Unless you're a monk in a monastery or living in an ashram, the temptation to indulge more than usual may be too much to pass on all you're offered. After all, you don't want to be a spoiler among your peers as they celebrate with cakes, processed foods, and alcoholic beverages.
If you've been good with your diet while waiting for Santa, you may induce a bit of a shock to your system as you take in more than usual with foods you normally avoid.
All of this can lead to digestive issues with bloating discomfort that puts a damper on your holiday fun. The obvious symptom of bloating is a distended belly with either cramps, mild nausea, or other stomach discomforts.
This also invites flatulence and those embarrassing uncontrollable stomach rumbles and growls, possibly accompanied by constipation or diarrhea. The following suggestions are anecdotal and primarily short term solutions.
If you experience chronic bloating and indigestion, you should research a complete dietary makeover or consult a holistic practitioner for solutions.
Some suggestions for avoiding or remedying bloating
(1) Before the holidays get into full swing, start preparing your gut's digestive capacity with probiotics. It's recommended that over the long term, fermented food is better for the proper intestinal flora of 80-85 percent good bacteria to 15-20 percent pathogenic bacteria.
If you haven't been doing this, do a crash probiotic binge with high quality supplements containing high counts of several strains of bacteria. This sort of thing should also be done temporarily during and after you've been forced into taking antibiotics.
Then go long-term and find the fermented food or beverage solution that works for you. (http://www.naturalnews.com/036419_probiotics_immunity_bacteria.html)
(2) Eat more slowly while talking a little less during meals. You can slow down by chewing more. Consuming liquids, plain water, beer, wine, whatever, should be done sparingly while eating. Try to avoid mixing in too many sugary items with whatever you eat. Say "no mas" before you're full.
After a bout of heavy eating, take a walk. If you need to rest, lie down on your left side. Ayurvedic doctors, whose health focus is digestion, recommend these activities.
(3) A tablespoon or two of organic, unpasteurized apple cider vinegar in water is very helpful. You can take it before, during, or after a meal or party snacking. It's wise to have a few digestive enzyme supplements on hand as well. Improve your overall digestion while giving your pancreas a break.
(4) If you're going to office parties or dinner parties at others' homes or out to eat, carry some fennel seeds along. Chewing fennel seeds after a meal is a traditional Indian method of promoting digestion. Fennel seeds are openly available and served like after dinner mints in Indian restaurants.
When you're home, you can make a strong peppermint tea or put a few drops of peppermint oil into water and drink it. Many swear by peppermint tea for digestive issues of all sorts. Some do well with fresh chamomile tea before bed time as well.
(5) Ginger tea or capsules usually work well for stomach problems. You can make the tea by boiling thin sliced ginger root, enough to cover the bottom of your pan, and let it simmer for around a half-hour. Organic ginger root is pricier and not as available as conventionally farmed ginger root.
So peel the skin off conventionally farmed ginger root before slicing. When the tea cools enough to drink, add a little raw honey. Capsules are obviously more convenient if you're out and about.
Happy holidays and bon appetit!
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