*This post may contain Amazon or other affiliate links
With Thanksgiving just around the corner and all the other winter holidays quickly approaching, there is going to be a lot more indulgent food around. However, for those with sensitive stomachs or IBS (including myself), the lack of fiber and nutritious food can be a source of major stomach upset.
With these 10 reliable hacks, you will have a much better chance of enjoying your time with your amazing family and friends, without feeling nauseous and bloated! Keep reading to learn how to turn your holiday season into one that both you and your stomach enjoy.
Incorporate Healing Foods Where You Can
Fermented foods (like kimchi, sauerkraut, miso, puehr tea) contain probiotics, good bacteria, that support the health of your gut. Try getting these foods in between meals, or whenever you can throughout the day.
Puehr tea is my personal favorite, since it's hard for me to get down kimchi or sauerkraut on an everyday basis. The flavor of Puehr is rich, smooth, and earthy, with notes of dark chocolate and caramel. My favorite way to drink it is in Coffee Quitter with a teaspoon of cocoa powder, a dash of mint extract and almond milk!
Ginger helps improve digestion. Gingerol, a natural component of ginger root, helps digestion by improving "gastrointestinal motility" (a.k.a. the rate at which food exits the stomach and continues along the digestive process). Eating ginger encourages efficient digestion, so food doesn’t sit too long in the stomach. Try sipping on some ginger tea throughout the day, or right after a big meal.
Peppermint might help your stomach relax and reduce stomach cramps, nausea, bloating and gas, especially if you suffer with IBS. If you struggle with tummy issues, sipping a peppermint tea might help relieve symptoms.
Get Enough Fiber
A lack of fiber is one of the quickest ways to achieve stomach discomfort. Along with your favorite holiday dishes in your big spread, try to include some fiber-rich fruits and vegetables, like avocado, carrots, beets, broccoli or brussel sprouts, as well as some whole-grains and legumes where you can.
Try These Delicious Fiber-Rich Holiday Side Dishes:
If you weren't able to get enough fiber in throughout the day, try this: add 2 tablespoons of chia seeds to 1 cup of water and add a splash of lemon. Let it sit for 15 minutes, then drink it! Chia seeds are super rich in fiber and will help reduce constipation.
Keep An Eye On Your Water Intake
Water is necessary for every bodily function, including digestion. Water helps break down the food you eat, allowing its nutrients to be absorbed by your body. Also, along with fiber, water helps maintain regular bowel movements and reduces risk of constipation. In addition to your fun holiday beverages, try getting in plenty of water.
We recommend drinking half of your body weight in ounces of water (ex: If you weigh 160lbs, try drinking 80 ounces of water.) Find a water bottle that you love that makes it easy to have delicious, crisp water on hand at all times.
Go On A Walk After A Big Meal
Getting in movement wherever you can can do wonders for digestion, especially after a big meal. Physical activity increases blood flow to the muscles in the digestion system, causing them to work more quickly and effectively.
Have you ever been on a walk and suddenly needed to go (if you know what I mean)? Light exercise helps move the food through the digestive system more efficiently. After Thanksgiving dinner, grab a friend or family member and go on a stroll through the neighborhood. You'll feel better, lighter and more able to enjoy the rest of your time.
Season Your Food With Herbs and Spices
Did you know that eating spices can support gut health by promoting the growth of healthy bacteria and suppressing the growth of bad bacteria? Seven spices were found to do this: black pepper, cayenne pepper, cinnamon, ginger, oregano, rosemary and turmeric.
For a healthy microbiome this holiday season, try adding flavor to your food with tons of herbs and spices, instead of excess butter and oil. Try ginger, turmeric, cinnamon, chipotle pepper, cardamom, cloves, cocoa, rosemary, and cumin.
It has been discovered in recent years that emotional distress, like anxiety and depression, can cause digestive upset and even stomach conditions, like IBS.
Avoid The Foods You Know Don't Do You Well
If you get diarrhea every time you eat dairy, you should consider avoiding the 5-cheese mac-n-cheese your aunt is making this year. Avoiding your food intolerances will help you feel much more energized and less uncomfortable so that you can enjoy that quality time with the people that you love.
Get Enough Sleep
Getting enough sleep and consistent sleep will help you feel more energized and help both your immune system and digestive system work more effectively. Make sure your room is quiet, dark, relaxing and at a comfortable temperature and avoid eating too much right before bed.
If you were able to get in some exercise earlier in the day, that should help!
Make These Baking Swaps
Try swapping artificial food dyes for Butterfly Pea Flower, Matcha, Beet Powder or Turmeric. Commercial food colorings are often some of the most toxic additives that find their way into baked goods. If you’re looking to brighten your holiday with colorful food, try using herbs or juices! This will give you color and a phytonutrient boost. Learn more about healthy food dye replacements.
Replace your refined sugar and high-fructose corn syrup with dates, coconut nectar or honey. The best substitutions are whole fruits which come packaged with fiber to slow the release of sugar into the bloodstream. Dates, for example, can work for some desserts, like fruitcakes or baklavas. Coconut nectar is ideal for tempered chocolate, and coconut sugar is the best replacement for regular sugar. Lastly, if you eat honey, our local Arizona honey gives lots of health benefits (like immunity and allergy relief), and can be added to gels, syrups, or toppings.
Swap your eggs with flaxseeds or aquafaba. Eggs can be problematic for many people and are one of the leading allergens in America today. Aquafaba, or chickpea liquid, is an extremely effective egg substitute in most baked treats. Just two tablespoons can replace one egg white, and three tablespoons can replace an egg- and this can be used in batters, doughs, or creams (like meringue).
Read more on these 3 Healthy Baking Swaps.
Avoid Overdoing It
The number one priority during the holidays is to enjoy yourself and to be able to spend quality time with the people you love. There is no shame in eating a bit of indulgent food during the holidays, but overdoing it can make you feel much worse. Know your limits when it comes to serving sizes and alcohol, and you can spend your holidays not feeling like crap!
If you want to try four gut-friendly teas (Lady Ginger, Coffee Quitter, Campfire Chai and Lucky Morning Spice) without committing to a full-size, check out November's Tea Talk Box! Follow along with us on Instagram and we'll show you how to turn these four gut-friendly into delicious lattes and mocktails, from a Peppermint Mocha to a Ginger Apple Cider.
I hope these 10 hacks help you feel better this Holiday Season. Thanks so much for reading! If you enjoyed this post and want to learn more about gut-health, check out The 5 Best Herbs For Gut Health.
Disclaimer: The information on this website is has been compiled from published sources and is provided only as a guide. While every effort has been taken to ensure that information published on this site is correct and up to date, this is not intended to diagnose, treat or cure any illness. Also, although all of our teas are generally regarded as safe, please consult your doctor if currently using medication, pregnant or breastfeeding.