I sincerely hope you are enjoying your favorite dishes and goodies (and leftovers!) this week, because part of being healthy is comfort, joy, connection, celebration and we find so many of these feelings coincide with 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 Chinese medicine theory 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.
Bonus Tip - You may need additional digestive support with Chinese herbal medicine or digestive enzyme supplementation. DAO Labs Digestive Harmony is incredible for long term support or in moments of need (like after a big holiday meal!). It works by reducing stagnation, allowing food to flow freely through the digestive system, thereby reducing bloating and discomfort.