BAT­TLING THE SEA­SONAL BULGE

Nat­u­ral reme­dies to stay bloat-free dur­ing Christ­mas

Northern Living - - HEALTH - TEXT PIERRA CALASANZ- LABRADOR ILLUSTRATION REESE LANSAN­GAN

As sure as fruit­cake, food co­mas, and dis­tant rel­a­tives ask­ing you in­ap­pro­pri­ate ques­tions, you can ex­pect added poundage ev­ery hol­i­day sea­son. This year, in­stead of bracing your­self for the in­evitable, it’s time to take charge. Here are some quick and nat­u­ral tips to out­smart the bloat this Christ­mas. You’ll have to come up with your own snappy come­backs for those rel­a­tives, though.

Kick­start your day with lemon wa­ter

A cup of warm wa­ter and the juice of half a lemon first thing in the morn­ing can cleanse your sys­tem, bat­tle salt re­ten­tion, and make you feel lighter in gen­eral. We swear, it’s not just that fresh, sun­shiny scent. Tip: it also aids di­ges­tion af­ter an es­pe­cially heavy meal.

Fiber is your friend

Oats, whole-grain ce­real, and fiber-rich fruits lower choles­terol lev­els and help move things along when you’re feel­ing heavy and con­sti­pated; just make sure to match it with lots of H2O. A psyl­lium drink works, too.

Fresh is best

It’s hard to mon­i­tor what we eat when we’re con­stantly stuff­ing our faces at Christ­mas par­ties or grab­bing fast food be­tween hol­i­day er­rands. This sea­son, be more mind­ful of what you’re putting in your body: steer clear of junk food, soda, re­fined carbs, and salty stuff. Good­bye, preser­va­tive-laden canned goods. Trig­gers dif­fer from per­son to per­son, so try to no­tice what brings on those icky, bloated feels. Is it gluten, dairy, ar­ti­fi­cial sweet­en­ers, your fa­vorite Vi­enna sausage-and- pan de sal me­rienda? As much as pos­si­ble, stick to fresh, un­pro­cessed, home­cooked op­tions, and chew your food slowly and care­fully.

A daily dose of ACV

Two ta­ble­spoons of the hum­ble ap­ple cider vine­gar in a glass of (prefer­ably warm) wa­ter lit­er­ally keeps the doc­tor away. This pop­u­lar (and per­pet­u­ally sold out) folk rem­edy re­put­edly works won­ders on di­ges­tion, reme­dies gas and bloat­ing prob­lems, and even works as a great con­di­tioner. Good luck scor­ing it at your lo­cal su­per­mar­ket. Can’t stand the sour taste? Add a tea­spoon of raw honey to make this con­coc­tion more palat­able.

Gin­ger tea

All those café lat­tes con­sumed dur­ing the height of re­union sea­son may ac­tu­ally be the bloat­ing cul­prit. Re­place them with a sooth­ing cup of caf­feine-free gin­ger tea (freshly grated gin­ger is best), which helps soothe the tummy, ease flat­u­lence, and counter an ex­pand­ing pu­son.

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