I love Thanksgiving! It’s a time family and friends come together, cook, and actively show appreciation for one another and what’s around them. It’s also a time stress (planning, coordinating, and making everyone happy) tends to creep in and you feel like a useless pile of shish kabobs after stuffing your face. Here are my 5 Tips to feeling amazing after Thanksgiving Dinner:
Dinner + Lunch = dunch… or… linner?
However you prefer to call it, your digestion system is the most powerful mid-day. Thanksgiving is typically eaten between 1pm & 4pm, which is awesome for your belly! So fill up on the big meal when your stomach’s fire is the hottest and make this day the first of your new habit: eating your biggest meal mid-day all year round.
Drinking water 20-30 minutes before your meal will pre-hydrate your stomach lining. The wall of your stomach has an acid buffer that is 80% water. The more water, the better the buffer and the more acid your stomach will produce to enjoy more food.
Have you ever gotten cooler after you’ve eaten? That’s because more of your blood gets sent to your stomach to help digest all of the food you just consumed. Having warm tea (ginger is one of my favorites), hot water, or at least NON-ice water helps attract blood toward the surface of your stomach lining. Ice water draws the blood away and makes it harder to break down nutrients and digest your food.
We so often eat mindlessly, stuffing food into our mouths while watching tv, checking our email, or rushing around. When we eat consciously, we tend to be more satisfied because we don’t miss the experience. During Thanksgiving, most families and friends sit down around a table to have dinner and give thanks. However, it’s the football watching, anticipation, and other activities beforehand that we usually just grab a handful of the nearest dish and eat aimlessly.
Take time and enjoy each dish, appetizer and all, with each of your five senses. LOOK at your food, notice the colors, design, and any light reflecting. SMELL, take a deep breath in. Notice the scent and what sort of physical feelings, emotions, or memories it brings up. The power of smell is by far the strongest sense. Because we encounter most smells when we are young, certain smells tend to bring up childhood memories. TOUCH your food, pick it up with your fingers and be aware of the texture and temperature. Bring it up to your lips, and bit into it very slowly. Notice how it feels and which side of the mouth your tongue decides to push it to. TASTE your food. Is it juicy? Spicy? Sweet? Sour? As you continue to chew, both the consistency and taste change. Notice the transitions. HEAR yourself chewing. Is it crunchy? Are you a loud muncher? Finally swallow your food and feel it go down into your stomach. Smile because you just ate something someone made with love. Acknowledge where the food came from and all the hard work that went into making this delicious dish just for you!
Do a little yoga or stretching when you wake up; make space for positive thoughts and for the delicious meal to come! You wouldn’t not warm up or stretch before a big game? Thanksgiving takes a lot of work: cooking, planning, and coordination. Let your body and stomach warm up for that! As the turkey is cooking, go for a walk with your family or even an hour after dinner (wait at least 45 minutes because your stomach is using a good amount of your blood supply to break down your food). Walk around your neighborhood or town and notice the beautiful fall scenery; smell the fresh air!
I have so much appreciation to be able to share all of my healthy tips and tricks with you. Thank you for being curious, taking a stand for your health, and choosing to create a healthy lifestyle with me. Have a very very amazing, awesome, healthy and happy Thanksgiving!