It's Okay to be a Little Bitter for the Holidays: Give Yourself the Gift of Good Digestion
The holidays aren't always merry, especially if your digestion heads into a tailspin. Can you relate to that binging of all the tasty things over the holidays, that leads to the bloating, bellyaches (or worse), fatigue, and crankiness after the holidays?
This year can be different! Our gifts to you are these digestive life preservers.
There are a few options to prepare yourself for holiday eating and drinking. Obviously we can advise you not to overdo it, parktake and imbibe in moderation, but how many times does that actually work?
Here are some pre-indulging tips:
Take your Bitters!
Bitter herbs are like a gentle wake-up call to the digestive system, that says, "Get Ready."
They get the bile flowing and can be especially helpful in digesting richer, heavier, food, including sugar, meats, and fats.
Some favorites are the bitter inulin-containg roots: dandelion, burdock, and chicory. These are also great liver tonics and contain inulin, which acts as a prebiotic, or a food for the probiotics in our guts. It also helps balance the blood sugar. All of these benefits are helpful with those decadent holiday meals. There are lots of bitter herbs. They can be made into tea or tincture or cocktails, or support a local herbalist and get their bitters blend.
Try some enzymes.
Though we have naturally occuring enzymes in our body, sometimes they need a little boost when there's a heavier than usual load of harder to digest foods. Add a little pineapple or papaya to your meal, or take some digestive enzymes. These can be taken with or after a meal.
Eat those ferments!
Fermented foods are chock full of probiotics and enzymes, too. Add a little fermented veggies, kraut, kimchi, miso, or yogurt to your meal.
Some other simple digestive tips to try during your meal:
What if you end up feeling bloated and stomach achy after eating? Here are some post indulging tips:
Bitters work well after meals, too. (Check out Meadowlark Farms Roasted Roots Coffee Alternative created by the owner, Jennifer Galbraith who was on Episode 12 of our Wander, Forage, & Wildcraft Podcast.) If you're bitter averse, add a little honey or maple syrup to your bitter tea, and maybe milk, to make it more tasty.
Make a nice cup of tea!
Traditional and non-traditional chai have belly-soothing herbs, called carminatives in herbalism. If you want to make your own, check out our YouTube video, How to Make the Perfect Cup of Chai Herbal Tea. You can also add bitter herbs to your chai to get a double shot of belly kindness. (We love the Adapt to the Day Herbal Coffee Blend from our friends at Sister of Mother Earth.)
Another option is to make a tea of one or two of the chai/carminative herbs. I like fresh ginger root tea with a little lime or lemon and honey. Chewing on or making tea from some fennel seeds can be great for bloating and gas. And of course the old standbys like any of the mints, lemon balm, and chamomile still work great, too.
Take your supplements.
If you find your digestion reeling after the holidays, light simple to digest foods, combined with a couple of supplements, can be helpful. Adding extra probiotics to your diet can give you a temporary boost while your body needs it to bring your digestion back into balance. Experiment with different supplements and dosages to find what works best for you. Starting slow is usually a good idea. And they make probiotic supplements now that don't have to be refrigerated, which can make life easier.
Try some triphala.
Triphala is a blend of Ayurvedic (Indian) herbs that is know to be cleansing and helpful for constipation. Start slow and experiment with taking them before bed or first thing in the morning.
All of us at The WANDER School want to wish you a very happy, healthy, and delicious holiday season during whatever you choose to or not to celebrate! We appreciate you so very much!
Want to learn to make your own herbal blends (teas, tinctures and more)?
Join us for Make Your Own Herbal Home Remedies Virtual Course starting January 6!
Or get the course FREE when your register for Wildcrafted Herb School, plus a $500 discount on tuition before January 1 (payment plans available).
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