Call in the troops, we are past Thanksgiving and Christmas & New Years is looming. Are you already feeling bloated and sluggish from the 20+ holiday parties you’ve been to? Don’t fret, because we’ve got Balanced Babe approved methods to keep things truckin’ along this holiday season!
Yes, I included a non-offensive swear word (this is a kid friendly site, people) in the title. Because quite frankly, not having good digestion for a month straight can really get us ladies riled up. No pretty lady wants the eye candy she’s been batting her eyelashes at, putting mistletoe over her head when she feels like she’s about to lay an egg.
So – to help you experience some smooth sailing, digestive bliss these next couple of weeks, I put together some tips to improve your digestion during the holidays and to keep your rumbling, bloating, somehow-4-inches-larger-after-one-meal-belly, at rest.
Tips to Improve Digestion During The Holidays
The Morning of a Holiday Party
- Movement: This is THE number one most important thing you can do to ease digestion and maintain a regularity during the holidays. It is SO simple and I know you’ve probably heard this 1 million times, but seriously this will help you tremendously. Try going for a 20-30 minute jog the morning of or after an indulgent day. This will definitely help get things movin’ (if ya know what I mean).
- Understand what foods you are most sensitive too: Practice mindfulness when it comes to eating. Be aware of how you feel after you eat white carbs, dairy or sugars. Do you feel bloated or get a headache? Any sort of digestive stress that comes after a specific type of meal can be a food sensitivity. So try being more in tune with how you feel after eating to help you maintain a bloat free diet in-between holiday festivities.
- Activated Charcoal tabs: Using activated charcoal as a supplement will help tremendously with gas and bloating as it absorbs trapped air in your body and intestinal tract. You can pop an activated charcoal supplement a couple hours before your meal to kick gas in the groin before it starts, or you can take one after your meal. I would not, however, be popping activated charcoal, probiotics and enzymes all in one day – take it easy.
During The Holiday Party:
- Practice Moderation: Let’s be honest. During the holidays we tend to gain weight because we are having a hoot with our friends and family. Everyone is getting toasty and having a good ole’ time. Or on the other hand, we are at an extremely boring function and just need a drink to keep our sanity. Either way, livin’ it up like this bi-monthly, even weekly, will add up big time. So – instead of depriving yourself of all the fun this month and then going on a binge later, practice moderation. If you have three holiday functions coming up. Decide which function that you will drink (but not have dessert or carbs), which function you will indulge in ginger bread cookies (but not alcohol or carby foods), and which function you will have all your favorite comfort foods (sans dessert and booze). Get the pattern? Choose one of your indulgences to still feel like you are enjoying yourself, without going over board every time. Speaking of drinking, take it a step further and use these 7 tips to keep it together and healthy while indulging in alcohol.
- Take an enzyme: By taking a digestive enzyme between 15-30 minutes before your meal, you are helping your tummy break down your food into its smallest possible form (micronutrients) so that the nutrients in the food can be more easily absorbed. So not only does taking an enzyme help break down the heavy foods, it helps your intestines absorb what is needed for fuel.
- Remember, this is not a race, slow down: You know this feeling all too well. You have a glass (or three) of wine or spiked eggnog, and then the munchies hit you. Hard. Dinner is served and you’ve finished your plate in 2.5 seconds and you’re ready to take on seconds. Oh yes don’t forget about dessert either. Booze or no booze, when you rush through your meal (I do this when something tastes realllll good – guilty), you’re not allowing your stomach to send its signal to your brain to say “Hey, we are done here”. So chew for 30 seconds during each bite. This will not only allow you to recognize when you are content, but it will decrease the chances of bloat since you’re allowing your saliva to coat every bite for proper digestion. Yum.
- Avoid drinking during and 30 minutes after your holiday meal: By doing so, you are diluting the digestive juices working to break down the food you just ate. Let your stomach get to work, and then get back to guzzling water.
After The Holiday Party (that night or the day after)
- Chew on Some Fennel Seeds: Chewing fennel seeds is widely popular in India to help aid digestion and freshen breath. Pack a couple of seeds with you, chew on them right after your meal, and feel your stomach deflate!
- Ginger: I like using ginger when I feel uneasy after a meal. Ginger is popular to use to help nix nausea, but can also be used to relieve intestinal pressure. Chew on a piece of ginger after you chew on your fennel seeds, and if you don’t feel lighter, then I just don’t even know what to tell ya!
- Essential Oils: Try using aromatherapy the night of or the morning after to deflate your bloat. Oils like basil, cinnamon, peppermint, and orange among a select few other blends can help ease your tummy troubles.
- Digestive Bitters: Consuming a digestive bitters the morning after can also help you get your digestion moving along. Typically, digestive bitters are a blend of herbs and roots that help balance your gut and curb cravings. I stumbled upon this line and have read great reviews, but haven’t tried it yet, is Urban Moonshine.
- Last but not least, eat more probiotic rich foods: Specifically; Sauerkraut, apple cider vinegar, miso, and nato. Again, I typically eat these types of foods at night as it does cause some action to happen in my belly so I would rather feel temporarily bloated at night before I go to bed vs. all day while the probiotics are doing their job.
Oh yes, and if you really binged, (and are living in Chicago), I’ve got a quick non-invasive beauty treatment recommendation that claims to burn up to 1,400 calories. YES! The Spanish Thermojet infrared wrap, ladies and gents. I experienced this wrap the other day and immediately noticed that my arms looked increasingly toned, post wrap. The Spanish Thermojet works at a cellular level to detox your lymphatic system, heat up your internal system to burn calories, and helps reduce the appearance of cellulite. I like doing this before big events or photo shoots (or after holiday binges as a supplement to my workouts / cleansing diet).
You can get this done at my girl Leah’s skincare center: Leah Chavie Skincare. As usual, she is offering BB readers a discount of $75 to try this (normally $125). SO if you have a feeling this Christmas or New Years Eve you will be saying “eff it” to all my above advice and just go hog wild with the booze and food, then make your appointment to help level out your binge. When you make your appointment, tell the receptionist you want the Balanced Babe deal – and they will hook you up. I know I’ll be there. Happy Holidays!
(photos sourced from pexels.com)