The holidays are such a beautiful and festive time, but let’s face it, we all feel a little hungover and sluggish this time of year. For me, the holidays usually mean eating too much food, drinking, napping, cuddling, sleeping, snacking, cooking, baking, taking the occasional snowy walk, and more eating. I want to show you how to beat the holiday bloat.
Now let’s look at why:
- We often consume heavy, heartier meals as this is tradition and it makes us feel grounded and warm for wintertime. This is totally normal, but unfortunately, is not often balanced with lighter foods. We often opt for heavy meats and creamy dishes, high-carb snacks and mains because that’s what our body thinks it needs (candida anybody?). It’s OK to eat those in moderation, but when we consume high amounts of these acidic foods, our body gets inflamed, causing our joints to ache and our body to have a lack of energy.
- SUGAR. I have honestly never experienced sugar effects on my body until this holiday season, where I decided to be a little more slack than usual. Refined / processed sugar, which has been stripped of it’s mineral content, also can cause high amounts of inflammation in the body, which can lead to joint ache, breakouts, stomach aches and digestion problems, headaches and more. The amount of sugar we consume, on average, over the holidays is just too much for our body to handle.
- Oh, the weather outside is frightful. I know for many of us it’s not very appealing to brave the cold weather and get some fresh air. It’s so much easier to stay inside with a hot chocolate and Christmas movies on repeat. After a while, this can turn our brains into mush and the lack of exercise in fresh air can make us feel bloated and just bleh.
- When we gather together, we celebrate and so we drink! Well, at least this is what my holiday season usually looks like. Consuming highly acidic or inflammatory drinks (beer, non-organic wine, hard liquor with pop) can take a huge toll on our bodies.
How we can switch it up:
- Consume grounding foods like root vegetables (beet, carrots etc.) roasted or in soups. Opt for the veggie option whenever you can, as too much meat can be highly acidic in the body (explained above). For breakfast, try a tofu scramble, for lunch, try a pumpkin soup and for dinner try a beet, orange and arugula salad. For snacks, stick to fruit like apples, mandarin oranges, pomegranates and grapefruit or opt for a protein/fat-rich snack like tamari almonds, chickpeas with sea salt or a homemade turmeric golden mylk to reduce inflammation.
- Have a green juice or smoothie a day! This is such a great way to beet the bloat. Make a quick green juice or smoothie with spinach, green apple, ginger, lemon and fresh orange juice or almond milk. Have this daily to boost digestion and aid in detoxing during this time of year. There are also tons of local juice/smoothie shops – treat yourself to one if you’re on the go, your body will thank you.
- Go for a hike! Although this may seem like the last thing you want to do, once you’re out there in the snow (or sun for my tropical friends), you will feel like a new person. Grab a few friends, rent some snowshoes or simply get your winter gear on to play in the snow. Grab a camera and take some photos to make it fun, or bring along a friend’s dog to guide you! Go out there and earn your hot cocoa!
- Make your own sugar-free or alternative desserts to share with your family. Opt for refined sugar alternatives such as dates, coconut sugar, maple syrup, honey or fruit. This way, we can cut back on our sugar intake and share health with our loved ones! Psst. They won’t even know the difference.
- Sweat it out – yogi style. Yoga is such a great option during this time of year. It’s indoors, hot yoga is extra heated and it flushes out toxins. I recommend grabbing your significant other, sibling or friend and going for a hot yoga class the day after a big celebration. This does wonders for your body and will make you feel brand new! Spin classes are also a great alternative to get your blood flowing and body sweating. Just make sure to hydrate afterwards.
- Drinks tons of water. I’m talking 1-2 litres per day, at least. This can be super difficult, I know, but try adding a lemon to your favourite water bottle first thing in the morning and sip on it during the day while you make breakfast, do your makeup, reply to emails, etc. This will help with detoxing and will replenish your cells.
- When it comes to liquor, try limiting yourself to 2 drinks per sitting. Spend a few extra dollars on organic wines (pesticides and sulphites can give us headaches, make us bloat and feel awful the next day, opt for good quality vodkas with lots of ice, soda and fresh citrus, or a dairy-free baileys on the rocks or in your almond milk latte. Or, just say no! Try asking or offering a cup of peppermint tea instead – we all secretly want a nice hot cup of tea to recover from the night before.
- Don’t forget your vitamins! If you’re going to take supplements at any time of the year, now is definitely the time. Your body needs all the backup it can get, so I recommend a good multi vitamin or a B complex to boost energy. Now is a good time to add all those funny superfoods to your smoothies as well, so throw in some spirulina for detox, maca powder for hormone balancing and hemp seeds for extra protein.
Wishing you a very healthy and happy holiday season!