Judas Feast: Tips to Prevent a Not-So-Happy Thanksgiving (and a Poll)

I sat down to write about making the “right” choices on Thanksgiving day. Maybe I’d mention that the average American may consume more than 4,500 calories on the holiday? Or maybe I’d talk about how important it is to get some exercise before (and after) gorging on all that crazy-rich food to put at least a little of it to work for you? Or how eating a low/no carb breakfast before filling your gullet with turkey, pumpkin pie, stuffing, rolls, stuffing, apple pie, cranberry sauce, pecan pie, more stuffing, etc. is a great idea. I could always talk about eating intuitively; eating to nourish your body and not getting caught in a binge? But I’m not going to. Not this time. There are hundreds of articles (trust me, I just read half of them) out there that offer similar advice that you can Google in seconds.

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This is for those who might overindulge. This is the other side of that mountain of mashed potatoes and gravy with extra butter. This is to help you out during and after the meal when you’re miserable, regretful and hating yourself for eating so much. I’m not advocating that everyone loses their damn mind Thursday, quite the contrary. But guess what? Many of us will. It happens. This is for you.

The practical, proven advice below is the same I give my clients who are dealing with digestive stress. While these tips will also help those who suffer from digestive issues that are acute and ongoing, I created the easy-to-follow list below as a way to help prevent or minimize the most common (gas & bloating, heartburn, constipation, diarrhea) sufferings that often parallel Turkey Day.

Keep those antacids on the shelf.

 

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GAS & BLOATING

What it feels like:

Uncomfortable fullness after eating a meal

Abdominal pain and/or distention

Excessive farting

Heartburn

Actions to take:

Chew your food well (15 + per bite)

Colon massage (following the line of your colon)

Foods to eat:

More fiber

Less (or no) dairy

Ginger, anise, fennel

Avoid sugar alcohols like sorbitol and xylitol

Supplements:

Digestive enzymes

Probiotic

Activated charcoal

 

heartburn

HEARTBURN

Causes:

Overeating

Eating too fast (see chewing above)

Too much caffeine

Too much sugar or refined carbohydrates

Low stomach acid

Actions to take:

Don’t over consume liquids with your meal

Eat slowly (yes, chewing again)

Foods to eat:

Increase vegetables

Avoid overindulging caffeine and sugar

Avoid ice-cold drinks

Supplements:

Probiotic

Apple cider vinegar (1 tbsp in water)

Fennel tea

 

An 8 month old baby boy crying really big tears.

CONSTIPATION

Actions to take:

Get some exercise

Gentle yogic twists

Child’s pose

Foods to eat:

More fiber

Ample water for hydration

No dairy

Probiotic foods like sauerkraut or kimchi

Flax and chia seeds

Garlic

Papaya

No processed foods

Supplements:

Probiotic

Digestive enzymes

Psyllium

Vitamin C

Marshmallow root

 

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DIARRHEA

Causes:

Food allergies or sensitivities

Lactose or sugar intolerance

Impaired digestion

Stress

Lack of good bacteria in the gut

Actions to take:

Drink a lot of fluids and stay  hydrated; green juices, tea

No sugar, fat, dairy, excess meat

Place something warm on the abdomen while reclining

Foods to eat:

Simple green juices

Mild fruit smoothies

Broths

Black currant or blueberry juice

Slippery elm tea

BRAT diet: bananas, rice, apples, toast

Supplements:

Probiotic

L-glutamine

Zinc

Aloe vera juice (2-4 oz)

Ground flax

 

Be grateful everyday

 

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Christopher Hostetler is the founder of Do Not Die Young – Integrative Health & Nutrition Coaching. He’s a proud father, gunshot survivor, musician, writer and Muay Thai enthusiast residing in Los Angeles. He has made self evolution through nutrition, lifestyle, and mental and physical wellness his life’s work.

Like what you’ve read? Sign up for the newsletter for more evidence-based tips on lifestyle, nutrition, health, fitness and wellness.

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You Are Here for a Reason 

wish that I could travel back in time to that day the bullet lodged in my spine. Travel back in time, and when that 5 year old, innocent child lay in a pool of blood, grasping for air, I’d whisper in his ear. I’d tell him that everything was NOT going to be okay. I’d tell him that even though he would survive being shot that the future was going to be paved with physical and psychological land mines. I’d tell him to choose the word survivor and erase the word victim from his vocabulary, because the acceptance of being the victim was like choosing eternal night over sunny days for the next thirty years of his life. 

I’d tell him to not be afraid. 

 The last few years have been a time of great introspection for me. I have finally and sincerely decided to use my life story to help others. Sharing what I’ve been through and what it’s like now has been another step in my healing process, but there has also been an intransigent part of my soul that wants to walk away and push it down, burying my story in the same cold, shallow grave where it stayed for such a long time. The dirt used to fill that tomb is made up of fear, self loathing, solitude… drugs and alcohol.

What I’m doing is right. Right for me and right for the world, right now. I’ve had the chance to share my story on incredible podcasts, which is very humbling because of the inspirational guests that have told their stories before me. Being part of such a special movement is something I have always dreamed of. What didn’t kill me now allows me to make others stronger. Just writing that last line gives me the (good) chills! The thing is? I AM up for the task. I feel that I’ve been blessed with a gift and that the curse was of my own creation. My gratitude is ocean sized. I know that the 5 year old little boy, so wrapped in fear and confusion would get something out of my story.

My hopes are that anyone, at any age, can take something positive away from my life journey. 

 After the accident, a nun who was a friend of my grandparents would spend time with me. I can clearly remember her soft, paper-like, wrinkled hands holding mine as she would encourage me that everything was going to be okay. That bad things happen to good people, even little children. There is one thing she said that has been rattling around in my brain for thirty years. Something that at the time was far too profound to grasp for a 5 year old. For a long time I cynically transformed these words as simple coddling by an adult used as a tool to help a poor little kid to strive, to get through tough times. Eventually, I began to believe what she said. I began to study my life closely, to see if by chance I was fulfilling her prophecy. She said “You are here for a reason”. Those 5 words have filled my dreams for an eternity. I’ve searched for the reason my whole life. Every day another existential easter egg hunt. 

I’ve come to realize that the reason is not close to any of the grandiose ideas that I would create; being a famous musician, a poet laureate, the President of the United States or a famous sports star (a boy can dream). The reason is much simpler than that: to help others. Included in that is to be a great father, partner, son, brother, grandson, friend. To live a life worth living and to never forget that it can all be gone in a millisecond. To always remember that the slightest of winds can snuff out a flame. 

Remember that we are all filled with greatness. Remember that we can all get/be better. Remember that we all hold the tools to save a life, the key is to start with ourselves.   

 

“I don’t confuse greatness with perfection. To be great anyhow is…the higher achievement.”

– Lois McMaster Bujold

 

 

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Christopher Hostetler is the founder of Do Not Die Young – Integrative Health & Nutrition Coaching. He’s a proud father, gunshot survivor, musician, writer and Muay Thai enthusiast residing in Los Angeles. He has made self evolution through nutrition, lifestyle, and mental and physical wellness his life’s work.

Like what you’ve read? Sign up for the newsletter for more evidence-based tips on lifestyle, nutrition, health, fitness and wellness.

Connect: Support/Website – Donotdieyoung.com Like – Facebook Follow – Twitter Pin – Pinterest Look – Instagram