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It takes 20 minutes for the brain to signal satiety to the stomach, so take your time chewing each bite.
It takes 20 minutes for the brain to signal satiety to the stomach, so take your time chewing each bite.

Health, Dr. Mao, Holiday, Santa Monica, Columnist, Food

Get Less Stuffed During The Holidays: Dr. Mao's Wellness Living

Dr. Mao Shing Ni
Courtesy Photo
Dr. Mao Shing Ni

Posted Dec. 23, 2012, 12:31 am

Dr. Mao Shing Ni / Mirror Columnist

Whether we plan to feast or fast during the holidays, getting stuffed seems to be inevitable for both ourselves and the turkey! Overindulgence in food and spirits often comes with the heavy price of indigestion. To help you feel a bit lighter this holiday season, try the following tips so you can survive the holiday munching mayhem.

Heartburn: Cool The Fire

A common problem after most holiday meals is heartburn. If your torso feels like an inferno after an oversized meal, you may want to try this natural heartburn reliever. Juice one medium raw potato in a juicer or blender, and strain the mixture. Mix the juice with one cup of warm water and drink on an empty stomach upon waking. This remedy may help reduce the amount of acid build up, while soothing your stomach. Here’s another home remedy that alleviates heartburn discomfort: juice one daikon radish. After discarding the pulp, mix with an equal amount of hot water, and drink once a day after eating.

Bonus Tip: Sometimes herbs can lend a hand, too! This classic Indigestion herbal combination is formulated to reduce food stagnation and to harmonize the stomach.

Try The Waiting Game

Are you ready for seconds? Although your taste buds may be ready for that second helping of mashed potatoes, your stomach may be telling you to put the brakes on! It takes 20 minutes for the brain to signal satiety to the stomach, so take your time chewing each bite. Remember to savor the flavors of all the foods you eat, without rushing to take the next bite. Here’s a trick: put your fork down until you finish chewing your food and you may find that you can get by without another bite of sweet potato pie.

Post-Meal: Hit The Road!

If it is possible to take a walk after your meal, your body will thank you! After a large meal, a 10- to 20-minute stroll can facilitate healthy digestion and encourage cleansing of the lymphatic system. Walking helps food to move through the digestive tract, which helps improve digestion and nutrient absorption. To help ease belly bloat, try massaging your abdomen in a circular motion with your palms as you walk.

Forego The Fat

While fat is an essential nutrient vital for multiple metabolic processes and vitamin absorption, consuming too much fat – especially the unhealthy fats – may contribute to a lethargic and bloated feeling. Minimize fried, greasy foods, as well as foods that contain too many spices, which can also upset your belly. Check in with your stomach: Are you about to eat that forkful of greasy stuffing because you are actually hungry? Or are your taste buds making the call? Don’t let your tongue determine when your stomach is full. In addition, caffeine can cause an upset stomach, so sip an herbal tea instead.

Have A Tea Party

While alcohol and caffeine may contribute to digestive discomfort, herbal tea can actually help relieve that full feeling. Try this simple tasty recipe and sip your way to a happier belly! Steep one teaspoon each of mint, rosemary, oregano, cilantro, sage, and basil in a cup of hot water; drink after each meal to prevent bloating. You may also want to try calming peppermint, chamomile, or ginger tea to help settle your stomach, which you can make fresh or purchase in tea bags.

First Thing In The Morning: Simple Detox

After a large dinner, the last thing your body needs is another food coma! Upon waking, try this natural remedy for digestive stress instead. Mix one tablespoon of organic apple cider vinegar with 12 ounces of warm water, and drink on an empty stomach. You may want to add a little bit of raw, organic honey or maple syrup to the mixture for sweetness. In Chinese medicine, apple cider is traditionally used to ease digestion, support liver detoxification, normalize digestive juices, and reduce intestinal bloating. Another alternative is to squeeze the juice of one lemon and mix it into a glass of room temperature water.

May you live long, live strong, and live happy!

Dr. Mao Shing Ni, best known as Dr. Mao is a bestselling author, doctor of Oriental Medicine and board certified anti-aging expert. He has appeared regularly on “Dr. Oz,” “The Doctors,” and “EXTRA.” Dr. Mao practices acupuncture, nutrition and Chinese medicine with his associates at the Tao of Wellness in Santa Monica and Newport Beach. Dr. Mao and his brother, Dr. Daoshing Ni founded Tao of Wellness more than 25 years ago in addition to also founding Yo San University in Marina del Rey. To make an appointment for evaluation and treatment please call 310.917.2200 or you can email Dr. Mao at To subscribe to his tip-filled newsletter please visit

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