, you can have your pie and eat it too.