I’ve always been super irked by that image we all have in our heads of post-Thanksgiving bloat, fatigue, and fullness. Truth be told, it is totally possible to eat a big, filling and festive meal and not go into a food coma immediately after, or worse yet, throw off your digestion for days. All it takes is employing a few Ayurvedic secrets to digest better this Thanksgiving!
Try these tips and enjoy this lovely holiday with no side effects:
1. Eat early. If you’ve read any of my articles on healthy weight loss and primo digestion, you know that having the biggest meal of the day earlier is wayyy better for digestion. So it’s actually awesome that Thanksgiving is a traditionally early meal! Sitting down to eat around 3pm ensures that your digestion is at it’s strongest, and you have much longer to finish digesting before bed. Eat a light (but not too light) breakfast the morning of, and skip lunch. Think of Thanksgiving dinner as more of a linner (lunch + dinner) — you really don’t need two meals before sitting down to this big one.
2. Drink a glass of water 20 minutes before eating. One of the biggest impediments to great digestion is weakened acidity in your stomach lining. Drinking a glass of room temperature water 20 minutes before eating stimulates your stomach to start producing more stomach acid, which will help to break down the big meal before you hit bloatsville. For a bonus, you can add a little sprinkle of sea salt and black pepper into your water to amp up the effects even more!
3. Eat slowly and connect with your loved ones! Scarfing food down and not taking time to chew and pause between bites is another huge cause of poor digestion. Though we should employ this tip at all meals, I think it’s especially easy to focus on chatting with your loved ones at this big festive meal. Eat slowly, make time to talk, put your fork down and chew between bites, and let the festive meal go on for hours!
4. Follow the meal with ginger tea. This is one of my favorite tricks for digestion. Ginger is amazing for helping to digest a big meal, ease fullness and bloat, and counteract a whole slew of uncomfortably side effects of poor digestion. You can enjoy the ginger tea with your pie for dessert, or just sip a cup or two while hanging out with family when the big meal is done.
5. Recline on your left side for a few minutes after eating, then head out for a walk! Lying down on your left side is an ancient Ayurvedic trick for improving and speeding up digestion. Your stomach empties into your small intestine on the left side of your body, so lying down on that side lets the stomach relax and easily empty. Plus it’s a great reason to lie down and chill, maybe watch some football if that’s your thing, after the big meal. After 10-15 minutes, it’s time to get outside! Bundle up the fam and take a walk in the crisp autumn air. Movement after a meal works wonders to improve digestion and get that meal moving through your body.
I promise, if you follow these 5 tips, you’ll feel awesome after Thanksgiving dinner, and digest all those fall goodies like a champ.
Happy Thanksgiving to you all from The Organic Beauty!