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?
30 thoughts on “How To Enjoy The Holidays Without Destroying Your Gut”
You’re so thoughtful, a great reminder & awareness for us all to take care our gut while enjoy festive celebrations 🙂
Great reminder and I have to say the holidays partiers and celebration had us eat too much, and that’s how I gained 10 pounds. we should be mindful of our gut health too.
Thank you so much for this! I know this will help my gut out this holiday season. I think my boyfriend would benefit from this too.
These are very helpful tips! Thank you for sharing this. We need to balance what we eat this holiday season. I will keep this in mind.
as usual, this is indeed very important advice considering that festival season is almost upon us. Yes we should look at avoiding the so-called processed foods
This is my issue every christmas! There’s just so much food to eat and I’d have to try it all. I do agree with you this that it’s not worth the awful feeling afterwards. I love the broth soup idea. Sounds good right about now.
These are really great tips that I did not follow on Thanksgiving but will be for Christmas. Lesson learned.
Thank you for this — it’s a great reminder of what I should be doing with my diet. It’s easy to forget with all of the tasty (but not good for you food) around the holidays. I can do better
Thanks to this list to do for holidays and it would help a lot I’m sure all people are getting busy with their families in this holiday season.
Great advises, and many doesn’t know about the benefits of eating fermented foods, thanks a lot for sharing this information! – Knycx journeying
This is great advice! It is so important to remember we have the power to improve how we feel each day with a few small choices.
Okay, so this comes just in time since we are already on the route to…overeating on delicious food, having too much good wine, staying too much inside etc. Thanx for this inspiration!
Over induldging at this time of year is so easy to do. I am hoping to avoid that this year because I know my body will not like me if I overeat.
Ok.. I’m going on a holiday for some days. I guess these will help.
Thanks for this! I usually can’t control myself when it comes to holiday feasting. This is helpful
This is a great post. Many of us partake in prepackaged foods as they may be convenient between work and holiday planning, not thinking they are not always best for your body. Aside from gut issues as you mentioned a bad diet can, in turn, encourages premature aging and I do not know about you, but I do not want that!!
This year will be very simple with food for me. the biggest gut issue was on big family gathering at my grandparents and this will not happen ever again
Great post especially at this time of year. Christmas is the time of over indulging and suffering afterwards.
Thanks for sharing this useful information ! I think around the holidays I kind of get lazy with my supplements so I needed that part especially
Thanks for sharing this informative post. I can assure you that I will benefit from your tips.
so care & with love this sharing to prepare all to avoid gut from xmas celebration, thanks for being thoughtful here. cheers, siennylovesdrawing
I had a Gastric Bypass almost 3 years ago so I can’t overeat myself anymore 🙂
bone broth definitely sounds useful Great to have come to across this article as the festive season just beginning.
As festive season is coming.. this was a perfect read. We should not compromise with our health .. for sure..
I have a hard time eating healthy around the holidays. I can’t avoid the sweets. I love these tips
This is a great list indeed and you have thought about everything. These holidays are my favorite, the best time of the year. – Paolo
I have lots of digestive issues and being out of town is tough on my gut. Some good tips to keep in mind!
These are great tips for making it through the holiday feeling great. I need to follow your advice and remember to take some supplements. I just need to open my cabinet and pull them out! I also take a tablet of Airborne when traveling.
Bone broth is a great idea! It’s healthy and I always find myself getting full when I have it.
This is a great list. The holidays can be a really stressful time when you’re working around a special diet or even a food allergy. These are great to keep in mind.