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Festive season tip #2 Digest your food

Let’s be real.

For many of us, over the coming week or two there will be a larger than usual amount of rich food and celebratory drinks consumed.

So be it. Enjoy!

However, if you are planning to indulge in lashings of delicious excess, spare a thought for your digestive system. Digestion is important, ok? Ok.

TOP TIP #2

Digest your food

Many people feel sluggish after – and even during – the festive season. Unused to managing large quantities of rich food and drinks, our bodies work less efficiently and it’s not uncommon to feel unwell … anything from bloating and abdominal pain, to headaches and fatigue.

However, I have good news for you: it doesn’t have to be that way!

The obvious advice is to practice moderation. Please, just give it try. Slow down there Sally, one bite at a time.

In lieu of that, let’s talk digestive function. That way you can make better use of all the fuel that’s consumed during the festivities and enjoy indulging without the aftermath.ACV

Lemon juice / apple cider vinegar in water: first thing in the morning and/or between meals, this will increase overall hydration and give your digestive system a little kick up the pants. You can also use these as salad dressing, combined with olive oil, pepper and garlic. Same deal.

Digestive bitters: herbs such as gentian, ginger, dandelion and angelica are all excellent stimulants for the digestive system. Usually taken just before a meal, these herbs will stimulate saliva production, digestive enzyme and bile secretion; all of which enhance your body’s digestive function.

Herbal tea: teas that aid digestion include chamomile, peppermint, ginger, rosehip, rooibos, lemongrass and dandelion. Sip regularly and often. You can also make an iced brew – just decant into a jar or bottle and pop into the fridge. Serve with a wedge of lime, some chopped berries, or neat. Delicious.

Remember your veg: the fibre (not to mention nutrients) found in fresh veggies will keep things moving smoothly. So, my dears, be sure to take a decent serve of salad AND steamed greens at every meal.

Doesn’t sound like much right? I know! But I’m telling you, it will make a difference. Give it a try and tell me how you feel.

The next festive season tip #3 Eat real food

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PS – yes, I know I said this would be posted yesterday, but it wasn’t. Apologies. What can I say? Busy life.

Festive season tip #1 Drink water

The festive season is upon us! Hurrah!

How are you feeling?

In the celebratory swing? Staying healthy(ish) through it all? Hope so.

Last week one of my neighbours commented on how hard he’s finding it to keep up with all the Christmas events: work functions, social catch-ups and family parties. He’s enjoying the fun of these festivities, but also finding them taxing on his energy and a challenge for his liver! I’m sure he’s not alone…

There is a LOT of information out there on how to keep well through the Christmas and New Year period. This in itself can be overwhelming. Last year I wrote down some ideas on how to best manage the season, intended as a general guide on easy at-home management. For those interested, however, I’d like to give you some more detail on the whys and hows for avoiding festive season fallout.

TOP TIP #1

Drink water

Hydration is an incredibly important factor in good health. Honestly.

If you don’t drink enough fluids (namely, water) you will be dehydrated. If you’re dehydrated, your body won’t work quite as well as it should and you may notice one or more of the following symptoms:image via pinterest

  • Thirst (it seems obvious, but I can’t not mention it)
  • Dry mouth
  • Bad breath
  • Headaches
  • Feeling faint and/or light-headed
  • Irritability
  • Poor cognition (i.e. ‘fuzzy head’)
  • Fatigue
  • Hunger (that’s right, sometimes a glass of water is all you need!)

Hydration is even more important over the festive season as not only is the weather warm (meaning we lose water through sweat) it is also a time where there tends to be a larger than average consumption of alcohol, fizzy drinks and rich foods.

Delicious, maybe. Good for you, not so much.

Drinking water helps our bodies to flush out the extra load of sugar, alcohol, fat and additives we consume during this time. Without it, we place our bodies under significant strain and often end up feeling generally unwell by the season’s end.

Many people tell me they find it difficult to drink plain water – finding it boring or unpalatable. While I can’t do much about your perception of water, I can suggest ways to make it more interesting and therefore easier to drink:

  • image via pinterestAdd a squeeze of lemon, a wedge of lime, or a small handful of frozen berries to your glass or bottle
  • Freshly squeezed fruit and vegetable juices – diluted or straight – are lovely on a hot day and will contribute to your fluid intake
  • Choose a wine spritzer (half wine half mineral water) rather than a straight glass of Chardy
  • Also aim to intersperse alcoholic drinks with at least 1 glass of still or sparkling water
  • Have a pot of herbal tea (such as rosehip, lemongrass or rooibos) in the fridge and sup on that when you’re thirsty (this has the added benefit of exerting a therapeutic effect, as well as helping to keep you hydrated)

Remember too that fluid doesn’t just come from what you drink. Foods can also contribute to your hydration, particularly soups and stews, smoothies, fresh fruits and – perfect for this time of year – salads full of leafy greens. Get amongst it.

Tomorrow’s festive season tip #2 Digest your food

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