During this time of year it’s definitely easy to overindulge in all sorts of food and drink – eating larger portions than we normally would, and eating “treat” foods that wouldn’t normally make our menu. Having just done exactly this yesterday, I thought today I’d share five simple remedies for overindulgence, that can help you feel like your normal self again.
1. Digestive enzymes.
Now to be fair, this would be much better taken at the same time as said indulgences, but they can still be helpful in the days to follow. Digestive enzymes help break down your food to smaller molecules which can be absorbed and assimilated by the body. Many people lack sufficient hydrochloride acid and pancreatic enzymes to even handle their normal food intake, let alone a few days of overload. Digestive enzymes reduce that feeling of food just sitting in your belly, which is never a great feeling. DoTERRA’s Terrazyme is a great enzyme blend that contains 10 whole-food enzymes to help with all different types of foods – proteins, carbohydrates and fats. It even contains an enzyme that assists in the breakdown of gluten.
2. DigestZen essential oils.
This blend is one of my absolute favorites, and I often use it after meals anyway just as a digestive tonic. Containing oils such as peppermint, ginger, fennel, coriander, anise, tarragon and caraway, it has a wonderfully calming effect on the digestive system, relieving occasional stomach upset and reducing gas, bloating and indigestion. A few drops can be added to water and drank, or it can be diluted with fractionated coconut oil and rubbed directly on the abdomen (this is a good way to use it for kids too, although some sources recommend avoidance of peppermint in very young children). I think DigestZen is one of the fastest ways to feel relief after eating a large, rich meal. Some people like the convenient gel caps too.
Over eating and eating the wrong foods can be detrimental to our gut flora, especially sugar which can feed Candida – a naturally occurring yeast that can cause symptoms if it becomes overgrown. I’m a proponent of daily probiotics anyway, but it’s especially important when the digestive system is under any kind of stress. PB Assist is a good one – it has a special coating on it so that it is not broken down by the hydrochloric acid in the gut, but rather gets to the intestines where it’s really needed. PB Assist Jr. is the kids version, which comes in handy sachets of yummy-tasting powder – perfect for the little ones.
4. Extra Fiber.
Sometimes when we overindulge, we have that feeling of food sitting in our belly – kinda like traffic building up on the freeway in rush hour. Another thing that can help is to increase our fiber intake. That can help to move bowel transit along and get that food out of our system. This could be done simply by adding some ground flax seeds to a smoothie for the next few days, or adding some soaked chia seeds. Often getting back to a diet of lots of veggies helps too as they’re naturally fiber-filled. If you find yourself constipated, taking extra vitamin C or magnesium at night can act as a gentle laxative, but that “bowel tolerance” dose can be tricky to find as it varies for everyone. And of course, there’s always the good ol’ prunes or prune juice in a pinch. Smooth Move Tea is also effective, but is only appropriate for occasional use.
5. Green it up.
For the next few days (or weeks!) get a couple of extra servings of green veggies in your diet. If you have a Vitamix (or equivalent), blend up some smoothies – the fiber of the blended drink will also help sweep your digestive system clean, as mentioned above. Raw veggies provide especially good roughage, but gently steamed are ok too. You’ll feel more cleansed, the sugar cravings will be curbed, and your body will thank you for getting back on track with your healthy diet. It’s like the Hungry Catepillar seeking out a lettuce leaf – I know that’s how I feel today!
For those of you who celebrate Christmas I hope you had a wonderful day yesterday, and to all of you, I hope that this holiday season is full of love, joy and hope.