December is upon us and it can feel like a blur of planning, shopping, organising, parties, extra work and by the time Christmas arrives most of us are exhausted and vulnerable to getting sick. Here are my quick tips to help you survive December:
Overeating - We all love to indulge at Christmas and by the time Christmas day arrives we often feel bloated and sluggish. Here are my top tips:
Apple Cider Vinegar - This is fantastic for helping digestion as it actually increases stomach acid production. Mix 1 tsp with a glass of water and drink before meals. Contrary to popular belief heartburn can actually be caused by low stomach acid not high so try this before you reach for the Rennie’s. If you’re eating out squeeze half a lemon into a glass of water. My favourite is Biona Apple Cider Vinegar with the mother. Available in all big supermarkets.
Digestive Enzymes – these provide the body with additional enzymes (such as lipase for fat breakdown, protease for protein breakdown) that help the breakdown of food. Taking 1 with a heavy meal can help. I like this one: Solgar Digestive Enzymes (not suitable for vegetarians) https://naturaldispensary.co.uk/products/Digestive_Enzymes_100_s-1724-0.html
Water – aim for 1.5-2 litres per day.
Go easy on the carbs such as bread, potatoes, cakes and biscuits and try to add more veggies to your plate. If you’ve got lots of work lunches try to go for lean protein such as fish, chicken with vegetables.
Keep the bowels moving. Toxins are excreted by the liver into the bowel so ensuring the bowels are moving will mean you excrete the toxins and they do not sit in the bowel and get reabsorbed. If constipation is an issue for you try this: 1 tbsp of flaxseed in a glass of water, soaked overnight/all day can really help. Drink this twice per day.
Snacking – instead of stocking the house full of quality street, clementines and a bowl full of unshelled nuts (walnuts, brazils and almonds) would be a great option and still very festive! If you have an open fire then roasting chestnuts would also be a fantastic snack.
Alcohol – instead of advising you to avoid all alcohol which is pretty unrealistic, here is my advice on what to do to minimise the effects. Note, this is for occasional over indulgence and is not to be used as a regular measure to combat heavy drinking.
Hot water and lemon on waking. This really supports the liver and digestive system.
Water – 2 litres per day. Drink water between alcoholic drinks. Always order a bottle of water for the table if you are out. In the hour before you go out sip 2 large glasses of water to ensure you start of hydrated!
Ensure you have a meal first – if you are going out for work drinks and there is no meal planned then eat before hand, particularly something that contains protein. This slows down the alcohol absorption.
Try to consciously drink the first drink slowly.
Part of the hangover is often made worse by the lack of sleep. Aside from getting to bed really late, drinking alcohol often disturbs your quality of sleep. Instead of resting and restoring your body is working like crazy trying to breakdown and process the alcohol. Try to get to bed by midnight.
Liver support – these foods specifically support the liver so incorporating these will help: lemon, turmeric, green leafy vegetables, cruciferous vegetables (broccoli, brussel sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower), beetroot, artichoke.
Vitamins C & E, betacarotene, zinc, selenium and b vitamins all work to support the liver’s detoxification pathways so ensuring your diet is full of a rainbow of fruits and vegetables, complex carbohydrates, nuts and seeds will really help. An all round multivitamin can also help particularly over the festive season. My favourite is: Viridian Multi Phytonutrient Complex which is a great all round multi with added nutrients to help support energy production, anti-stress and cell support. https://naturaldispensary.co.uk/products/Multi_Phytonutrient_Complex_30_s-5225-0.html
Have alcohol free days and ensure you keep within the NHS guidance of a maximum of 14 units of alcohol per week, spread out over the week.
Keep up with some exercise to get you sweating. Your skin is the body’s biggest detoxification organ so this will help get things moving. Ensure you hydrate before and after exercise.
Body Brushing – dry skin brushing for a few minutes before jumping in the shower can be very helpful for stimulating the body, improving blood supply and stimulating lymphatic drainage which supports the body to get things moving and detoxify. https://naturaldispensary.co.uk/products/Skin_Brush-5053-0.html
NEW YEAR FRESH START – if you don’t manage any of that then relax and go with it. Christmas is a time to enjoy yourself. Make a plan to get back on track for the new year by booking in for a one to one consultation in January.