Holiday Tips For Gut Health

Holiday Tips For Gut Health can be the way to make or break the entire season. The body and gut start taking a hit in November due to all the rich, sugary Thanksgiving foods.

Or perhaps you started back in October by binging on too much Halloween candy. Whenever you start, most of us have a series of events that really impact our gut health.

It’s very easy to take our gut/digestive system for granted by eating anything we happen to choose. Yet there is a very fine balance the gut must maintain, and if it doesn’t stay in balance, our overall wellness and immunity can fail.

It’s no wonder we tend to get sick during the holidays! I wrote about the balance in the article:

Let’s look at some holiday tips to help your gut stay happy and healthy through the holidays.

Holiday Tips For Better Gut Health

  • Hydrate – When we drink enough water, we can flush out our system from the excessive salts and fats. Drinking enough means half your body weight in ounces daily.
  • Take a few mouthfuls of water every waking hour. Set an alarm, if needed.
  • Add lemon or lime slices to add a bit of flavor to your water.
  • Take Prebiotics and Probiotics – The gut LOVES these supplements because they feed the healthy bacteria and remove impurities. YES, there are healthy bacteria that need to be in the stomach.
  • Fiber Up – In order to beat constipation, bloating, reflux, and general gastric distress, keep fiber included in your meals. Fiber sources are fruit and vegetables, and some of the less-processed whole grains.
  • Pack Healthy Snacks – When hitting a busy and stress-filled day, take along nutritious foods like nuts, veggies, and whole fruit. Take your time while eating, this will help the gut too. Do the same when you are going to a Holiday Potluck. By bringing foods you know are healthy, you at least know you can get that much healthy food during the party.
  • Get Some Sleep – Gut health requires the sleep period to set up the healthy biome it needs. Our gut follows the circadian sleep rhythm and performs different jobs during the day versus the night. So make sure to keep the healthy amount of 6-9 hours of sleep each night during the holidays. AND be sure to avoid eating late at night, because the gut has to work overtime on the daytime job, when it should be starting the night shift.
  • Drinking enough water will also help reduce holiday constipation, indigestion, and gaining extra weight.

Holiday Tips – Mindfulness In Gut Health

In general, being mindful means being aware of the Here And Now. It’s a mind-body practice that benefits physical and psychological health. When we choose to be mindful, we can have increased awareness of thoughts, feelings, and sensations in that very moment.

So how does mindfulness help with Holiday Gut Health?

Being Mindful through the holidays means you take a brief moment to anticipate the upcoming events. This applies to your daily diet too.

Purposefully decide to eat “clean” with lean meats, fresh veggies, and fruits, because you know there is a party later in the week.

For instance, it’s easy to guess the party food will be rich, fatty, sugary, and full of calories. You don’t skip the party foods, but rather eat clean during the rest of the week.

Another way to mindfully help the gut is by eating slowly. Avoid gobbling down food in a hurry. Skip the practice of eating while you work or watch tv.

Make eating the main focus, especially throughout the holidays. Even a raw carrot can be something to experience mindfully. Feel the food in your mouth. Notice the sounds as you bite it. Pay attention to the feeling of the food sliding down to your stomach.

Drink water in a mindful way. We’ve already covered the way your gut needs water to maintain balance. So use the water time as a “ME Moment”. For a couple of seconds, sip the water, hold it in your mouth, then feel it cooling your body and flowing to your stomach. This mindful act takes all of 5 seconds, and then you can go back to your task.

One last tip for mindful AND physical health is to Get Moving. Even though the holidays are fun, there is a LOT of stress. And since the gut/digestive tract is made of muscle, the muscle can tighten up in stressful situations. This causes the gut processing to slow down. Take time to stretch, walk, ride bike, do yoga, or your favorite routine. Taking this time to move will help your mind and your gut relax more to meet the demands of the season.

“Your gut is not Las Vegas.

What happens in the gut does not stay in the gut.”

― Peter Kozlowski, MD

I agree! We always need to support gut health…all year long! And even though it is easy to skip gut health during the holidays, we have GOTTA give extra focus to this for our immune health!

Gut health is another way to get on track for a Happy Healthy Life!

Pam Schmidt

Chemical Minimalist

Mindfulness Mentor

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