Last year around this time or certainly by January 2, you may have vowed that “next year” was going to be different. You were going to figure out how to enjoy your favorite foods and beverages without paying the price. You know, indigestion, excessive weight gain, or feeling all around miserable after briefly enjoying a feast and then suffering for hours, days, or even weeks.
Well, I’m here to tell you — this IS ‘next year’ and I decided for the sake of you, our readers, as well as myself, it was time to figure this out.
So I consulted an expert in nutrition. I made it clear to my qualified friend that I did not want to recommend to my readers “rabbit food” but wanted her suggestions as to how to “party-hardy” while not paying a huge price.
In fact, I made the task even more daunting when I asked Dr. Katie Takacs how our readers could enjoy holiday fare and afterward actually enjoy a sense of physical wellbeing.
If you start with that as the goal you may be willing to try some new approaches to your holiday celebrations.
Here are some of Dr. Katie’s suggestions:
- Prior to a big event, drinking lots of water aids digestion.
- Avoid grazing prior to the event or you may not enjoy the feast later on that day.
- Get Aloe Vera Juice (without sweetener) and drink 2 to 4oz. Best taken before a meal, it provides natural digestive relief even when taken after a meal.
- Get a piece of Fresh Ginger, peel it and slice it into a cup of hot water — this relieves nausea, indigestion, and is known to be an overall anti-inflammatory.
- Have on hand some high-quality Peppermint Tea as this aids digestion.
- Be the person to bring the healthier option such as a simply-prepared platter of Asparagus with a homemade Vinaigrette* (*loads of recipes are available online).
- Without a plate in hand, observe the entire buffet line noting your favorite foods and items you don’t especially care for and avoid them when filling your plate.
- Fill your plate with vegetables first — then add protein or the more fattening items.
- Make your plate as colorful as possible because highly nutritious foods are often the colors of the rainbow (sorry, your Aunt Millie’s jello mold, colorful though it may be, does not qualify).
- If you’re concerned about a hangover, consider vodka and tonic or vodka and seltzer with lime.
- During the meal, sip a mineral water such as Pellegrino — when paired with a hearty meal it aids digestion.
- Go easy on the white, tan, or pale-colored foods likely to be filling carbs and go for the more interesting items often, more expensive to have at home.
- When visiting friends or relatives, bring containers (you can leave them in the car and retrieve them if offered leftovers). Quality leftovers taste even better the next day. (Often people overeat because they won’t see their favorite food again till next year.)
- Between the meal and dessert, take friends and family for a 15-minute walk and discuss what you’re grateful for. This promotes relaxation and aids digestion.
- Ever wonder why sauerkraut is traditionally served with the strongest sausages? It’s because fermented foods like sauerkraut, kimchi, pickled onions (without sugar), Calamata olives, and pickles aid digestion, reduce nausea and bloating and can actually reduce acid reflux.
Here’s to a healthier holiday season and wishing you a true sense of wellbeing.
This information is not intended as medical advice.
If you are experiencing symptoms, see your healthcare provider.
Thank you: Dr. Katie Takacs, D. C., D.A.B.C.I., Gateway Natural Medicine & Diagnostic Center
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