Improving holiday digestive health

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Holiday periods can be a difficult time for many people- digestively speaking. We celebrate the holidays with a seemingly unending series of events, parties, get-togethers, late nights, glasses of champagne and possibly a fruitcake or two if you are a real glutton for punishment! The result is bloating, nausea and lethargy and even a lowered immune system.

There are many ways to help with this unpleasant side effect of such a joyous time. Here are a few suggestions:

Change the way you eat

Eating smaller portions is a good way to start. If your office has a potluck in the afternoon and you know you have a holiday party that night, pace yourself. An excellent way to help this process is meditative or conscious eating. Before you serve yourself, close your eyes (or at least look away from the food) and assess your hunger. Think about each helping you take and each food you eat. That will keep you in awareness and slow you down as well. Both good practices.

Change what you eat

The biggest food offenders during the holidays are salt, sugar and alcohol coupled with a lack of fiber. Eating consciously can help reduce your intake of the first three but high fiber foods are not common holiday fare. This is a good time to consider a supplement. Psyllium is an easily obtainable source that is suitable for daily use. Check with local health food retailers like Houston Buyer’s Club in Montrose or A Moveable Feast on the Katy Freeway for good options.

Change what you do after you eat

It is often tempting to find a couch or comfortable chair after a large holiday meal. Get in the habit of taking a short, leisurely walk after eating. Maintaining a regular exercise routine is also important during the winter months to help keep weight down, relieve stress  and control blood sugar in addition to helping your body digest and eliminate. Consider adding enzyme supplements as well in order to help out your over taxed organs. In particular, try lipase for fat digestion and amylase for starch. Both of these are in the supplement blend Gastro from Enzymedica.

Remember these tips when it comes to your next holiday! You’ll be starting your year off right and your body will thank you!

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