Guest Post by Katherine Armer, MSTCM, LAc
It can be challenging to stay on our game over the holidays health-wise, and added anticipation this year about being with friends and family again can add to the stress. You may notice that your digestion, immunity, and nerves are off as a result of these factors.
Thinking ahead about how we plan to celebrate can help to alleviate the stress on both our minds and bodies, as well as enhance our enjoyment of the aspects of the holidays that we love. Here are 6 simple strategies to make sure that your holiday is replenishing rather than exhausting.
Add healing foods to the menu. Bitter greens (like kale, dandelion, chicory) are great digestive aids, in addition to being delicious. If you don’t have time to cook various green side dishes for gatherings, even a head of butter lettuce with a simple oil and vinegar dressing can help break up all the starch, protein and fat. Heaping lots of greens on to the plate will help keep the rest of the food moving through!
Turn leftovers into salads or anything with more greens. Turkey stripped off the bone makes a wonderful salad (just add some celery, onion, fresh herbs and whatever you use for mayo). Mashed potatoes can be mixed with chopped greens (my favorite are arugula and green onion) and mixed with an egg to make potato cakes.
- Have DELICIOUS non-alcoholic beverages available. Ume plum syrup and real pomegranate grenadine are medicinal and festive. Shrubs are great too, as their acid content can aid digestion.
Plan big holiday meals on the earlier side. The more time between eating a big meal and going to sleep, the better. Giving your body time to digest is a simple way to support both digestion and sleep.
- Take breaks. Time outside can be a welcome respite on a holiday, whether during between courses or at another point in the day. Plan on taking a walk, don’t just wait for the time to present itself. Having a walk between courses of a big meal can be a great way to allow more time for digestion.
Have some remedies ready in case you do over-indulge. Activated charcoal is cheap and readily available. Chinese “curing pills” are also great for helping with bloating and indigestion.
Give these simple strategies a try and see if the holidays can feel rejuvenating to your spirit!
Our acupuncturists offer nutritional support as part of your session by request (book here!), and you can also schedule virtual consults for nutritional support by emailing us.