The holidays are here once again. And whatever your situation this year, whether you’re with family or not, whether you have a little or a lot, chances are you’ll be spending time around food. Food is fun and festive, bringing family and loved ones together. But food can also cause pain and discomfort if not consumed intentionally. And I’ve witnessed this many times, through my own experience and that of others.
We all want to enjoy our food and feel good after eating. But the excitement, joy, and variety of foods can sometimes get the best of us. Who wants to feel bloated and sick after all that good food? Not I, and I know you don’t either. So I’ve put together a few tips to help you eat intentionally and feel at ease during and after your meal.
Here are 5 tips to help you eat and feel at ease this holiday
Whomever you’re eating with, be present. Center and ground yourself. Any form of anxiety or stress will lead to increased adrenaline in the body, diverting much-needed glucose from the digestive system to the arms and legs for fight and flight response. And that’s not what you want. You want your digestive system to function optimally. Of course, that means leaving your phone and other distractions off the table.
Say A Prayer
Cultivate a habit of gratitude. It could be a prayer of thanks before you eat. Whether you’re religious or not, prayer is a powerful way to acknowledge your blessings and express your hopes and dreams. Say a prayer before your meal. Acknowledge the blessing of having family, friends, sustenance, life. Say a prayer for those who are not as fortunate and are unable to enjoy a meal of any kind with their family and friends. And last but not least, say a prayer for yourself, that you will continue to be blessed and be a blessing to all those you come in contact with.
Enjoy your food. Respect your body’s hunger and satisfaction. Relish every single morsel, and be attentive to the taste and textures of your meal. Also, take your time, and chew. Chewing slowly can also help you eat less. It reduces your portion sizes, which can ultimately help you lose weight or put the breaks on weight gain (if that’s a goal). The last thing you want is to feel full, gassy or bloated before you even had four bites of your food. Chewing is the first stage of the digestive process, which prepares the food for further and seamless digestion in the stomach and small intestines. You want to feel satiated not stuffed. A good rule is, when you’re eighty percent full. Stop.
Put Your Eating Utensils Down
It’s always a good practice to put your utensils down when you’re not eating. This helps you resist the urge to constantly put food into your mouth when there is no need to. And when chewing, there’s no need to put more food in your mouth. With the utensils down, you’ll be able to focus on chewing your food while savoring its delight. Pick up the utensils again after you’ve swallowed.
Take A Walk
There’s an old Chinese saying, “one hundred steps taken after dinner, can cause you to live to 99 years old.” Taking a slow, mild walk after eating will help to increase the digestion process. It doesn’t have to be miles long. A 5 to 10 minute walk will do the deed beautifully.
I hope these tips help. Wishing you all a joyous and safe holiday!! Take Great Care of Yourself!