A few simple tips to help support your belly during Thanksgiving from Nourish Your Mind’s Nutritional Therapist, Kristi Perry Brown, NTP.
Thanksgiving is just around the corner and many assume we have to live with the heartburn, gas and bloat the day brings, right? Maybe you even worry about this day ahead of time, knowing full well that whatever symptoms you may be ‘managing’ right now, Thanksgiving is going to blow them out of the water.
Instead of staying present and getting to enjoy your Thanksgiving, you spend the day wondering how to stave off the inevitable discomfort coming your way. This leaves you consumed with worry even before the day begins.
Time and again, the following strategies have worked for my clients to resolve their digestive symptoms, stop having to worry about what is going on in their gut and get back to enjoying their life. Even on Thanksgiving.
3 Steps to Having a Happy Belly on Thanksgiving:
Pre-Meal Prep: Aloe Vera Juice
Before sitting down to the dinner, drink 1-2 ounces of aloe vera juice as a quick shot or in a small glass of water. (I like the Lily of the Desert brand, in brown glass bottles.)
Aloe vera juice contains compounds that are very soothing to the digestive tract and support healthy mucous membranes. Aloe vera can tone down inflammation and set the stage for a much more enjoyable meal.
Think of aloe vera as a coating for the esophagus that helps protect it during your meal.
Aloe Vera juice also offers these benefits:
- Eases gastric irritation
- Promotes good gut bacteria
- Improves bowel regularity
- Improves nutrient absorption
- Reduces systemic inflammation
During Your Meal: Eat Slowly and Deliberately
Digestion is a function in the body that happens when the body is in a parasympathetic state. AKA, relaxed state. Considering this day can often bring together a mix of dynamics and opinions, it is fair to say we don’t always sit down relaxed at this meal.
Before beginning the meal take a few deep breaths and take part in that around-the-table (sometimes eye-rolling) gratitude exercise. It really does make a difference.
Laugh and talk with your family and friends.
Take in the colors and delicious smells on your plate. Imagine what it will taste like even before that first bite. Really up the anticipation of this meal.
Slow down, chew and taste each bite for what it is. Put your fork down between bites. Make this meal last!
Post-Meal: Drink a Soothing Tea
Here are my top 3 choices for a tea post-Thanksgiving Meal
- Ginger Tea
Ginger tea is one of my favorite after-dinner teas and I’m not alone. Ginger has a well-earned reputation for its stomach soothing properties. Ginger also helps keep your dinner moving along the digestive tract, something you really want with such a full meal that can feel sluggish!
- Licorice Tea
Licorice has a very soothing effect on the esophageal tissue, a welcome result after a big meal. Licorice is found in many GI healing supplements due to its ability to reduce inflammation and is used to help heal IBS, ulcers, and leaky gut. Not only that, but it also supports your adrenals, those stress glands that might just be a little taxed on Thanksgiving.
- Fennel Tea
Fennel tea was something I drank often when my son was a newborn. It’s carminative properties to alleviate gas worked wonders for him. This is precisely why this can be a useful spice to have in your cabinet on Thanksgiving. If you find the usual discomfort of gas and bloat creeping in, make a small cup of fennel tea, steeped in about 8 ounces of hot water. Steep for about 10 minutes and sip and enjoy!
Thank you for taking the time to read my blog. I so appreciate you and hope it has helped you.
Wishing you a wonderful holiday with friends and family!
Kristi Perry Brown, NTP
You can check out more of Kristi’s tips and writings at KPBBalancedWellness.com