(This blog post was originally posted December 2017, and has been updated December 2019.)
I love the holidays; the parties, the markets, the generosity. All bringing us together to celebrate and enjoy the spirit and each others’ company. And the spirit and company usually come with one or more sides of dairy, sugar, wheat, alcohol, caffeine, overeating, under sleeping, and overfilled schedules!
Here are five really great suggestions to help navigate the next month, to keep your metabolism on fire, and to ensure you start 2020 feeling grounded and rested.
If you can, try to not stay up later than normal more than one night in a row. While we sleep, our body regenerates. Important healing hormones like growth hormone are released. Lack of growth hormone is a major contributor to deterioration.
Consider supporting this cycle with the supplement Biotone EFA; a combination of ricebran, soybean (non-GMO), and wheat germ oil used to regulate hormonal function. It supports the diurnal rhythm of hormones, specifically cortisol and growth hormone. This combination makes a profound difference to inflammation, sleep disorders, hormonal imbalances, and chronic stress. It is also an excellent anti-oxidant.
Sleep will support your energy, mood, and metabolism during this season.
Meditation is an effective way to become a more efficient person. The results of daily meditation are improved sleep, mood, relationships, energy, and decrease in blood sugar, blood pressure, and stress hormones. Our thoughts affect our cells and metabolism. Meditation helps you to keep your thoughts in check. So if you have a lot to do in the next month, consider meditating as a way to actually get more done; and to enjoy it too!
This is a must to combat the added sugar during this time and to compensate for the decreased amount of fiber in many foods that are prepared in restaurants and treats. It will help you feel fuller longer and to not over eat at parties, along with ensuring optimal bowel elimination and healthy metabolism.
There are lots of fiber supplements to choose from at the health food store, like psyllium husks or ground flaxseed. Avoid the ones like Metamucil that have added dyes and unwanted ingredients that just stress the detoxification pathways more. I like Markofruct by Pascoe. It has soluble fiber along with chamomile which decreases inflammation in the intestinal tract.
Ensure that the meals you prep for yourself are fiber rich, with foods like whole grains, oatmeal, almonds, lentils, kidney beans, dark leafy greens, eggplant, asparagus, and fruit.
Last holiday season, a patient of mine with a dairy intolerance, indulged in cheesecake, ice cream, and cheese many nights in a row. This was too much too fast, and resulted in hemorrhoids. A solution could be to carry around a complete digestive enzyme for times like this, when eating indigestible foods, or poor food combinations.
I really like Hypozymase from Physica Energetics, because it is a full spectrum enzyme and has herbs that stimulate digestive functions like fenugreek, gentian, and ginger. It won’t make your digestion lazy once you stop them.
Many people go into the holidays dehydrated. Consider that our bile is made up of mostly water. When we are dehydrated, our digestion ..and metabolism..suffer.
Avoid this devastating pitfall by drinking half your body weight in ounces. For example, a 150 lb. person should drink approximately 9 cups of pure water on top of any other liquid consumed that day.
Consider making batches of soup not only to eat but also to account for some liquid consumed in the day. Apple cider vinegar has many health benefits, and can be added to a glass of water to help mineralize the body, and feed good bacteria in the intestines.
Approaching the holidays with some anchors like sleep, meditation, fiber, enzymes, and hydration, will set the stage for health-filled 2020. Cheers!