The holidays should be a special time with family and friends, feasting on tasty treats to our heart’s content. But our gut can easily give up and become totally overwhelmed.
One minute we’re enjoying an extravagant turkey dinner followed by a large slice of pudding or cake. The next thing we know, things are getting pretty real. Our digestion’s breaking down, the bloated feeling and acid reflux won’t go away, our autoimmune condition is flaring up and our mood has gone through the floor.
But there are some easy steps we can take to avoid this shit-show! If it means we come through xmas with our gut health and sanity intact, it’s not gonna feel like we’re sacrificing anything, it’s gonna feel like a victory.
Check out these simple steps and get set to win Christmas:
1. Don’t graze on processed crap
There’s a lot of crappy processed food around at this time of year. Our family and friends will tell us it’s time to treat ourselves and not worry about it. I don’t have a problem with that in principle but what’s the point if we’re gonna feel like ass in 48 hours time?
If we decide not to eat processed food, and instead to focus on food that we make from scratch at home in our kitchen, we limit our exposure to problematic stuff like:
- gluten, a perennial gut-botherer.
- artificial additives, as they harm our friendly gut bugs.
- sugar: check out 6 Steps to Shake Off Sugar and remember there’s a lot of sugar not just in desserts but also in alcoholic drinks.
- bad, processed fats: if you’re not sure on the difference between good and bad fats, I don’t blame you, as we’ve been fed bad advice for decades by well-intentioned governments and profit-driven food manufactures. I explain the difference between good and bad fats here: Clean Eating: More Than Just An Elitist Fad
2. Make Bone broth
Take advantage of those turkey bones, or the leftovers from whatever meat you had. Throw all the bones and gristle into a pot or slow cooker. Cover with water and cook for 8 to 48 hours.
The broth you have at the end will be a rich, gut healing treat. The collagen, amino acids and minerals will soothe and heal our leaky gut.
Broth also helps the body to detoxify and reduces inflammation throughout our entire system.
3. Don’t stop the supps
Our normal routines are on hold so it’s easy to forget our normal supplements. Keep going with important ones like:
- probiotics, to support our microbiome through a potentially challenging season.
- cod liver oil, which has many benefits not least that the vitamin A supports brain health and helps to keep us sane! Check out Why Cod Liver Oil Is Ridiculously Useful
- vitamin D because for many of us there’s no sun at this time of year.
- digestive enzymes, because many of us don’t produce all the enzymes we need to break down the range of different foods we’re consuming.
4. Eat fermented (probiotic) foods
It will help us greatly if we top up our friendly gut bugs regularly throughout this seasonal onslaught of food! These friendly bacteria help to:
- digest the enormous meal we just ate.
- prevent or bring down flare-ups of food intolerances. It’s a weird but true fact that these friendly bacteria teach our immune system how to respond. These food intolerances are one reason we feel bloated and inflamed after eating.
- give relief from autoimmune conditions like psoriasis, arthritis or multiple sclerosis. The bacteria in our microbiome train our immune system not to attack parts of our own body. Take a look at Supercharge Your Body to Crush Autoimmune Conditions
- fight off all the coughs and colds going round.
- keep our mood stable. This is particularly important at Christmas time when family and friends are thrown together and difficult emotions are coming up.
There are thousands of different kinds of fermented foods out there but some of the most popular are yoghurt, kefir, kombucha, sauerkraut and kimchi.
If you’re introducing fermented foods to your diet for the first time, start with a small amount as it takes a few days or weeks for our microbiome to adjust to the new friends
Some people whose guts are badly out of balance cannot tolerate more than a teaspoonful of fermented foods at first but everyone can gradually increase their tolerance. Soon they won’t have any issues, only the huge benefits.
So are you going to start January by crawling over the Christmas finishing line, destroyed and broken, crying out a for a detox and making resolutions about never doing this to yourself again?
Or are you going to do Christmas on YOUR terms, giving yourself the gift of health, strength and vitality?