It’s that time of year again: the stores barely put out school supplies and already the Halloween candy is on the shelves here in New York. For those of you who suffer from any kind of gastrointestinal difficulty – celiac disease, acid reflux, IBS, or any type of food intolerance – the start of the holiday season can be quite painful if you don’t make mindful and conscientious eating choices. These tips can help you survive the holidays with less pain and discomfort.
Drink Plenty of Water
Drinking water not only aids in digestion but also helps keep you feeling full so that you don’t overeat when you’re tempted by holiday treats and meals. Water, unlike alcohol or soda, will not irritate your stomach or intestines.
Slow, Small, Often
If you struggle with digestion or gastrointestinal issues of any kind, remember to eat slowly, eat smaller meals, and eat more often. Doing so allows your body time to digest the food you consume without being overwhelmed and gives you time to react and change course if you eat something that triggers discomfort. While you won’t be able to avoid all the temptations the holiday season brings, you can limit how much you consume and how quickly you consume it.
If you simply cannot live without a spoonful of grandma’s homemade turkey gravy over your mashed potatoes, or you simply must have a piece of Aunt Sally’s pecan pie, balance giving in to the temptation by having a smaller portion (we experience diminishing returns for each bite after the first), forgoing another temptation, and by eating something healthy like a salad or roasted veggies. Go for a walk – a walk not only aids in digestion but removes you from temptation, even momentarily.
Breathe and Avoid Stress
Stress and anxiety can contribute to our gastrointestinal woes and being around extended family or in-laws for any period of time can bring out the worst in any of us. Take time to breathe. Make moments for yourself to destress. With the proper diet, you can comfortably survive the holidays with your gastrointestinal challenges. It requires mindfulness every day. If you are worried about caring for your IBS, celiac disease, or other gastrointestinal disorder, please contact Gotham Gastroenterology to schedule an appointment.