Fall is associated with transitions of all kinds, many of which inspire nicknames for this time of year, such as “cold and flu season” and “sweater weather”. If your household is anything like ours, the Fall also unofficially kicks off “over-eating season”.
Gathering with loved ones and sharing a fulfilling meal is one of the greatest joys in life, and there is no reason to miss out on all the upcoming holiday festivities just because one is being health conscious. Here are some basic tips to help you navigate your options when preparing for a feast:
- Help with the Cooking – the process of digestion engages all of your senses, and it begins with your eyes and nose. Seeing and smelling good things to eat triggers your brain to begin the process of digestion, releasing hormones and enzymes in preparation for food. This ensures that what you do end up eating gets properly digested.
- Pace Yourself – The sensation of satiety – or the feeling of being full – is dependent on timing as well as quantity of food. In Chinese medicine, we talk about the importance of taking the time to thoroughly chew food, and modern science shows that this aids the release of digestive hormones and enzymes. So, if you have a little something 20 minutes before the “real food” comes, you will more likely be able to recognize when you’ve had enough.
- Start with Savory and End with Sweet – there is wisdom in ending with dessert, and not just because of taste preferences. The body responds differently when sweets are consumed on an empty stomach versus in the presence of other foods, specifically fiber-rich foods.
- Speaking of fiber… Eat More Fiber – not only does fiber change the absorption rate of sugars and carbohydrates in general, it also helps aid in digestion overall.
- Smile – your emotional state has a strong effect on your digestive health. So eat, laugh, and be merry! and leave the family feuds and politics at the door.
- Take a Walk – after all that food and beverage, take the whole gang outside for a little post-prandial constitutional. A fifteen minute walk is all it takes to burn some calories, regulate blood sugar, and aid in digestion.
If you have more specific questions regarding what to eat this Thanksgiving, don’t hesitate to reach out to us here at Evolve Health + Wellness. Our team of doctors, licensed acupuncturists, and nutritionists are here to help!