As the holidays approach, I felt that I should give some tips about staying healthy during the holidays. Many of us who maintain a healthy lifestyle tend to lose our focus during the holidays because of the excitement generated from all sides. We are invited to dinners and parties and many times we tend to lose sight of our goals. So, I want to give some tips on how to go through the holidays without setting back your health gains.
Tip # 1. Don’t over eat: The stomach cannot do its work if it is over filled! It is like having a full bottle of water and trying to mix sugar in by shaking! The stomach needs space to churn the food so that it mixes with the enzymes for proper digestion. If the food does not get mixed properly with enzymes, it becomes undigested and creates bloating , gas and constipation. Also, the entire system becomes burdened and most energy is diverted to the stomach for digestion purposes. Some people may even fall asleep after overeating!
Tip #2: Chew Your food well and don’t drink liquids with meals: Chewing well activates the enzymes in the salivary glands and starts the digestion of carbohydrates. Drinking liquids with meals dilute the enzymes and arrest the digestion process. Drink liquids 1/2 hour to 1 hour before or after meals.
Tip #3. Eat fruits before other foods, not after: Fruits are very easily digested. If eaten after other foods, which take longer to digest, it ferments in the stomach and causes bloating and gas.
Tip #4 Take a ‘Digestive Walk’ immediately after a meal: Movement helps the increase in blood flow and the digestion process. Blood takes the oxygen to help convert glucose to energy. “For every glucose molecule converted into usable energy with adequate oxygen present, 32 molecules of ATP are produced. Without oxygen, only 2 molecules of ATP are produced.” Adenosine Triphosphate (ATP) is a complex organic chemical that provides energy to drive many processes in living cells.
Tip # 5: Make sure to eat lots of vegetables, especially raw salads; Raw vegetables will provide enzymes and enough fiber to help move the foods through the digestive process. Also fiber is essential for the elimination process, especially if you are eating meat. Try to eat your vegetable salads before the other foods so that you do not over eat. If you are eating fruits, do not combine with vegetables.
Let me wish you a “Happy Healthy Holiday”