12 TIPS: HOW NOT TO HAVE A HOLIDAY BLOW-OUT, By Dr Carla Brion- TCM and Acupuncturist

With the silly season fast approaching, it’s a good idea to go into it with a bit of a plan. Have a strategy so you can avoid over doing it, keep your sanity and still feel great when you come out the other side after all the Christmas cheer has ended and the festive dust has settled…

In Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), it is believed that for health and happiness to flourish, one must live in harmony with the environment. This helps us to stay in balance mentally, physically and emotionally.

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With December comes all the fun and festivities of the holiday season. It also marks the start of sweet, sweet summer. Summer is the most ‘yang’, warm and spritely time of year. ’Tis the season when we come alive and our Qi (vital energy) is at its fullest. Joy and happiness dominate our emotions and the seasonal energy is ascending and uplifting. However, to get the most out of this time of year and fuel our bodies natural high, we need to look after ourselves properly with extra self-love and care. Our Digestion plays a vital part in general health and emotional wellbeing in TCM, so it is important to support and nurture it, particularly when we all have a tendency to overindulge this time of year. But fear not, Christmas has come early this year with this little treat to help you beat the bulge (and bloat) these holidays.

Ban your holiday blow-out with these 12 hot tips….

:: Listen to your body! What is it really craving? What does it need? (And yes, I am POSITIVE, it doesn’t need that whole bottle of wine and entire christmas pudding with extra custard!)

:: Stay hydrated! Thirst can confuse your body for hunger but don’t let it fool you. To keep your water interesting, add cucumber, mint or lime so you get your 2+ litres a day in and cool your body at the same time.

:: Pre-Eat! Never arrive to parties or functions hungry. This helps you avoid binging on all the naughty foods. You’ll only want a little taste of party food rather than the entire party itself.

:: Pace yourself! We are all bound to overdo it at some point, but try not to fall down that slippery slope once you’ve started. Exercise portion control where possible, people. Tomorrow is a brand new day so don’t give up if you slip up a little.

:: Have strength! Keep the over-eating to Xmas say and New Years to ensure the holiday season doesn’t accidentally roll into mid January or even February… easy to do, I know! When January 2nd comes, you’re back in business and eating consciously!

:: Set a budget! Don’t overspend on unnecessary groceries. You’ll save cash and terrible wastage, and you won’t have the mountains of old leftovers that you’ll probably force yourself to eat.

:: Easy on the booze! Your liver doesn’t go on holidays just because it is Christmas, so be kind to it and pace yourself with the alcohol. You can avoid those nasty hangovers and the truck load of calories that go with it.

:: Eat mindfully! Try and eat slowly while sitting, chewing lots to really taste and enjoy your food. This way you’re less likely to eat yourself into a food coma.

:: Stay on track! Keep up with your exercise as much as possible. It will be easier to get back into it if you don’t completely fall off the wagon.

::Move after food! Take a walk after a big meal to aide the digestive process and fire up the metabolism.

:: Snack wisely! Eat fresh, seasonal fruit instead of leftover chocolate and lollies that you were gifted. Or better yet, re-gift them to someone else and pay it forward… (Let’s be honest here, we’ve all done it!)

:: Take a pro-biotic every day to support digestion, gut health and increase nutrient absorption.

Remember to enjoy yourself and be merry! Indulge in moderation – and with mindfulness. You’ll have a happier gut and a healthier body so you won’t have to add ‘GO ON A DIET’ to your New Years resolutions because we all know that’s one you’re never going to keep and diet’s are no fun at all!

Carla xx