Over the holidays, an abundance of rich food makes it very easy to eat too much and end up feeling bloated and tired. However, there are a few tips and tricks that have been developed over the years to help you feel better after an over-indulgent holiday meal.
Traditional Chinese Medicine considers digestion to be one of the most essential bodily functions for living a long and healthy life. Without healthy digestion, toxins will build up in your system and nutrients will not be properly absorbed into your system, leading to malnourishment and indigestion. Follow the tips below to keep your digestion on track and help you feel ready to take on the day.
One Hour After Eating
Take a walk. After you finish your holiday meal, take a family walk for 10 to 20 minutes. Not only will you receive health benefits to your cardiovascular system, it also promotes digestion and encourages cleansing of the lymphatic system. Walking helps food move along the digestive tract, improving digestion and absorption. For added benefits, walk while massaging your abdomen with your palms, in a circle around your belly button. This is also a great time to enjoy more time with your family.
Drink a cup of tea. Different herbs made in teas can also aid digestion and help soothe indigestion. Steep one teaspoon of mint, rosemary, oregano, cilantro, sage, and basil in a cup of hot water. Drink it after each meal to soothe and prevent bloating. If your stomach is feeling upset after your meal you can also try a peppermint or ginger tea.
The Next Day
Drink Apple Cider Vinegar to start the day. Traditionally apple cider vinegar is used to remedy digestive distress, aid in detoxification, and to reduce intestinal bloating. Mix one tablespoon of organic apple cider vinegar with 12 ounces of warm water and drink it in the morning on an empty stomach. The acetic and butyric acids promote gastrointestinal health by balancing your PH and encouraging friendly bifido bacterial growth. If you don’t like the taste of apple cider vinegar, try adding a little honey, maple syrup or lemon water.
Healthy and Light Meals. If you overindulged, try to eat light and healthy the next day to feel better.
• Breakfast: Eat oat bran cereal, brown rice, or any other whole grain cereal (as long as it is unbleached and does not contain any added sugar or chemicals). Pair with unflavored soymilk.
• Lunch/Dinner: Eat any combination of beans, brown rice, oat bran, vegetables, and organic chicken, turkey, or soy-products.
For a powerful Super Cleanse Broth, simmer any combination of the following ingredients for an hour: collards, Swiss chard, kale, mustard greens, cabbage, dandelion, Brussel sprouts, daikon radish, watercress, seaweed, shiitake mushrooms, cilantro, garlic, leeks, fennel, anise, fresh ginger, and turmeric. Drink eight ounces twice a day.
A popular herbal formula among my patients is Internal Cleanse, a special combination of natural herbs to detoxify, clear the mind, promote emotional balance, and ease digestion.
Exercise. This movement is from Liver Cleansing Qi Gong, a body-mind exercise that was designed by ancient Chinese physicians to help stimulate the liver and drain the excess toxins from the body:
Stand with feet shoulder-width apart in front of a tree. Inhale while raising your right leg and exhale while placing your right foot on the ground in front of you between your body and the tree.
Inhale while raising both arms from the sides until they come together over your head. Exhale while lowering your hands in front of your face. Visualize green light running down your face as your hands move down to your chest.
Inhale as you move your hands to the right rib cage over your liver. Exhale as you move your arms down your right abdomen and right leg, as if pushing down and out with your hands. Visualize the green light moving the toxins out of the liver, down the liver meridian on the inside of your right leg, and out through the big toe.
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 subscribe to his tip-filled newsletter please visit www.taoofwellness.com. To make an appointment for evaluation and treatment please call 310.917.2200 or you can email Dr. Mao at [email protected]