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Happy Thanksgiving everybody! The national holiday of the 4-day weekend and eating way too much turkey is upon us. Although this is a blog about health and wellness, we all need to indulge every once in a while. And nothing creates the ties that bind like indulging together!

Although it is important to listen to your stomach and back off when it says it has had enough, this is one of the holidays where we tend to test that limit. We must realize that testing limits can come with a price, whether it’s a food-coma or just feeling sluggish for a couple of days.

Traditional Chinese Medicine treats overeating like a trauma that can have lingering effects long after the event has occurred. However, there are some approaches that you can use in order to lessen the negative effects of the amount of food we’re about to eat.

1. Pace yourself over the course of a few hours. Much like lifting weights, it’s easier to lift 20 lbs. twenty times than it is to lift 400 lbs. one time. Over the course of the day or weekend; grab a plate with a moderate portion and eat slowly. Then wait at least 20-30 minute before getting the next plate. Not only will this allow you to eat more over the long run, you will feel much less bloated because your giving your stomach a workload it can handle.

2. Make sure you get enough fluids, but don’t drink until your stomach is sloshing with water. This will keep everything moving and digesting properly and will help you to feel less sluggish.

3. Halve the amount of starches that you eat. They can make you feel bloated and full before you get started. Mashed potatoes, breads, rice, etc…will make you feel full and help to bring on a food coma. The easiest way to make sure you do this is to take the regular amount on your plate and divide the carbs/starches in half. (Always keeping the carbs on your plate, NO DOUBLE-DIPPING!!!) End result, one full carb serving for every two plates.

4. Eat greens! Got peas, green beans, creamed spinach, etc…? The fiber will help moderate sugar levels keeping you out of the food coma.

5. Take Holiday Pills. These tea pills can help you prevent food coma, and get rid of indigestion and bloating before they start! While everyone’s complaining about how much they ate, you’ll be wondering what to have for dessert.

Remember, you’re going to make multiple trips, eat a lot, and feel okay at the end of it. There are limits to everything and even following these steps will not totally guarantee avoiding an upset stomach, food coma, or anything else.

If, however, you do take the policy too far and find yourself in the land of indigestion, stomach upset, headaches, and glean only the terrible side effects of this holiday’s misbehavior; please remember that your friendly neighborhood acupuncturist/herbalist can help bring you back to form with total understanding because we were right there with you doing it too!

Enjoy your holiday! May it be as rejuvenating as it is filling!

Please feel free to leave comments below or e-mail me at palmgrenacu@gmail.com.

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