We all do it. We get to the end of Christmas Day and sit there with our massive food baby and the taste of regret in our mouths. And then we wake up on Boxing Day, feeling ravenous, and raid the fridge for leftover turkey, maybe stopping only when we discover that someone’s not yet eaten all the Ferrero Rochers. Sometimes it’s hard to tell where our food baby ends and the bloating starts. Either way, our trousers are uncomfortable (unless you’ve been clever and worn elasticated garments) and we feel so tired and listless it’s an effort to pick up the remote and switch from Babe to Fight Club.
If this sounds like you, then don’t worry, it’s going to be ok. Because we spoke with Karen from The Happy Tummy Co to get her top five tips for surviving the festive season without ending up with a bellyful of pain or spending too much time on the toilet.
- If you can, reach for the bio-live, probioitic yoghurt to go with your mince pies and pudding over Christmas. I love the natural sour taste of natural yoghurt with fruit and spice and it’ll be easier on your gut than cream bringing some much needed probiotics to your tummy.
- Whatever be your breakfast of choice throughout the holidays – whether it be a ham sandwich with lashings of tomato relish and stuffing or a bowl of Christmas pudding, try to sprinkle a tablespoon each of Chia Seeds and Ground Flax into that meal! These seeds basically work to scrape your intestines clean and eaten for breakfast each day will get you into a good bowl routine!
- Lots of meat gets eaten over Christmas. One of the by-products of the fermentation of protein is ammonia which is not good for the gut. Make sure you eat wholegrain carbohydrates like a couple of slices of wholegrain wheat sourdough when meat is present. Through the fermentation of carbohydrate we create short chain fatty acids which keep the pH in the gut low thereby inhibiting the growth of toxic bacteria and keeping inflammation down around the body. The fermentation of carbohydrate is one of the most important and beneficial reactions to happen in our bodies. Keep wholegrains a part of your diet throughout Christmas.
- Try to drink beer from small microbreweries. The yeast used in microbrewery production can actually have a cleansing effect on the liver. My friend who’s a Bio Scientist makes her own small batch beer for this reason. Inevitably we often drink too much over Christmas. Choosing wines and spirits made from smaller growers and producers will be more natural with less sulphites. Drinking alcohols with less sulphites is much kinder to the gut.
- Allow 5 hours between each meal. Your intestines need this amount of time to clean. Your gut bacteria are happiest when they’ve got a clean habitat. Keep them happy and they’ll keep your tummy happy! If you’re just to pick one tip from this list pick this one!
Karen Collins is best known for her Chia Teff Loaf, a made to order gut-happy loaf which tastes delicious and helps keep tummies happy. Having suffered from terrible IBS since she was a baby, she made it her mission to rid herself of pain and now that she’s successful, is inspiring and teaching others how to do the same through The Happy Tummy Co.