What a beautiful time of year, gorgeous colors in the trees from vibrant green to fiery orange to ruby red, time to relax with family, and eat delicious meals with everyone you love. Oh eating delicious foods, it can be tricky when overindulgence is baked right into the holidays (I mean, stuffing, need I say more?).
Recognizing contentment before, during and after a meal (before the stress of the holidays forces you to overindulge) doesn’t have to be impossible. With just a few tweaks to your routine and a few yoga stretches to aid in digestion and stress relief, the holidays can be indulgent and fun without the stomachache after.
1. Three yoga poses for better digestion and peace
Sit and twist to massage the stomach: Sit on the floor or a pillow with legs crossed. Then place your right hand to your left knee and your left hand behind you on the ground and breathe deeply. Then switch to the other side with left hand on right knee and right hand behind you on the ground.
Cat cow: This one is great for beginners and master yogis. Start on all fours in a table position. Then round your back up like a scared cat as you exhale and slowly arch your back down and lift your head like a mooing cow. Do this sequence a few times to loosen your stomach and stretch your muscles.
Seated forward fold: Sit on the ground or a pillow with your legs straight out in front hip distance apart. Then slowly fold forward as you exhale out deeply and stretch your hands to meet your feet. Take it easy and enjoy the stretch in your legs and back.
Here is a video for yoga for digestion:
Just doing the first six minutes of this yoga video from Yoga with Adriene will help you digest your food and calm your mind.
2. Nourish your adrenals (aka The Stress Gland)
The Adrenal Glands are the kidney bean shaped glands that sit on top of our kidney. The Adrenals Glands store Vitamin C (in fact the highest concentration of Vitamin C is in our Adrenal Glands). Vitamin C is utilized to produce cortisol, a stress hormone produced by the adrenals, and in times of stress cortisol is in high demand. The more we stress out the more our vitamin C stores in our adrenals becomes depleted. This can lead to an array of health problems, like the common cold.
Have you ever noticed everyone is sick around the holidays? Now you know why!
STRESS + EATING POORLY = SICKNESS.
When you aren’t eating a well balanced diet, consisting of mostly vegetables, proteins, and good fats, you are not nourishing your body. Which leads your body to ask for nutrition from your reserves. This isn’t good because you are depleting your body's backup system.
THIS IS VITAL, if you deplete your Adrenal Glands of Vitamin C and you never replenish the storage, you can end up with a sickness. The worst part is that it might take a much longer time to go away. In some cases colds can linger for months! Then if you injure yourself or end up in the hospital your body needs those reserves to keep you alive.
The only way you can quickly replenish the reserves of the organs is to add to your diet high dose whole food supplements. That means high quality, organic, food based supplements, like we sell at Well Balanced Body.
If you are local, stop by our office during the Holiday Season, we are selling $1 Adrenal Health Supplements that contain everything your adrenals need to deal with stress and to prevent the holiday bulge. (Dr. T recommends taking 2 of these packs per day during stressful times.)
3. Let your Central Nervous System center yourself
The Central Nervous System consists of your brain and your spinal column. It controls everything in your entire body. Maintaining your spinal alignment is crucial in allowing your body to stay healthy. Especially during the holidays!
3 ways to help maintain spinal alignment
4. Choose a mantra
Creating a mantra you can say to yourself as you’re cooking, picking family up from the airport, organizing an event or volunteering this holiday can help you feel the love in any situation even while dealing with stress. When we can pause to breathe and encourage ourselves, even just for one minute, any stressful situation can become less overwhelming. Choose a mantra or a short positive statement that makes sense for you. Like: “I am whole,” “I love myself, “I am content,” “Eating well is a joy and a privilege,” or “My family wants only the best for me.”
Whether it is hard to believe in the moment or not, choosing a positive statement to tell yourself can help reinforce your self confidence and boost your mood. Win win!
These few tips will hopefully get you through the week without letting stress or overwhelm get the best of you. Remember to feel thankful for who you are and what you have no matter what stress is going on in your life. Take it slow and know that love is within you. Happy Thanksgiving and Happy Holidays!!