Updated: Dec 1, 2019
So, there isn't a chance I am going to suggest that you don't embrace the comfort of comfort eating over the holidays. Please, enjoy your favorite dishes and goodies, because part of being healthy is comfort, joy, connection, celebration and yes, all of these things can be obtained through holiday eating and drinking. But what happens when the delight of eating grandma's butter cookies and uncle joe's famous fried turkey turns into a "food baby" or that dreaded after meal bloat? No one wants the pleasure of eating these foods to be soured by digestive upset. Here are my 3 favorite ways to help beat the bloat of holiday eating.
1. Mindful portions and speed checks - Slow it down and make it small. Sure, those butter cookies are delicious, but start with 1 and eat it slow, savor it, enjoy it. By putting less on your plate and eating at a slower pace, you get to really enjoy the foods you love, and you give your body the appropriate time to trigger that "I'm full" sensation. With portions, start with a small scoop or bite of everything you want to eat. Go back for seconds if you need to, but overfilling your plate is more likely to lead to an overfilled tummy.
2. Acupressure - Help alleviate post-meal bloating by applying acupressure for 2-3 minutes on each leg at acupuncture point Stomach 36. It's easy to find and extremely effective for helping to stimulate digestion, regulate digestive energy, reduce bloating and ease indigestion. It also works by directing the energetics of the digestive system downward to prevent reflux. See the images below, to help you find this magic point!
3. Quit the cold stuff - When eating and drinking, try to avoid iced beverages and cold/raw foods. You can think of it like giving your internal organs a cold shower when you're drinking an iced drink. It shocks them and reduces their efficiency at digesting. When foods are not broken down effectively and efficiently, which we refer to in TCM as transformation and transportation, the bacteria and food start to ferment in the digestive tract, creating gas and bloating. Keep things warm and cooked to ensure a smoother digestive process. Check out September’s TCM for more on this!
Bonus Tip - You may need additional digestive support with Chinese herbal medicine or digestive enzyme supplementation. And most of us benefit from regular probiotic supplementation as well. Talk to your health care provider, acupuncturist or naturopath about what herbs and supplements you can use to help benefit your specific digestive imbalances.
Stomach 36, 3 finger widths below the knee on the outside of the leg, just next to the shin bone.
**All information and resources found on balancedstonewellness.com are based on the opinions, experience and research of the author unless otherwise noted. All information is intended to motivate readers to make their own nutrition and health decisions after consulting with their health care provider...even if that provider may be the author ;)