Staying Healthy During the Festive Season
From the festive season to the New Year, we oscillate from one party to another. The festive season is all about devouring scrumptious sweets and other delicious food items, in addition to indulging in some fun time with our loved ones. As such, many end up binge eating unhealthy food items that can lead to several gut health issues such as indigestion, bloating and acidity.
All these festivities and indulgences can lead to a build-up of toxins, or impurities in our body. If left unchecked, toxins accumulate throughout the body, weakening the immune and energy systems.
If you experience fogginess of mind, lack of appetite, stiffness in the joints, sluggish digestion, allergies or intolerances, and weight issues – toxins could be the culprit.
The key to preventing the formation of toxin build-up is to support the digestive system. If we keep our digestion strong, we can digest food efficiently without forming toxic by-products.
Follow these simple tips below this holiday season to help keep digestion strong, prevent toxin formation, and start the new year feeling fresh, energised, and in balance.
Remember to always talk to your health practitioner or one of our friendly in-store naturopaths before undertaking any health plan or taking herbal supplements. Our naturopaths can tailor a plan for you to help you start the new year from a place of strength, health, and joy.
Kindle your digestive fire with herbal and nutritional support
There are so many wonderful foods and herbs provided by nature that can support digestive function. If you start to feel sluggish or want to ‘prime’ digestion for more digestive capacity, try the following goodies to get the gastric juices flowing.
Try sipping on ginger or cumin tea. Eat grated ginger, with a pinch of salt and a squeeze of lemon before your main meals. Use herbal blends containing gentian or globe artichoke before meals, especially if digestion of fats is an issue for you.
If you are feeling bloated, nauseous, and suffering flatulence, try chewing on some fennel seeds after your meal, or sip on peppermint or chamomile tea to soothe digestion. Adding greens on the side of your dish, especially the leafy greens which are more bitter, also aids overall digestion and balances the acidity of your meal.
Eat your main meal at midday
Look to the sun to gain insights about when to eat the biggest meal of the day. Consider making lunch your main meal of the day, eating between 11am – 2pm.
Eating a big dinner places strain on your digestive system. This disrupts the body’s self-healing and cleansing mechanisms which naturally clear out toxins. It also disrupts sleep. Eat a light dinner, preferably 2-3 hours before bed.
Minimise/avoid digestive weakening foods
There are certain foods which place a burden on digestion and contribute to the formation of toxins. Leftovers, heavy, deep-fried and cold food/drinks all contribute to this process. Also be mindful of coffee or alcohol you consume.
Practice mindful eating
Mindful eating will prevent you from overeating. Even good quality food in excess can create toxins. Not overeating may be quite tricky with all of the beautiful holiday foods around, but it’s very important not to overeat. Always eat in accordance with hunger levels; listen to your body, eat slowly and in a calm atmosphere. Eat smaller portions and don’t go for seconds if you’re not actually hungry.
Keep a routine
Try to stick to your regular eating pattern and mealtimes. Skipping a meal can disrupt and weaken digestion so aim to eat meals three times a day, roughly around the same time. Eat your meal only when the previous meal has been completely digested. Snacking is fine if you’re hungry but choose something fresh and light like a piece of fruit. Also, try to keep a routine around sleeping and waking. This will keep the nervous and immune systems in balance.
Moving daily for at least 20 minutes per day will improve digestion and kick-start the lymphatic system and natural detoxification system to reduce toxins. Try out a few yoga stretches on rising and take a short walk after meals. Go for a swim or enjoy water activities.
Cleanse your system
Start your day with a squeeze of lemon in a glass of lukewarm water. Add a teaspoon of honey and drink up the first thing in the morning. Warm water flushes toxins out of the body, keeps your system clean, accelerates the fat burning process and gives you a glowing skin. Green tea is another drink that is full of antioxidants and helps in detoxifying the system. Drinking more water throughout the day helps your system cleanse the toxins. You can also try fresh fruit or vegetable juice or swap lemon water to 1 tsp of fermented apple cider vinegar which also adds some prebiotics to your digestive system.
The classic Ayurvedic formula Triphala is a wonderful support to detox your system and support digestion if you feel you need that extra boost post-festivities.
May these tips help you feel great throughout the festive season and ready to launch positively and enthusiastically into the new year ahead!