Now that Halloween is well behind us, we’re coming up on the most wonderful time of the year! Starbucks cups have turned red, department stores have the holiday hits playing on repeat, Santa statues are creeping into window dressings, and party plans are creeping into your pocket books. Listen, I’m never one to speak ill of cocktail season. Please, I’m there with reindeer bells (and an LBD) on! But, the frequency of the holiday festivities (meaning: eggnog and shortbread cookies) can sometimes cause some unpleasant activity in the tummy area. Extra calories aside, (that’s a whole other blog post) the mid-week boozing often results in all-week bloating. Uncomfortable, unsightly, unwanted distention that makes you feel as awful as your dress looks tight.
So, before you go buy that dress in a bigger size to accommodate for your belly woes or RSVP “no” to half your engagements, try these easy de-bloating tricks!
1. KEEP IT MOVING
As we continue to consume copious amounts of junk, it’s even more important to stay regular. Ain't nobody got time (or room in their dress) for a backed up bowel, so let’s keep it moving, shall we?! You’ve heard it again and again: it really is all about fiber intake and water consumption. Make sure you’re getting your daily 25 grams of fiber (38 for men) and chasing it down with at LEAST 6-8 cups of water. There are options of how to fill up on fiber. You can up your intake of high fiber foods (whole grains, fruit, veggies, legumes etc.). You can take a fiber supplement – psyllium is a good option. Or, you can choose from some different kinds of ground fiber to add to smoothies, yogurt, salads etc. I personally love chia Seeds and flax seed and I put them on pretty much everything! But remember, all that fiber will literally sit like a brick in your gut if you don’t hydrate. Move things through the system with ample water, so you can make room for more prosecco and pumpkin pie!
2. PEPPERMINT PUNCH
During this festivity filled time it’s important to put down the martini glass, if only for a moment, and pick up a teacup. It’s not just an old wives' tale your mother told you when you were a kid, peppermint tea really does have a soothing affect on the belly. Peppermint has restorative properties that helps the digestive tract relax, thus allowing gas to pass with more ease. Just be sure to get it all out before the party – we’re going for elegance not flatulence.
3. ENZYME ASSISTANT
Sometimes when we consume too much, too fast, our stomachs get overwhelmed with the overload and have to work harder, causing gas, distention and other annoying and unpleasant symptoms. When you’re stressed at the office and are overloaded and overwhelmed with paper work, you might decide it’s time to hire a personal assistant to help with the heavy lifting. Well, when that embarrassing bloat is too much to bear, you might decide do the same for your stomach and enlist the help of a professional. Renew Life makes a plant-based digestive enzyme (aptly called DigestMORE) that actually helps your body break down the food you eat, making it easier for your gut to absorb more nutrients and digest with more ease and less gas. Pop a pill before big meals and let your assistant do the work.
4. KING CASTOR
While you’re out dancing on tables (figuratively or literally) your liver is quietly hating you, and will make you pay eventually. Have no fear, "King Castor" to the rescue! That’s right, castor: your knight in shining oil! (Sorry to get your hopes up, there are no real knights in this story.) Castor oil is one of those natural remedies that has like a million uses. (Let’s face it: no man is actually that valuable.) It can be used both topically and taken orally. Used topically, a castor oil pack has been shown to be incredible for the liver, helping to aid in the detox process and reduce inflammation, which in turn helps digestion and battling the bloat. To administer the pack, generously rub the oil over the stomach from ribs to pelvis, lay a towel over of the belly, then place a hot water bottle or heating pad on top. Do not wash it off right away. Let the oil absorb naturally with the help of the heat. Bet that’s not how you imagined things heating up in the bedroom with oils this holiday season...but in lieu of the other kind of lovin', this will offer your liver some much needed love.
Another way castor oil can be beneficial in the anti-bloat crusade is its strong natural laxative property. Just a teaspoon in the morning is enough to lubricate the system and help get things moving, in time to bust a move on the dance floor!
Happy Flat-Belly Festivus, everyone!!