It’s getting cold out, Fall is creeping around the corner. Other than wearing your oversized sweaters, cuddling under blankets, feeling that body heat after your workout, you want to consume something hot and enjoyable. Nothing beats a good ol’ homemade lentil soup with this classic recipe.
Even if you’ve been staying on track with your healthy eating goals all year, it’s a slippery slope after the Thanksgiving dinner, Halloween candy, and eventually the December holiday parties. It is of course no surprise that people tend to gain weight over the holidays.
One way to start your day on a healthy note is by eating breakfast. Not just any breakfast but a large nutritious breakfast. It may sound counter intuitive since you’re planning on having a big meal later, but filling up on something healthy will prevent you from overindulging later on.
Your schedule might be filled up with parties and quality time with family but the best way to stay on top your fitness this holidays, is to make sure you reserve quality time for your work out during the holidays. Try to put in 20 mins of workout in the morning, that will help combat the feeling of sluggishness but instead energize you.
Additionally, do not show up hungry to a holiday party or dinner. The reason being, leaving your stomach empty till the dinner forces you to overindulge in unnecessary calories. Many people think they need to save their body for the party calories but this isn’t very helpful. In the same vein, consider pitching in for dinner parties to ensure a healthy option for you and other guests. If you are hosting a holiday party, make sure to provide healthy alternatives. If you are attending another party, ask the host if they would like additional dishes and create a healthy version of a holiday dish.
Most importantly this holidays, know your triggers. During the holidays, there are plenty triggers that can easily lead you to a path of unhealthy decisions. If for example, alcohol is your trigger to bad decisions, be careful of the wine consumption. If sugar, or desserts are your triggers, maintain a one serve size. In summary, do everything in moderation to avoid a slippery slope of bad decisions.
Cravings are a real thing. You wake up in the morning and you wonder how could one simply enjoy a classic breakfast favourite without feeling the guilt? The answers you are looking for are in this recipe, and discover the wonders of buckwheat and flax!
When it comes to digestion, there are so many factors at play. Good digestion is not just about the kind of foods you eat, but when and how you eat, too. These tips and tricks can help you on the path to better digestion and help reduce that post-meal bloating.
Chew, Chew, Chew!
It seems simple, but most people do not chew nearly enough before swallowing. Getting your food into smaller particles before it hits your stomach is essential, but often overlooked. Breaking down your food is the first phase of digestion, if you skip this step it means your stomach needs to work twice as hard. When your food hits your stomach, the presence of saliva also triggers the stomach to produce acid and its own digestive enzymes. The more you chew, the more saliva will be present – therefore reducing gas and bloating.
Change your Eating Habits
Do you have the tendency to eat food at your desk or on the run? This can have a big impact on your digestion. Your brain and digestive system are interconnected, so feeling stressed over a deadline or eating your breakfast in morning traffic is going to add to any digestive upsets. Eating in a relaxed environment, free from distraction, will allow you to be more present with the process. This will help you eat more slowly and mindfully. It also means your body will have a chance to prepare for the food that’s on its way.
Consume Natural Foods
Use a whole food diet over one made up of processed foods. Whole foods contain a higher percentage of fiber, which helps your food digest properly. Plus, eating nutrient dense and nourishing foods will give your digestive tract the support it needs. Process foods may contain toxins that can increase the risk of constipation and/or diarrhea, as well as other unfavorable digestive symptoms. Also consider holistic approach to nutrition which has proven to help with digestion.
Water plays a major role in digesting solid food, as well as nutrient absorption. Dehydration can lead to backing up in your gut causing bloating. It is really important to consider your timing when drinking water. Try to avoid liquids half an hour before and after meals. You don’t want to dilute stomach acids that work to break down food, otherwise your digestion will suffer.
Chickpeas, sometimes known as garbanzo beans, are a good source of protein, carbohydrates, and fiber. They are a great addition to soups, throwing it in a bean salad, mashing them to make some falafel — or like the title of this post, make hummus!