I can’t believe that we are coming to the end of another year – and that Christmas is almost upon us!
I always feel a slight sense of panic at this time of the year. I begin to worry about how I’m going to get everything done – buying and wrapping gifts, shopping for all the food, trimming up the house and garden, taking care of my elderly parents, managing the business, not to mention dealing with all the extra enquiries I get at this time of year. Everything always gets done though, helped in a large part by my husband, who is ‘Mr. Practical’, and we have a great time.
I don’t think it’s just me that feels that way though. As soon as the shops get the Christmas decorations out and we see the Christmas ads on the TV, the stress levels go up. I know that for those of you who have digestive disorders, it can also be a prime time for a flare-up, making it difficult to look forward to all the parties and other festivities.
Why do you get digestive flare-ups at Christmas?
All of this stress, coupled with the parties, gatherings and other festivities, means that we often end up eating rich foods and drinking more than we normally would – ‘tis the season, after all!
Unfortunately, this can irritate the digestive system and gut, contribute to bloating, acid reflux, trapped wind, constipation, diarrhoea and abdominal pain, as well as triggering symptoms of IBS and skin flare-ups, especially eczema, psoriasis and rosacea. None of which you want at a time when you are supposed to be relaxing and enjoying yourself.
So, what should I do?
To help you make the most of this time of year, I’ve put together a Christmas Survival Guide. It’s a comprehensive resource that will help you strike the balance between letting go and enjoying yourself, but not opening the floodgates entirely on your digestive issues.
I hope the gems of advice in the Guide will help you successfully navigate the Christmas period without undoing all your hard work, and prepare your body for the endless supply of festive food and celebratory drinks.
In it, you’ll find an array of tips that will go a long way to lessen the damage you do to your tummy over the festive season. This isn’t about abstaining from everything, but instead considering what constitutes a sensible approach: stay as active as possible, take long walks between the big meals, drink plenty of water, sip on herbal teas, resist the urge to not pile your plate sky high with all the starchy foods, and choose your indulgences wisely (one mince pie, a couple of chocolates from the box…)
There’s also a helpful section on which foods to eat and which ones to avoid, along with two delicious tummy-friendly recipes, a FODMAP stuffing and gluten-free mince pies.
I also recommend using the supplements in my Christmas Survival Kit, which I developed to help make Christmas what it is meant to be – a time of good cheer, relaxation and celebration. You can read more about what the Kit contains in my next blog post when I explain how you can still have your Christmas cake and eat it.