A Grateful Gut: 5 Chi Tips for Holiday Eating
This Thankgiving, as you gather with friends and family, your digestive system might be groaning in anticipation of what is in store for it: too much food, too many sweets, and not enough support to do its job of keeping you healthy. Many health practitioners recognize that most health issues originate in the gut.
Danny and I follow many of these simple guidelines to keep our guts healthy and happy (especially during the holidays when we're tempted to overindulge):
The Chinese have a good rule to follow: after every meal walk at least 100 steps. Just this little bit of movement supports the digestive system to do its job. Once you start, walking 500, 1000, or 3000 steps is also great. In this case, the more the merrier. (There are approximately 2000-2500 steps per mile). Staying active during the holiday season is crucial for your health.
2-5 Days of Healthy Eating
Studies show that 2 days of eating less and cutting out junk from your diet is very good for your body and your gut…two days being better than no days at all! Choose which days each week when you will be especially kind to your gut and eat really well: lots of veggies, cooked and raw, lean meats or meatless proteins, some whole grains and no sugar, wheat or dairy. At least two days a week (or more) of clean eating, during this season of indulging, will make your gut very grateful!!!
Eat Your Biggest Meal Early
Our bodies love rhythm (hence using the metronome when you run and walk). One of your body's natural rhythms is that it burns fat best before 3pm. So eating fattier, heavier meals before 3pm means you’ll metabolize that meal more easily than if you eat it at night. Eat light foods in the evening whenever you can. It has been shown that the same calories eaten at night create more weight gain than those eaten during the day.
5 Bites of Sweets
According to one study, after 5 bites of something sweet and delicious, it no longer tastes as good. We suggest the 5 bite rule for rich, sweet desserts. Enjoy each of the 5 bites, then know that every bite after that isn’t satisfying your taste buds anymore and is adding empty calories to your waist. Reducing sugar intake is the first line of defense against weight gain. Sugar is not a friend of a healthy, happy gut. We suggest eliminating high-fructose corn syrup from your diet completely and forever.
Eat Your Veggies
During this holiday season be kind to your gut and your whole body by filling up on lots and lots of vegetables. In terms of value, leafy greens rank highest and a white potato ranks lowest on the value-to-your-body scale. A combination of cooked and raw throughout the day is really good. So, lots of vegetable soups and fresh salads is a great way to go.
There are many more things you can do to support your gut: supplementing with probiotics; eating fermented foods, such as sauerkraut, kefir, or high quality yogurt with no sugar added; drinking plenty of water; taking a moment to be grateful before you eat.
We wish you and your gut a healthy, happy Thanksgiving!!
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