The Holiday season is upon us which means parties, more time spent eating out, and all the extra goodies and well-deserved downtime with family. This can also lead to feelings of bloating, cravings, weight gain, and feeling lethargic. One thing that is essential to stay on top of during this time is ensuring that our digestion and body’s natural forms of detoxification are running in tip-top shape.
We spend all year working on being healthy, mentally and physically, and then come holiday season we let our guard down, which is totally fine, but that doesn’t mean we have to totally put our body into a backwards spiral and deal with digestive upset that can make the grinch scream in delight.
Instead there are a few tips and tricks you can use to help you navigate the holidays with ease (while still enjoying that pumpkin pie)!
Why it’s Important to Nurture Your Organs of Elimination
The human body is a brilliant organism. During the holidays, we may indulge a little more than we normally do in foods that are less than optimal. Maybe enjoying a little more of those sugary treats, some deep fried goodies, or even some processed foods. This can all lead to our bodies feeling a little run down and sluggish.
But the human body is brilliant and a healthy body is capable of self-healing. We have several organs that contribute to a clean and happy body, and during this time of the year it’s even more important to show them some extra love.
The 5 main organs of elimination include the liver, kidneys, intestines, lungs, and skin. When one of these organs is blocked, we tend to see a flare in the other, the majority of the time leading back to the intestines and liver. This is why these are the organs supported in my 3 day gut reset as these are the organs that are working the hardest during our holiday indulgences.
Our liver plays the most vital role in several of our bodily systems, especially in our detox process. It regulates our blood and acts like a chaperone, blocking and kicking out the troublemakers! Sugary things cause a fatty buildup in the liver, which is why during the holidays we need to show our liver some love.
After the liver breaks down harmful substances, the leftover waste materials are then carried to our intestines via bile. These waste materials are carried through the small intestines along with the food that has just moved through your stomach. Your small intestine does most of the absorption and then removes the unwanted toxic waste out of the body via bowel movements. The two work together as a team!
But, sometimes these filters do not work due to disease or the food we have eaten and we can reabsorb toxins, which can lead to undesirable illnesses or discomfort. To ensure that our body is thriving, regardless of the season, we have to make sure we keep our gut healthy and supported.
How to Gut it Together During The HolidaysAs a gut expert, I get asked every year how to navigate through the holidays. Holiday parties, dinners out, extra sweets- it’s enough to make anyone’s taste buds do a happy dance. Just because you’re looking after your gut doesn’t mean you have to deprive yourself of your favorite holiday goodies, however there are plenty of ways to do your gut a solid so that you can enjoy the season without a Christmas disaster happening in your belly.
Build a Gut Friendly Fibrous PlateI like to continue to have clients focus on building plates that are focused on 50 percent plants, 20 percent quality protein, 20 percent healthy fat, and 10 percent play. Focusing on making sure that you’re still sticking with a plate that is filled with color and diversity to ensure that your gut bugs are getting well-fed with those nutrient dense fibers along the way.
Gut Yourself Some Kombucha or KefirIf you’ve got a festive afternoon lined up, load up on the probiotic-rich foods. Add fermented foods such as kimchi, sauerkraut, yogurt, and kefir to your meals. Doing so will line your stomach with an abundance of good bacteria that can help with digestion and reduce unwanted bloating while also assisting the food along through the intestinal tract.
Add in Those PrebioticsJust as you’re focusing on being well-fed throughout the holidays, you want to ensure that the probiotics in your gut are also having a feast. These prebiotic fibers help to get the food through your intestines more smoothly to aid in the detoxification process.
This means loading up on the starch resistant foods. Add in foods like sweet potatoes, yams, vegetables, cooked grains (all foods easily found on a holiday table!). You want to make sure these foods are cooled down to allow the resistant starch to form.
Drink Enough WaterWe tend to consume less water during the holidays, while increasing our intake of other dehydrating beverages like sugary drinks, caffeine, and salty snacks. This is why it’s important to remember the water. Water helps keep your digestive system well-lubricated and moving, which helps the body detoxify and eliminate the unwanted toxins.
Move After MealsMovement is an easy way to get things moving throughout the body and aids in the detoxification process. Walking helps your abdominal muscles contract, and helps your stomach move the acid and food into the intestines sooner. So, gut up and gut moving after your holiday feasts!
Use natures herbsThere are some herbs that you can add into your daily regime during the holidays to help boost the bodies elimination and digestion. Ginger, peppermint, fennel, Pegaga by PurelyB, turmeric, and cinnamon are some of my favorites. You can add them to a tea or spice up some of your holiday cooking.
I would also recommend using digestive enzymes to help your body break down the different foods it’s not normally used to consuming.
Chew Your FoodOne of the easiest ways you can give your body some assistance during the holidays, is by making sure you’re chewing your food. Doing this ensures that you’re body isn’t having to use all its energy to break down too large of food particles, which can result in digestive issues and build up of toxic waste. Chewing your food thoroughly will help your body break down the food, eliminate bloat, and rid itself of toxins.
The Holidays are the best time of the year and are meant to be enjoyed fully. Don’t let your tummy troubles take you out of the present moment! Adding in these tips + tricks will help your body detoxify while still thriving each step of the way.
Needing a little reset after a weekend of indulgences? Try out this 3 Day Gut Reset.
Here are some of my favorite gut-loving treats you can bring along to your holiday party:
Gut-Loving Chocolate Chip Cookies
Healthified Peanut Butter Reese’s Eggs (+Gut Healing Twist!)