Autumn leaves are falling, we’ve “fallen back” with the end of Daylight Saving Time and now Thanksgiving is about to fall right into our laps—and our tummies. Kicking off the Winter Holiday Season—not to mention the eve of Black Friday—Thanksgiving is meant to be the time to celebrate all that you are grateful for with a joyful hearth of family and friends coming together over a hearty meal. Unfortunately, it has also come to signify stress—both on your mind, from frantically preparing for this traditional feast, and on your body, from over-indulging in this turkey (and stuffing, and mashed potato, and gravy and pumpkin pie…) fest.
As it has almost become expected for us to feel overwhelmed and overfed during this GREAT-FULL time of the year, we can also generally expect anxiety, fatigue, irritability and indigestion. When we overeat, or liberally treat ourselves to foods we typically stay away from, our digestive system can get out of whack, processing super slowly, uncomfortably or even painfully. With all those yummy, starchy side dishes, peristalsis, the wavelike, involuntary muscular contractions that move food through the digestive system, can become seriously sluggish, trapping toxins in your gut and gas in your “you-know-what”. While we wholeheartedly encourage you to enjoy your holidays with gusto, our Health In Hands family also hearten you to proactively prevent and minimize the discomforts of indigestion so that you can maximize your holiday cheer.
Here are a few Pre-Game Tips to Digest the Holidays:
Get A Massage
Before the Holidays officially begin, book your healing massage with Health In Hands at our Hoboken locations so you can get a jump start on soothing your digestive system. A full-body massage, such as Swedish or Deep Tissue, can stimulate the motion of your intestines and accelerate the movement of your bowels while you naturally detox for healthy digestion. If you’re looking forward to putting your feet up this holiday season, try our Foot Reflexology Massage, which invigorates over 7,000 nerves throughout the body as it ramps up circulation, blood and energy flow. Just let a member of our 5-star therapist team know you’d like to concentrate on stimulating your gut so you can free your system up before Turkey Day.
Since you will (and should!) eat heartily on Thanksgiving Day—and throughout the holidays—you can assist your digestive system by keeping your diet lean and clean, with less sugar and carbs and more protein and veggies, a few days prior to each event.
Move Your Body
Be it Pilates or yoga, weight training or dance class, running or walking, don’t wait until you’re “Thanksgiving Full” and can barely get off the coach; get that body in motion NOW! Doing so will help you destress, boost your mood and make room for that extra helping of your aunt’s award-winning cobbler.
Though it may sound crazy with your ever-growing to-do list, carving out moments of calm before your holidays can help you better cherish every moment with your loved ones as you carve the turkey—or ham or Tofurkey or whatever.
And here are some “Game Day” Ways to Digest the Holidays:
Eat Dessert First
Yes, you read correctly: Eat Dessert First. Come “Game Day”, as the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade rolls by on TV, the NFL football teams get ready to rumble and you get ready for the big holiday dinner, eat a sweet breakfast as it can stave off cravings, and that 3rd or 4th helping of dessert after dinner—and because you’ve earned it after all that “Pre-Game” strategy! Pumpkin pie is a great choice as it is rich in fiber and antioxidants which can help ready your system to digest the rest of your holiday.
Hydrate and Heal Yourself
Drinking plenty of water and other healthful fluids like ginger tea will do wonders to ease digestion, eat less and enjoy more.
Keep On Moving
From your local Turkey trot to tossing around the football in the front lawn to a neighbor walk, or a rousing game of charades at home if it’s too cold, stay active and have fun with lots of belly laughs this holiday season—and the whole year through.