15 Tips to Support your Health & Digestion
Updated: May 1
Simple tips you can implement today to support gut health and digestion, holistically using nutritional therapy.
We can all agree this year we're appreciating family more than we are food, but nevertheless, food and the holidays is synonymous with overindulgence... Which often doesn't leave us feeling great. Hello indigestion, bloating, sluggishness, low energy, guilt and more...
Ideally, we want to eat the food we LOVE while staying healthy. And great news- it's possible!! So here are my 15 gut-loving healthy tips to keep you feeling your best over the holiday and beyond!
1. Eat your protein and veggies first!
Focusing on whole foods means your body is equipt with a strong nutritional foundation. Meaning, you're less likely to overeat on your indulgences and less likely to feel sluggish, low energy and guilty. Aim for 80% nourishing whole foods and 20% indulgent foods.
2. Ensure you’re hydrated
Are you hungry or are you thirsty? oftentimes it's the latter. Start the day with a warm glass of water with lemon and make sure to hydrate throughout the day. This will keep your energy levels high and help you avoid snacking on treats in-between meals.
3. Avoid large amounts of liquids 30 mins before/ after eating to aid digestion
Although we want to keep hydrated, having too much water with a meal dilutes our stomach acid - which we need to break down our food. Sipping throughout the meal Is find but avoid large quantities 30 mins before and after a big meal so that stomach acid can get to work. This should help with bloating and indigestion too.
4. Eat before you drink alcohol
Again, alcohol can mess with our stomach acid. making sure you've got something in your stomach before you start drinking is a helpful way of giving your bodies Hydrochloric acid (HCL) a chance to work it's magic. This also helps with acid reflux.
5. Choose foods you love /your splurge - do you need or want it all?
Often times we will eat sugary, processed foods that we feel 'meh' about just because they are there. take a moment to think about what you're most excited about indulging in and what you aren't so bothered about. Pick 1 or 2 things and leave the rest.
6. S l o w d o w n: Enjoy the experience - the conversation/ company/ flavours/ smells of your food
REST & DIGEST. The holidays aren't all about the food. Slow your eating down, use your 5 senses to appreciate your food. Take some time to practice gratitude for this meal and the company. This all helps stimulate our digestion, puts us into a parasympathetic nervous state so we can fully digest and assimilate the goodness in our meals!
7. CHEW YOUR FOOD
Aim for 10x chews per mouthful. Mastication is the physical breakdown of food that give your stomach and digestive tract a head start. This can aid in reducing bloating, indigestion, acid reflux.
8. Get moving! Try a walk 1 hour before or after a meal to aid digestion
Postprandial walking can help glycemic levels and gently encourage our digestive tracts motility to keep things moving!
9. Wait 10-15 minutes before you go back for seconds.
Give your body grace to acknowledge the food you've eaten. If you've wolfed down your meal, your brain may not have caught up with your stomach. ( see point 6! ) Avoid overstuffing yourself by waiting just a few minutes. We want to be aiming for 7/10 fullness.
10. You don't have to eat it all at once -save some for leftovers
Reminder: this is not the only meal you'll have for the rest of your life! Save some for later if you are comfortably full. The joy of following number 8 is that you (& your digestive tract) get to continue enjoying the food.
12. Limit or slow your alcohol intake
Alcohol can lessen inhibitions and lead to poor eating choices and is high in calories and sugar. Try a spritzer or alternate your tipple with a glass of water. Champagne kombucha is a gut loving Alcohol Free alternative and if you are drinking, support your liver with some slippery elm!
13. Take a digestive enzyme
If you'll be eating foods you know your body finds difficult, try a digestive enzyme to help breakdown those difficult proteins. Note- consult a dr. or nutritional therapist to find out the best supplement for you. This is not a replacement for a nutritious diet.
14. Plan some healthy swaps
There is a healthy swap/ alternative for most things out there on the great internet. Try one out!
15. Aim to release food guilt
I know this is a difficult one for many. But studies show that we absorb more nutrients when we release guilt around indulgent foods. Know that this day does not define alllllll the others.
Hot tip: these are applicable all year round!!
Do you struggle with any of these points? What's one you think might help you? Let me know in the comments.
If you'd like more help, get in touch for a free discovery call.
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