Christmas can be daunting when you suffer from gut health issues. Whether you have IBS, acid reflux, or food sensitivities – the whole Christmas dinner event can be stressful, especially if you’re at the whim of someone else’s recipe choices! But it doesn’t have to be that way. It’s been a tough year for everyone, it’s been a tough two years, and you deserve to have a food-filled fun Christmas that your gut won’t make you pay penance for afterward. So, let’s make that happen.

Give The Host A Heads Up

If you’re not the person in the kitchen, then you need to talk to that person before you turn up. Don’t leave it until the last minute when you’re all seated to announce that you can’t eat anything on the menu except the salad. You’ll be uncomfortable, everyone else will be uncomfortable that you’re uncomfortable, and you’ll likely cave and end up eating something you’ll regret later just to ease the tension (and hunger!). It’s OKAY to reach out to the host in advance and let them know that you have some dietary restrictions. I guarantee you they’d much prefer to prepare food you’ll enjoy than to make you feel ill! You can even simply ask what they were planning to serve and suggest some easy swaps or bring along some of your own dishes to add to the table.

Don’t Let The In-Laws Give You Heartburn

Stress is one of the most common triggers of acid reflux, so it’s imperative to keep things chill at the dinner table if the conversation heats up. When you’re stressed, your body is in survival mode. That means that blood and resources are diverted to the brain and muscles to keep you alive! Your body doesn’t know that your stress response to your Mother-in-Law commenting on your weight won’t actually kill you. So it gets freaked out. This means that your stomach acid gets even more depleted AND your digestive enzyme secretion is reduced too. 

To recap on why you get acid reflux in the first place; the issue is actually due to low stomach acid which stops the LES from closing properly, allowing acid and food particles to reflux back up. So, when your stomach acid is depleted even further, your acid reflux increases and you definitely start to burn. And as for that weight gain? You might start to believe it because that hit to your digestive enzymes will also slow down your digestion, causing bloating, cramps, and even constipation. 

So do whatever you have to do in order to stay zen this Christmas. Prepare everything in advance. Get a stress ball. Or earplugs. Play scrabble. Go for a run. Scream into a pillow. Have a drink…or five. But most of all, take the pressure off yourself, enjoy the day, and remember it’s meant to be fun!

Let’s Talk About Brussel Sprouts

There will always be a few foods on your “trigger” list if you have issues with your gut, especially with acid reflux or IBS, and some common Christmas veg like Brussel sprouts are top of the list. Sprouts are known to be an acquired taste, but when we asked our Facebook community about this recently we were surprised at the number of people out there on team sprouts! 

But whether those baby cabbages are your Christmas downfall or it’s the wine that sets off your heartburn, there are a few ways to mitigate the situation and still enjoy your dinner! Firstly, get some digestive enzymes to speed up your digestion. If you have our Digestive Aid, take it. If you don’t have any in the house and can’t get these in time try some Apple Cider Vinegar instead. This isn’t a digestive enzyme but it will supplement your gut with the acid it needs to break down those tough-to-digest foods. Make sure to dilute the ACV with plenty of water and don’t take it if you suffer from heartburn as it can irritate the esophagus. ACV Gummies are a great option for anyone who suffers from heartburn and acid reflux.

Another thing to note is that you’ll be chatting a lot at the dinner table and this increases the amount of air you swallow leading to even more gas and bloating. It’s also unlikely that you’ll chew your food fully when you’re mid-conversation which means it won’t get digested properly. So remember to take time to concentrate on your bites and focus on chewing your food so that it’s properly broken down before swallowing.

Swap Wine For Water (sometimes!)

You need to stay hydrated to reduce water retention, bloating, and constipation. AND it’ll help you stay sober for longer! So add a glass of water in between those festive glasses of wine and your gut (and head) will thank you for it. Don’t forget, all the alcohol is dehydrating too! But even if you’re staying away from the drinks cabinet, make sure you keep topping up that H20.

Let Yourself Slip Up But Learn From It 

If you do slip up and eat the wrong thing or eat too much or drink too much… don’t panic and don’t get mad at yourself. It’s Christmas! If there’s any time of the year that it is absolutely fair game to eat what you want, it’s now. Any symptoms that kick off WILL ease. Your jeans will fit again tomorrow. The bout of heartburn won’t last forever. And the hangover… well… that one might take a while but it will go too! 

And if you do regularly suffer from digestive complaints, make sure to gift yourself with the right supplements to restore your gut health in 2022. Visit our online store to check out our complete range from digestive enzymes to our best-selling acid reflux solution – the Heartburn Relief Kit – and use the code XmasKaren30 to get 30% off!

 

*We have 270 customers named Karen and we love each and every one of you!