Festive Mealtime Survival

We all like to indulge a little at this time of year, but many of us live to regret it in the hours that follow a big meal.  The discomfort can go on for some time, but there are some measures we can take to try and avoid that feeling:

  1. Aperitifs:  If you often suffer from heart burn or acid indigestion, consider an aperitif using Angostura Bitters about 20 minutes before your meal.  These bitters can stimulate enzyme production and aid digestion of your meal, helping to get all of those nutrients that you are consuming to the right places.
  2. Use a smaller plate:  Making your brain think that you have a full plate really does work.  You are tricked into eating less without even noticing.  Then you can go back for seconds and still be relatively guilt free.
  3. Avoid drinking whilst eating:  Large drinks can dilute your digestive enzymes and hence give your gut a harder time trying to breakdown the foods in it.  Cut down the amount of liquid with your meal or better still, save your drinks until after.
  4. Mindful eating:  Think of why you are eating – at Christmas dinner it is more a question of enjoying the company of family and friends.  Bear in mind the words of a wise chef, “ You taste the first 3 bites, after that, it’s just eating”.
  5. Take your time:  This is part of being mindful. A large part of digestion can happen in the mouth, so make sure that you chew your food properly and help your stomach by giving it less to break down.
  6. Get moving:  After that big meal what better than a Christmas walk?  The movement aids peristalsis, which is the movement by which food is propelled through the gut.  Plus the fresh air will invigorate you – and should it be sunny, you’ll get some Vitamin D too!

Marianne Andrews

Nutritional Therapist

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