Oh holidays…..while I love celebrating and enjoying much needed time with loved ones, it is always a guarantee that I need a good health reset.
I jokingly refer to the time between Thanksgiving and Christmas as my ‘cheat month’. For the past few years, I haven’t allowed myself to indulge much during the holidays for fear of having a major flare-up and feeling awful. This year – I decided to live a little. I thoroughly enjoyed it – sneaking some GF cookies with my kids, grabbing an extra GF roll at dinner, even having a glass (or two) of wine. While none of these choices would cause me great grief – I am feeling a bit of the effects of overindulging the last few weeks.
I’m 100% certain that I’m not the only one – which is why you are probably reading this 😉
Here are a few of our tried and true options for getting over those post-holiday meal symptoms and getting back on track for the New Year!
Fix that gut!
While maintaining a proper diet is probably the best solution to getting through that holiday slump, there are also a few other things you can do:
WATER: drink up! Help flush the junk out the easy way with lots of water!
BONE BROTHS/SOUPS: bone broths have wonderful healing properties and are very soothing. One to two cups per day can make a huge difference. Making your own is easy!
- Take beef/bison/turkey/chicken bones and some roughly chopped veggies (I use carrots, celery, onions, garlic, asparagus ends, mushrooms, etc). Put those items with about 2 tsp salt, 1 Tbsp apple cider vinegar, 1 tsp pepper, 2 tsp oregano, rosemary or thyme in a large slow-cooker and fill with water. Cook on low for about 20-24 hours. Let cool slightly and then pour into mason jars. Refrigerate.
While broths are great on their own, they also make a great base to all kinds of soups. Use just as you would beef, chicken or vegetable stock.
SUPPLEMENTS: as always – ask your doctor before taking any supplements, vitamins or medications but here are a few that we find helpful!
- Digestive Enzymes – a lifesaver if you know your body doesn’t produce the proper enzymes to help break down foods.
- Apple Cider Vinegar – you can find these in capsule form OR just take a shot of it before breakfast. Great for digestion. Personally, I think the liquid form works better but the capsule sure makes it a lot easier to take.
- Activated Charcoal – these capsules are great for taking soon after a meal or before. They are great for helping absorb gas which can cause excess bloating. Personally, I keep these on hand to take when I know I’m going to have a meal that might cause some issues or if I start feeling bad quickly after a meal.
- Probiotics – the best advice I can give is to stay regular with taking probiotics. Feeding that good bacteria is key for optimal gut health. Find a good quality probiotic with a variety of strains of bacteria. I LOVE Mega Foods MegaFlora capsules. It’s also good to get in some probiotic rich foods – like fermented foods (sauerkraut, pickled foods, etc), kombucha and yogurt.
- Sleep & Rest: the holidays are a busy time for most people and we often forget about the most basic self-care routine – adequate sleep. It’s often easier said than done (trust me, I have a 9 month old baby who still refuses to sleep through the night) but getting enough sleep is important. If you know you’ll be interrupting your normal sleep patterns, try getting some extra rest on those busy days – whether it’s a nap or just some quiet down time.
- Relaxation: as with above, try finding easy ways to relax and reduce stress. Warm Epsom salt baths, yoga, meditation or prayer are all great ways to relieve stress.
- Detox: Our bodies absorb a wide variety of toxins – foods, environmental and even mental – like stress! Epsom salt baths are great for detoxing as well. Simply pour a cup or two of Epsom salts in a hot bath with about ¼ cup of baking soda – sit in it for about 20 minutes or more to get the best benefits. Dry brushing is another good way to help your lymphatic system reduce toxins. Get a brush like this and brush your skin in a circular motion starting at your feet working towards the heart. I recommend doing this right before a shower. Another option – infrared saunas. Depending on your location, you might be able to find one to stop in at for a small fee. In my area, there isn’t any BUT we found this little gem on Amazon. Sure, you might look like you are sitting in an alien pod BUT you’ll feel so much better and your body with get a chance to detox.
- Exercise: while rest and relaxation are important, so is proper exercise. During the holidays, you might be running around a lot so it might be harder to get in a quick workout. If you can, go for a brisk walk for a while – maybe while you’re shopping or returning all those unwanted gifts. Make simple chores or activities into a chance to burn some extra calories. Try to stay active for about 30 minutes a day, 5 days a week. I enjoy weights and aerobic type workouts so I also add in some of these to help relieve stress too. I just feel better after a decent workout.
While these are some quick tips to get back on track, the most important advice I have is to maintain a good diet as much as you can. I’m not saying you can’t indulge a little, but if you know you are Celiac or can’t have dairy – make sure you ‘cheat’ with safe foods. 99% of the time, I follow a Paleo lifestyle. However, I greatly valued baking cookies for ‘Santa’ with my daughter and eating a cookie with her was more important than making sure I was 100% grain-free. The cookies were gluten-free and fit my other dietary restrictions as I knew I wouldn’t be any fun if I really fell off the wagon with an ‘unsafe’ food.
If you do find that you’ve intentionally (or unintentionally) consumed something you really shouldn’t have, try some of the above tips and do your best to get back on track with your diet.
What is YOUR favorite way to get back on track??
*Disclaimer: I am not a health professional. These are just tips that I have learned through personal experience. While I offer my personal experience and suggestions, it is always best to check with your doctor before taking any supplements or making lifestyle changes.*