Let’s face it, most of us like to indulge a little around the holidays. No matter how healthy you are during the rest of the year, it’s hard to resist those comforting meals, sugary treats, and festive alcoholic beverages. Now, I’m not saying you have to avoid these types of foods all together, because let’s be honest, the temptations are real around the holidays. But when you combine the season’s indulgences with less movement, you can end up feeling bloated and sluggish, which is never fun. So here are a few practical tips for avoiding the bloat around the holidays.
Festive foods, booze and excess salt can cause unwanted water retention during the holidays. This is why it’s important to drink your share of water during the holiday season. Aim for 2-3 litres of water every day, plus a little extra if booze is involved. This will help reduce the bloat by flushing out toxins and excess salt.
Go on Post-Meal Walks
One of the reasons we feel sluggish around the holidays is because we’re not moving as much. Being active supports your digestive system to function optimally. Movement helps to prevent constipation, assists circulation and moves lymphatic fluid throughout the body, which essentially helps the body to naturally detox and eliminate waste. Simple exercise can help move gas through your system and ease some of that pain that is often associated with bloating. Keep a routine in place by moving for at least 30-60 minutes most days of the week.
Eat Slow and Steady
With the holidays comes a lot of excitement around food and it’s easy to forget the basics of eating. Remember to take your time and chew. Chewing plays a crucial role in digestion. Be mindful and present, put down your fork in between bites and enjoy the conversation around you.
Drink Herbal Teas
I love a good cup of tea, especially those that help improve digestion. A few of my favourites include ginger, fennel and dandelion root. Ginger is great for reducing nausea, especially if you had one too many drinks the night before. Fennel helps relieve gas and bloating. Dandelion root is a natural diuretic, which is great for reducing water retention in the body.
During the holidays, our gut bacteria can be disrupted by processed foods, alcohol and sugary treats. Probiotics are beneficial bacteria that keep our digestive system balanced by aiding in the breakdown of food, preventing acid reflux and relieving constipation and bloating. Take a good quality probiotic everyday or incorporate probiotic rich foods like coconut yogurt, sauerkraut, kimchi, kombucha and miso soup to help boost good intestinal bacteria.
Michelle Garland, the founder of Plentyfullme Nutrition and Lifestyle Consulting, is a Certified Holistic Nutritionist and Raw Food Chef. Michelle has dedicated her practice to creating optimal lifestyles through a whole food, plant-based approach that educates and empowers her clients to make lasting change. She began to develop her own approach to health by exploring plant-based cooking and alternative medicine. What started as a passion has transformed into an ever-evolving life journey and professional career in Vancouver, BC.
Follow Michelle on social media for more resources and inspiration.