Your Wellness Action Plan to Counteract Holiday Excess

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Photo of Esme Benjamin
Wellness Editor5 December 2017

It’s the most wonderful time of the year. A time for second and third helpings and glass upon glass of mulled cider. Unfortunately, that also means food comas, bloating, skin breakouts, and that general “bleh” feeling you get from overindulgence. With a little maintenance, though, you won’t have to go into detox mode immediately after ringing in 2018…

Balance your blood sugar

When you eat a large, rich meal with lots of carbohydrates, your body creates an insulin spike to break down the sugars. This causes more tryptophan to enter your brain—the precursor to a serotonin boost, followed by a melatonin crash, otherwise known as a “food coma”. At this point what you really want to do is take a nap, but if you can haul yourself up and out the door for a post-meal walk, studies show your blood sugar is reduced for up to 24 hours, and you burn more calories.

Tackle inflammation

Feel like you get more breakouts around the holidays? It’s not your imagination. From the burden excess alcohol puts on the body’s detox system, to your uncharacteristically high candy intake, this time of year just isn’t conducive to a clear complexion. To curb pimples, take an omega-3 supplement like fish oil, and start each day with an inflammation-fighting elixir made of turmeric, lemon, honey, cayenne pepper and hot water.

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Support your digestion

There’s a reason the holiday uniform consists mainly of stretchy pants. The smorgasbord of pies, prosecco and chocolatey treats can send your digestive system totally haywire. Make sure you’re taking a stomach acid-resistant pro-biotic to give your gut a good foundation for absorption, drink plenty of water, and try some gentle twists, which work to massage your digestive organs. Lie down on your back, soles of your feet on the floor, then drop your knees to the right, pause for a few breaths and repeat on the left.

Don’t neglect the veggies

Let’s be real—a plate full of sautéed greens just doesn’t call your name like roasted meats with buttery mashed potatoes. If fruit and vegetables are an afterthought for you at this time of year, invest in a good powdered greens supplement and use it every day. One scoop contains the antioxidant equivalent of up to 12 servings of vegetables, and works out at around the same price as a latte from a good coffee shop.

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