Happy Monday! Today marks the Monday leading to Thanksgiving, you’re likely doing some last minute cleaning, prepping for all of the cooking (or drinking), and some of you may be braving the crowds for the crazy black Friday sales. I will be crossing my fingers and saying a prayer for the Detroit Lions as they face the Bears this Thursday, if you want to know why the Lions always play on Thanksgiving, click here. You may be finding yourself worrying about eating gluten-filled stuffing,or a slice of sugary pumpkin pie, but fear not- one day of indulging will not be a huge setback.

Getty Images

Here are some tips for eating through the holidays:

  1. Drink lots of water- Thanksgiving food is usually filled with lots of salt (and often times alcohol), this can cause you to retain water and feel bloated and swollen. Drinking proper amounts of water will help you to stay hydrated and aid in digestion of all that food! It will also help you from overeating.
  2. Eat for one day- Thanksgiving Day is one day. This means, if you stray from your diet it should only be for one day! If you are on food restrictions and you do cheat on Thanksgiving, be sure to go back to your clean eating the next day.
  3. Digestive Enzymes- Taking digestive enzymes can be helpful in breaking down fats, carbs, and proteins that are in most dishes on Thanksgiving. These enzymes help with digestion to decrease gas and bloating, support overall digestion, and may decrease stomach discomfort associated with overeating. Talk to your doctor about which enzymes might be best for you!
  4. Alcohol- If you choose to have alcohol, avoid the sugary processed drinks if possible. The sugary drinks will leave you with a stomach ache and bloated. In a study by the British Medical Journal, it was found that alcohol consumption with a heavy meal slows digestion. Ultimately, avoiding alcohol would be the best option, but if you are going to consume it find a healthier option like vodka with a La Croix.
  5. Hang out at the veggie tray- Eating lots of veggies before the meal will help to prevent you from overeating, provide fiber to help with digestion and bowel movements, and will help to provide a lot of nutrients and antioxidants!
  6. Better yet, bring the veggies- if you don’t have a veggie tray, bring one! Or make a big spinach salad. Often times for Thanksgiving meals we see a sea of white and yellow carb rich foods, but you can be the game changer and bring a delicious, healthy food!
  7. Try to avoid snacking- sometimes it’s common to have snack food sit around before and after the main dinner, while a few pretzels might not be the end of the world, you may eat more than you think as you chat with your family and friends. So if you do snack, be sure to be very aware of your portions, and especially don’t just hover at the bowl.
  8. Dessert- Pumpkin pie, apple, pie, whatever your vice might be- limit yourself. One piece of pie isn’t the end of the world, but having multiple slices will significantly increase your blood sugar and will likely leave you with a stomach ache.

    Pillsberry Images

  9. Napping- What’s better on Thanksgiving than taking a post-meal nap? Don’t fight the sleep, a lot of our digestion occurs while we are sleeping so taking some digestive enzymes and probiotics before you fall asleep may help to relieve gas and bloating.
  10. Try not to worry about your diet- Just like one day of eating salads, green smoothies, and taking all of your supplements won’t fix you in one day, one bad day of eating won’t ruin everything you’ve done so far. Enjoy your day with family and friends and try not to spend the entire day worrying about your diet. (It will still be there on Friday).

Lastly, don’t be upset with yourself if you eat or drink too much. We are all human, and overindulging happens at times. On Friday, fill your diet with LOTS of water, fiber, and clean foods. If you have any additional questions regarding your health, please contact our office to set up an appointment (970-532-2755)! Click here for new patient information.

Have a safe and Happy Thanksgiving from the staff at Gateway Natural Medicine!

Image Courtesy Jessica Ashley Photography