Tips for Holiday Eating and Being
WITH CHRISTMAS looming (tomorrow), and New Years arriving soon thereafter, I want to post something that might be useful given the activities associated with this holiday event.
Since we tend to overindulge during the holidays, I thought that some tips to be more food-discreet at the table would be good.
But, thing is, I already did this for Thanksgiving in my 8 Remedies to Combat Overindulgence post.
Well, what the heck, I’ll summarize what I wrote there, and then summarize and link you to another tips-laden post on the subject written by Executive Producer and writer, Carolyn Scott.
My tips have to do with physical overindulgence – the kind that happens when over-eating; whereas Ms. Scott’s article deals with emotional overindulgence, or, as she puts it, the emotional “dos and don’ts around your holiday table”.
Together they can be thought of as Tips for Holiday Eating and Being.
Tips to Combat Eating/Drinking Overindulgence
If alcohol consumption is your nemeses, try these five remedies:
- Milk Thistle is an herb has been used for centuries to cleanse and strengthen the liver. A journal article from Italy called milk thistle “the most well-researched plant in the treatment of liver disease.”, which is good news for those tending toward Alcohol Debauchery, cause nothing quite messes with the liver as well as alcohol. Buy it anywhere in capsule form.
- Magnesium is an important mineral that gets depleted by alcohol, as well as foods high in sodium and sugar. It has a laxative effect, and relaxes you, as well as your bowls, which is why many people take Calm (a powdered magnesium in bulk form) before bed.
- Green Tea is my perennial favorite because it yields so many benefits (search for “tea” on this blog), such as improving metabolism and helping detoxification. Plus it tastes great.
- Protein is the key macro-nutrient (the others being carbs and fat) for rebuilding whatever in the body we tear down. Alcohol can deplete your liver of glutathione (<–click and scroll down), the liver’s most important natural detoxifier. Eating protein helps to build the glutathione back up. Eat moderate amounts of protein, one serving at each meal. “Moderate” because, unlike with fat, the body can’t easily store protein and then use it when needed. If you’re not a body builder, you don’t need to eat your weight in grams (ie: 200 lbs = 200 grams protein). I make it easy on myself by using a whey-based protein supplement (ImmunePlex) so that I get protein at every meal, even if too lazy to open a can of tuna, or cook some salmon.
- Fruits and Veggies have anti-inflammatory properties due to the flavonoids and carotenoids contained in the food pigments. Alcohol is inflammatory, so it’s a nice marriage between it, fruits and vegetables (polygamous?), but one that isn’t on a path to success unless you consume about nine servings a day of some combo of the flavonoid/carotenoid stuff.
Take/Do This to Combat Food Stuffing:
- Calcium relieves heartburn by tightening the valve that keeps stomach acid in its place, like anywhere other than your esophagus and throat. Try calcium citrate powder, 250 mg, dissolved in water, after every meal and at bedtime (for a total daily dose of 1,000 mg). Swallowing calcium pills does not prevent reflux because the calcium is not instantly dissolved.
- 2. Digestive Enzymes help break down protein, fiber, fat and carbs to help decrease distension of the stomach, reducing that bloated, stuffed feeling and easing digestion. The enzymes should be acid-resistant, so they work in the stomach itself, not in the small intestine. A powdered enzyme preparation (1/2 teaspoon) can be mixed together with the calcium powder above and taken after each meal. Digestive enzymes are available in health food stores and drug stores, or you can take Vital Enzymes, which are the ones I use.
- Exercise might be the last thing you can make yourself do if you’re hurting from creative overindulgence. But exercise boosts energy, helps you de-stress, improves the immune system and facilitates sleep. Lace some comfortable shoes and tell yourself you’re just going to stroll to the mailbox. Perhaps the fresh air and expanding lungs will take you further.
8 Tips to Avoid Emotional Overindulgence
Next up are the 8 tips to avoid conflict at the dinner table, or as expressed here: Emotional Overindulgence. I summarize an insightful post by Carolyn Scott, which I encourage you to read in full to glean the full flavor of her suggestions.
- Converse, but step off your soapbox.
- Don’t put your host in the position of being a scapegoat. If you have special dietary needs, let her/him know, eat before you go, or bring the dish you need.
- If you are hosting a meal, be mindful of others… their preferences, tastes and any special accommodations that might be needed.
- If in a foul mood, clean it up before attending a holiday celebration, or at least let people know that it’s not them that are off-putting.
- Trying for perfection puts you out of synch with the moment, cause it’s just too hard.
- Traditions can be changed, so relax and go with it if something needs to be different this year.
- Like the admonition in #5, don’t let the details take over. The Holiday Season is supposed to be fun.
- Be thankful and remember to say so.
OK, so now you’re armed to deal to deal with whatever comes your way this Holiday Season. Enjoy!