December is a favorite month of the year for most due to the great food and cheer that’s around, keeping everyone in good spirits. A bountiful of sugary snacks are available and due to the strong emotional association that most of us have with these treats and festivities, it’s rather easy to fall into careless indulgence.
It would be almost absurd to advise against indulging in holiday goodies when grandma’s pies, cakes, and pastries are on the special seasonal menu. Instead of pleading you to refrain from consuming desserts, we would be more inclined to offer three tips to ensure that despite the cheats, you are able to get through this holiday with as little harm as possible.
Without further ado, let’s explore the tips and see why observing them would be beneficial.
Eat no more than three meals a day
Ditch the idea of grazing throughout the day. Humans are not “grazers” as many health enthusiasts would have you believe. Here’s why:
First, we don’t have multiple stomach chambers as is common among ruminants, animals who graze.
Second, when you see
Eating meals without a gap of 4-5 hours does not allow your previous meal to digest properly and is hard on your digestive system. It also invites insulin into the bloodstream causing insulin-resistance if continued
Make lunch your biggest meal
Taking the advice of Ayurveda, the traditional medicine of India, you would want to keep your breakfast and dinner relatively light. Tradition gives utmost importance to the cycles of nature when it comes to our health. And since about lunchtime is when the Sun would be at its peak, Ayurveda suggests that so is our “digestive fire”. That means that between the hours of 11 am and 1 pm, our bodies have a much better ability to digest food.
Lunch is a great time to consume protein-rich foods that are relatively harder to digest. Start your morning with a light bowl of cereal or toast and conclude the day with a
Sip on warm water between meals
Amidst the holiday travels, gatherings, and warm conversations, it is easy to forget about one of the most important nutrients needed for survival. To make matter worse, eating excess sweet causes water retention in the body keeping it from absorbing into the system.
Water cleanses your body of toxic wastes that may accumulate due to holiday stress. Boiled water adopts a molecular structure that absorbs into the body much better while its warmth opens up the channels for detoxification. Sipping on warm water throughout the day, you may find your sugar crashes reduce, appetite normalize, and digestive blues go away. Use an electric kettle to conveniently boil about 12 ounces of water adding it to about 20 ounces of room-temperature water in a quart mason jar. That way the water will be cool enough to drink yet warm enough to make a positive impact on your body’s hydration needs.
And, last but not the least, if beans are on the holiday menu, eat them! Beans provide abundant protein, starch, and fiber. Moreover, they are excellent blood sugar regulators, keeping your blood glucose levels normalized for hours after a sweet indulgence due to what’s called the second meal effect.
We should hope that you won’t find these tips too hard to swallow, pun intended. After all, this season is about giving, sharing, and getting together with your loved ones. Keep good company and cheer, stick with these three tips, and the celebrations will bring you more joy than stress. Happy Holidays!