I am so excited it's POOP month!
Of the three pillars of Thrive's nutrition trifecta (SLEEPLOVEPOOP) -- POOP is definitely my favourite. And it's even more special that POOP month has coincided with my favourite time of the year: Christmas!
Since moving to Hong Kong, I listen to Bing Crosby's White Christmas with misty eyes and think about how pretty my parent's cherry tree looks the morning after a snowfall. But I have to say, Hong Kong does Christmas beautifully as well. The city's decorations are gorgeous and with the temperature a balmy 15 degrees, it's even possible to look fashionable. BUT, the one thing that seems to suffer - no matter where I'm spending Christmas - is my digestion.
All the rich food, mulled wine, mince pies, Lindt chocolate, gingerbread cookies, champagne, panettone, hot chocolate and Christmas log cakes make it so hard to keep the bloating down, the toots neutral and the morning ablutions regular. And that's a problem because by the time the holiday season comes to an end, I've got a few angry pimples, a couple extra inches around the waist and an absolutely miserable temperament.
WHY is that?
Our gut is not just a hosepipe for our waste. It's the centre of our immune & detox function. Plus, 90% of our serotonin - our body's happy hormone - is made in our gut.
If our bowels aren't getting a daily cleaning, they're going to be too congested to help us make our happy hormone cocktail. And who wants to be the Grinch who stole Christmas? Or even worse - the miserable sod who shows up to work on January 2nd looking grey and pessimistic.
Over the course of this month, I'll be sharing with you my favourite tips and recipes to keep you regular over the holidays, so that you can end and start the year feeling like the Christmas Star you are. But in this post, I just want to start off with the basics.
- DRINK 2.5-3L OF WATER DAILY. The number 1 reason for constipation is lack of water consumption. I'm just over 5ft tall and I need 2.5L of water a day for my body's biochemical processes and to stay regular. So, I'm going to go crazy and say that most of you reading this, need 3L+. Water cannot be substituted for anything. When out for Christmas cocktails, try to have 1-2 glasses of water for every drink to help keep your body & gut hydrated and things moving along.
- SNEAK IN SOME FIBRE. During the holidays I like to incorporate a breakfast smoothie to the morning routine so that I can get an extra helping of fibre by adding chia seeds and flaxmeal. If I know I'm going to be eating out or going to a cocktail, I make sure to have 1-2 tspn of psyllium hulls with a big glass water before I head out. This gives me some comfort that my fibre intake is on track and that I'll be able to poop out any unwanted toxins the following day.
- DAILY PROBIOTICS. Super important to make sure that the good bacteria keeps outnumbering the bad bacteria in the gut. The increase in sugar and refined carbs during the holidays puts you at risk for a proliferation of yeast in the gut. And no one wants a yeast infection for Christmas!
It is so easy to get sick during the holidays. The weather gets colder. Our sugar consumption increases, which is bad news for immunity because sugar uses the same transporters as Vitamin C to enter your cells. But drinking water, sneaking in some extra fibre and taking a daily probiotic will help ensure you maintain your daily bathroom date.
So this holiday season, get your POOP on!
Cristina Tahoces is a holistic nutritionist and owner of Thrive Nutrition Practice. Please join her Facebook group "Thrive Nutrition Practice" for daily articles, recipes, promotions on professional grade supplements and upcoming workshops.
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