4 HEALTHY TIPS TO SURVIVE THE SILLY SEASON
1. Practice Mindful Eating
The most trusted Ayurvedic text, Charaka Samhita says that eating the right food, at the right time, in the right way can keep you happy and healthy.
Our digestive fire (ruled by Pitta) is highest between 10:00 a.m. and 2:00 p.m. So eating your main celebratory Christmas meal at this time will give your body the best chance at digesting it. Have a lighter, smaller dinner later, around 6:00 p.m.
Eat meals instead of snacks. Snacking – especially consuming sugary snacks throughout the day, imbalances blood sugar levels which can lead to poor energy and mood fluctuations. Go ahead and enjoy sweets and treats this season, but make them part of your main meals.
Control portion size to avoid overindulging. Ayurveda suggests to figure out the ideal amount of food to consume is to cup your 2 hands together, forming a bowl with them. This is your maximum individual portion at one sitting. And as soon as you feel full physical, it’s time to stop! Being mindful of portion size means you won’t overburden your digestive system which can lead to indigestion such as reflux, pain and flatulence.
2. Support Digestion
Ayurveda strongly states that the root cause of all illnesses is improper digestion. This is mainly because the partially digested food particles remain in the system as toxic substances known as Ama (a plaque like substance), which clogs our physical and mental channels and disrupts the correct functioning of the body.
A simple tip to support digestion is to sip on warm water and/or ginger tea throughout the day. This will ensure the digestive fire is burning strong, and clears away the build-up of ama.
After the meal, sipping ginger tea can help with stomach upset. Peppermint and Fennel are also good choices that can help with gas and bloating. For heartburn, drink some coconut water or Aloe Vera gel.
3. Sleep well
The best way clear away your fatigue, stress and tiredness due to your busy Christmas schedule is to sleep well throughout the night. Early to bed and early to rise is the principle behind a healthy life according to Ayurveda, as a good night’s sleep creates a refreshing start to the following day. Ayurveda suggests having an early dinner and go to bed before 10 PM to harness the deep rejuvenating effect of sleep. Going to bed on a full stomach blocks the body reaching the state of deep sleep and causes overactivity of the nervous system which creates restless sleep.
4. Look after the liver.
The liver is the major organ of detoxification, and can be easily overburdened during the silly season due to a tendency to overindulge – especially in alcohol, sugar and processed fatty food. Instead of waiting until the New Year to cleanse out the system, why not support your liver and digestion when it needs it most? During the festive season, you may want to take a herbal liver tonic such as St Mary’s Thistle. Drinking lemon in water on rising and having 1 cup of fresh beetroot juice daily are also great remedies to keep the liver supported.