Are heartburn, bloating or gas a part of your plans after a meal? Especially a holiday meal? They shouldn’t be. When you experience symptoms such as these, it is actually your body trying to get your attention that something isn’t working. To achieve holiday digestive wellness honestly ask yourself what could be causing these symptoms and experiment with adding or eliminating certain foods that may be triggering them. That way, you can get on with enjoying the festivities.
Foods That May Be Upsetting Your System
Common foods that might cause digestive distress are dairy, soy, wheat (gluten), alcohol, white flours, white refined sugars, fried foods and caffeine. Take inventory of what you’re eating / drinking and how you feel afterwards. This will serve as a baseline for the other holiday digestive wellness tips.
Try Cutting Out Certain Foods For A Few Days
So, how can you determine which food(s) to eliminate from your diet? Pick one food to cut out for a solid 3 days. After the 3 days are up, add that food back in for at least 2 meals a day, for 2 days. Take note of what you feel from this process mentally, physically and emotionally. Of course, trying this elimination technique for a longer period of time may show more efficient results, but this is a helpful indicator to see if you notice anything different right from the start.
Ditch Those Chalky Antacids
We also have been conditioned to think that when we have a bellyache or heartburn that an antacid is the answer…but that’s actually incorrect. That sour feeling or pain in our belly is coming from a lack of acid. An easy way to ease these symptoms is to take a teaspoon of Bragg’s Raw Apple Cider Vinegar and mix it into an 8 ounce glass of water. Sip this drink to find relief. If it’s too tangy for you to handle, mix in 1/8 teaspoon of raw honey.
Slow Down & Chew Your Food
Another factor to think about for holiday digestive wellness is how you eat. Are you rushing through meals or doing other things while eating? Be sure to take a few deep breaths right before your first forkful of food to help bring you into the moment. Make it a point to chew your food longer than usual. Typically, we give our food a few chomps and then swallow. This can be extremely stressful on the digestive system since it now has to finish the work of chewing that we didn’t do! Try to chew each bite of food until it turns to a mushy liquid. It’s challenging but so worth it! You may even find that you begin eating less because you’re chewing more, so that is another good reason to slow down during meals.
Eat Mindfully & Treat Yourself
Lastly, remember to treat yourself to holiday foods that you normally don’t eat throughout the year, but just do it mindfully. When we eat thoughtfully and truly enjoy the food we’re eating, we may not overindulge and go overboard which can lead to stomach upset. For example, after dinner pick 3 of your favorite holiday cookies and sit down with them and a cup of hot herbal tea (peppermint or ginger are excellent for digestion). Savor every bite of those cookies slowly, while delighting in the company around you. Notice how enjoyable the experience can be once you slow down this process.
As you become more aware of your eating habits, you will surely have digestive peace throughout this holiday season and into the New Year!