Digestion is one of the most important functions in Chinese medicine. We ARE what we EAT! So much of Chinese medical treatment and recommendations are directed towards healthy eating and digestion. For most of us, these principles are difficult to adhere to during the holiday season. Here are some general guidelines to consider as we gear up for the holidays.
- No hors d’oeuvres! Especially on Thanksgiving, people tend to eat very little during the daytime so that they can eat a bigger dinner. When we’re presented with “dinner before dinner”, we begin to over eat. Be sure to eat regularly prior to the holiday meal and focus on the MEAL, not the hors d’oeuvres.
- Eat slowly and mindfully. Apart from the fact that it takes a lot of time and effort to prepare a holiday meal, be sure to savor and enjoy the food. Whether we’re starving from preparation of the meal or in a hurry to get through it, our digestion works best when we eat slowly and chew thoroughly.
- Don’t drink and eat! As best as we try, most holiday food is NOT light or easy to digest. Therefore, it is best not to add more work for your digestive energy by also adding drinks to the holiday meal. Also, don’t forget to be sure and drink warm or hot beverages. Freezing cold drinks are difficult on the digestive energy.
- Skip the treats. I know, this is difficult. So many of us LIVE for the holiday desserts. HOWEVER, sugar is VERY bad for our health. Chinese medicine has recognized this for thousands of years but more recently, modern medicine has recognized how harmful it can be. Sugar consumption can lead to weight gain, blood sugar problems (and its many side effects), and cardiovascular disease. Try to stick with berries and fruit for a sweet treat after dinner. You’ll be glad you did!