As someone with Celiac’s Disease and Hashimoto’s Hypothyroidism, Thanksgiving used to be the holiday I dreaded the most. Cursed with nearly every food allergy in the book, I would feel severely sick after the meal and be in bed the next day with mental fogginess and flu-like symptoms. It wasn’t until I became empowered to eat intuitively and became at peace with eating in large gatherings with family and friends that I finally understood how to actually feel light and clear the day after—food baby and carb hangover free at last!
These are my top tips for a zero-bloat holiday:
Start Your Morning Right
Start your morning with warm lemon water and sip it throughout the day. Warm lemon water alkalizes your body, revs up your metabolism, and curbs cravings throughout the day. Also sip on warm green tea before and after meals to keep your metabolism and digestive fire strong. Fennel tea is a great choice as it relieves digestive problems such as indigestion, bloating, flatulence, constipation, intestinal gas, heartburn, and even irritable bowels. This beautiful herb stimulates digestion and has carminative effects that soothe the digestive tract and prevent the formation of gas. Remember to sip your beverages slowly and nix the straws to avoid gas and burping.
Don’t Skip Breakfast
Eat a protein-rich breakfast within 90 minutes of waking. Eating a protein-rich breakfast can energize you, reduce food cravings, and prevent overeating later, according to research from the University of Missouri. This green protein smoothie and chia pudding makes an exceptional superfood breakfast to start your day. Two hard-boiled eggs, half an avocado, steamed veggies and a small handful of berries makes an excellent balancing morning meal.
Lightly graze on healthy snacks until the dinnertime feast, and listen to your body’s needs. My clients often tell me that they eat more when they are in large groups and family settings, and I always tell them to just be as conscious as possible, and understand that the anxiety around social and family gatherings is normal, and can be harnessed by long deep breaths and compassion for your feelings. Recognizing and understanding these emotions will help you avoid the bloat altogether, while still enjoying the delicious holiday food with your loved ones.
BYOF Bring Your Own Food
Bring a nourishing, healthy dish that you know you can eat. Especially if you know you’ll be tempted by things you normally wouldn’t eat. Family gatherings used to stress me out incredibly because I knew I’d either starve or get sick because of ingredients that would stress my belly. You can find gorgeous recipe inspiration in my new Thyroid Yoga Recipe Book: You Nourish You, which has over 30 pages of nourishing, plant-based meals. I made many of these recipes when I put on my chef hat for a recent retreat, and I can promise you that even the most die-hard dairy and gluten lovers will be drooling over these allergy-free meals and desserts!
Eat With Intention
My ultimate tip is to eat with intention. If you’d like to prevent the bloat and gas completely, avoid gluten, dairy, and snacks that you wouldn’t normally eat. Resist the “when in Rome” mentality and you won’t have to work so hard with the damage control or feelings of shame and resentment. Indulge in some vegan pumpkin pie or a small serving of the food that was made with love by your family and friends, and enjoy what’s on your plate. The more you stress out over the small stuff, the worse it will be for your body. Eat with gratitude and intention, and cherish the love that was infused into your meals.
Sweat It Out
My favorite Thanksgiving ritual is a morning-after full body sweat. I hit the infrared sauna at sweatheory in Los Angeles or HigherDOSE in NYC to detox my body and literally wipe out fat cells on a cellular level.
My go-to workout is Taryn Toomey’s “The Class,” a blend of cardio and strengthening moves with a dose of mindfulness and spirituality—“a spiritual somatic” experience also cherished by Jennifer Aniston and Drew Barrymore. Cardio exercises like running and jumping jacks to bootcamp-style squats and down-dog push-ups will help you sweat off the sweet potatoes and pie.
My quick fix: If you’re running short on time, watch my Thyroid Yoga Course, which includes a quick and incredibly potent 8-minute sequence to ignite your digestive fire and banish any bloating.
Give Yourself a Massage
My favorite post-meal remedy: If you find yourself feeling like a puffy marshmallow, pick up some Radiance Body Oil and give yourself a belly massage, or ask your best friend to help you out. The peppermint oil is incredibly soothing and the lemongrass, geranium and frankincense boots inflammation to the door!