25 Nov 3 Tips for better digestion on Thanksgiving
…or anytime really…
Thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays of the year because it’s all about being grateful for all you have and spending time with the special people in your life. But we can’t forget one of the other highlights of the day…which is all the delicious food of course.
Thanksgiving is always the time to bring out the best recipes and if your table is like mine, we always have waaaay too much food and a lot of it can be pretty heavy. I am still mindful of what I put into my cooking, but it is kind of the ultimate “cheat day” so to speak and who would want to pass up all of the beautiful dishes that your loved ones put so much time and love into making?
It may be somewhat inevitable that you’re going to end up in a sloth-like state, but here are some tips to try to keep you feeling your best so you can get the most out of your day.
1. Start the morning off fresh!
You know your day is probably full of a lot of heavy foods, so try to start it off with some green juice, fresh fruit or a green smoothie. It will at least give your body some good nutrients for the day and get your metabolism going on the right foot.
If you have the time, try to get a little exercise too. Maybe try to squeeze just a few yoga poses, a quick walk or anything to get the blood moving…it won’t just make you feel better about what you eat later, but having some “me-time” will also give you a chance to be grateful for the strength and capability of your body and reflect on everything else that you have to be thankful for.
2. Give your gut (digestion) a little help
For most of you, you are about to put a lot more various food items in your body than you are used to. Picking up some digestive enzymes from your local health food store will help your stomach process everything a little better and could help you avoid a heavy feeling after eating.
It may also be beneficial to pick up some HCl; this is the acid that our stomach produces naturally but most of us don’t produce enough and we produce less as we age, so we aren’t digesting proteins completely or properly. You can test your HCl levels by taking 1 with a meal that includes protein and increasing how many capsules you take until you feel a little burn, then you know your stomach is at the level it should be. I got up to 8 before I started working on ways to increase my HCl production. It’s crazy (and so unhealthy) that my body was having such a hard time digesting protein. And..fun fact, many times “heartburn” isn’t actually caused by having too much acid in the stomach, it’s caused by low acid levels that leave undigested food to ferment/rot. Gross huh?
Taking a shot of apple cider vinegar mixed with water (and a little stevia if desired) will also help your digestion throughout the day (this is also a good daily routine that helps with inflammation and overall health in general). This will also help naturally increase HCl production.
Probiotics will also help balance your gut bacteria and improve digestion, but this is a better long-term health regimen so starting before the holiday and continuing after may help your gut stay in check.
3. Savor your food
If your table looks like ours, we always have soooo many different options and I want to try everything! Knowing this, I purposefully take very small portions of everything so that I have enough room to taste everything. And when I taste it, I truly taste it. Loved ones take a lot of time and put a lot of love into what they make so eating as fast as you can and not taking the time to savor every bite doesn’t make a lot of sense.
Your eating experience (as well as your digestive experience) will be so much better if you eat slowly, enjoy your food and don’t take more than your little tummy can handle. Plus, eating slow gives you time to chat with those around you and really make an experience out of your meal.
I hope that these tips will not only help your gut, but also help remind you what this holiday is all about…expressing gratitude and connecting to those around us that we love. And here are some healthy Thanksgiving recipes if you haven’t planned out your meal yet.
*I am not a doctor and none of this is meant to treat or cure any disease. It is for informational purposes only.
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