During the holidays, it’s exceptionally common for folks to overindulge. And with the unique challenges so many of us have experienced over the last year, as ND’s we’ve also seen and recognized how the difficulties of 2020 have contributed to a significant rise in “comfort eating.” (Sometimes those extra cookies really can make things seem a little less sad, at least for a short while.)
Food is nourishment, to body and soul, and sharing a meal should be enjoyed! We encourage you and your family to savor all of your delicious food traditions, over the next several days and weeks.
Below are a few simple & practical tips to help you enjoy those good meals a little more comfortably:
- Drink warm water with a bit of lemon before large celebratory meals, to help produce more digestive juices and support overall digestive system function.
- Chew, and chew and chew some more. Chewing your food thoroughly really aids the digestive process. It exposes the food to salivary amylase, which begins the process of breaking down carbohydrates.
- Take several slow, deep breaths before each meal, in order to put you into more of a relaxed state – this will help your digestive tract to function more effectively.
- Consider starting with smaller portions initially, instead of over-filling your plate with heaps of food right away. This simple habit will give your brain time to catch up to tell you when you are fully satisfied, before getting too full. (Sometimes it can take up to 20 minutes for your brain to register how full you really are!)
- Remember that there is no rule that says you must finish absolutely everything on your plate! Take a pause during your meal to appreciate and savor your food, and if you feel fully satisfied, give yourself permission to save the rest for later. (Holiday leftovers are the best leftovers, anyway!)
As a last thought: remember that it’s never healthy to view food as a reward/punishment mechanism – and giving into feelings of guilt or stressing about eating foods you enjoy (even the really indulgent ones, in moderation!) isn’t a good way to support overall health and wellness.
Wishing you and yours continued health, and a very Happy Holidays!