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Tips to successfully overcome the Christmas holidays

Advice for you and your digestions. Neither eat nor drink as if there was no tomorrow

So that we are going to deceive ourselves. Christmas parties are the most controversial. You either hate them or you love them. But you know who else is afraid of them? Your body. Yes Yes. As much as you enjoy the feasts of each holiday, you cannot deny that for more than a year you have surely ended up stuffed and with a post-Christmas week on a diet. And it is that, in a matter of a few days, we eat the unspeakable, as if there were no tomorrow, and very consistent dishes at any time. In addition, these are usually made up of indigestible foods, even for dinner . Mixing cold, frozen and hot and garnishing it with numerous sweets and drinks. That is, during these dates, we generate an explosive mixture for our digestive system , even several times in the same day. Not to mention the meals that last until dinner time snacking, or after dinner with the famous snort. Many times you have not finished digesting when you are already starting with the next meal. Therefore, even if it costs, saying no when they make you repeat for the third time is a very good option for your digestive health. In the same way that it is not to succumb to the temptations present at the table and that are usually flour, refined and with a large amount of sugar. If we do not, we will cause:
  • Inflammation
  • Digestive discomfort such as heaviness, abdominal swelling, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, constipation, acid reflux, gas and stomach pain (gastralgia)
  • Increased body fat
  • Saturated liver full of toxins
  • Intestinal microbiota alteration
  • Fluid retention
  • sweating

What to take into account in festive meals?

The amount

The stomach does not understand holidays or normal days, so introducing into a meal what you would eat in a day generates an overexertion in its task of metabolizing food and numerous toxins that other organs, such as the liver or kidney , they should remove. Avoid the yo-yo effect . You know, eating a few meals in one sitting and then skipping the next meal. This is usually very common, as is the two or three days between the first batch of festivities and the following ones based on broths and/or fruits. If you have to choose one of the two, broths are much better because of their hot nature, but keep in mind that this does not do your digestive system any good. We make him work piecework and then we keep him without a livelihood! First we collapse it so it won't properly extract the nutrients and then we don't give it this food. The poor thing will do what he can with the hodgepodge we've put in him. Obviously, if you've gone too far at one meal, and feel stuffed, it's a good idea to go for something lighter at the next . However, with a little forethought, and eating the usual amount of food these days, it doesn't have to happen to you.


Stop at some point! It is logical that these days we lengthen the duration of the meal a bit, but combining it with the next one does not do your organs any good. The best thing to do, especially if you are at home, is to clear the table to avoid visual stimuli . Also keep in mind, the days that you get up very late, how to manage the different meals that you will have during the day. Maybe you can think about having a cleansing smoothie if in an hour or two you are going to eat with the family again.

do exercise

type of dishes

Avoid excessively processed dishes , with many sauces, batters, flours (bechamel, pasta, quiché...) and very loaded with respect to the amount you usually eat , as well as snacking too much. Logically, if you don't prepare the menu yourself, it may be difficult for you to completely give up this type of preparation, but try to reach a balance with the rest of the dishes you eat if the main course is like this. And if you really know that you don't feel good at all, ask for the sauces to be put on the side and avoid the most processed proposals.

Say no to ice cream and frozen foods

And if we eat dairy ice cream, we already have the perfect cocktail to have a good indigestion. Eating cold food at this time of year, the maximum Yin, which needs warmer food, greatly disturbs your digestive system. Therefore, avoid or reduce the excessive amount of frozen products that you eat on these festivities.

Types of food

These days we consume more food than what we usually eat, as well as others that we normally try to avoid because we know that they do not make us feel good. There are certain types of food that tend to generate more indigestion or digestive discomfort than others, such as:

fatty and unhealthy

They contain the so-called saturated and trans fats: sausages, margarines, butter, fatty meats, fried appetizers and sauces with oils such as mayonnaise or alioli, most pastries, cookies and industrial nougats, prepared food, fatty and dairy cheeses of animal origin . Trans fats increase levels of "bad" cholesterol (LDL) and also lower those of "good" cholesterol (HDL).


At this time, the amount of dairy that is ingested is usually increased (snacks or stuffed with cheeses, sauces such as bechamel, nougat, etc.). As we have already seen, in addition to the fats they contain, they generate an acidification of the organism and contain proteins that an increasing number of people are not digesting properly. My proposal is that you reduce the amount of dairy you eat these days, or at least do not increase it , to avoid the amount of symptomatology that is associated with the peak of discomfort after these holidays. There are numerous options on the market to replace them as vegetable drinks for sauces, such as the more neutral ones made of soy or oats or almonds for sweeter desserts, preparations based on nuts to replace cheeses, etc. Consult your doctor or nutritionist in the event that you have any underlying pathology.


These days the consumption of meat also tends to increase, which, as we will see later, acidifies our body and generates heavier digestions , especially in people with a weakened digestive system (in Chinese Medicine we talk about Spleen/Stomach insufficiency), since it requires more quantity. of kinetic (Qi, movement) and heat (Yang) energy to be digested. In addition, in people with Liver Qi blockade (very strung, irritable, with emotional lability, headaches in the area of ​​the ears and vertex of the head or with photosensitivity, discomfort in the diaphragm and numerous sighs), it is usually recommended to avoid it. or reduce it due to the Yang energy associated with its consumption, which causes an increase in internal "heat" from the Chinese vision and can accentuate or worsen these symptoms. There are various options to replace meat dishes such as soybeans, textured peas or jackfruit for cannelloni, croquettes or fillings, grain legumes, Heüra, tofu, tempeh , vegetable burgers, etc.


Especially present in desserts (nougat, marzipan or cookies) and in alcoholic beverages, they also acidify the body and alter the microbiota . If it were possible for you to make your pastries, it would be great, but if it is not possible, buy those products with less amount of sugar and more handmade . In addition, I also advocate moderation , especially if the meal has been copious and you know that half a table of nougat will not go down well, no matter how rich it is.


The problem is not only drinking more, but the mixture of different alcoholic beverages that are taken (mostly with a large amount of sugar) and doing so after a wide variety of foods. Alcohol is also acidifying and also generates a contractive energy in our body . It is a very Yin substance, like sugars and dairy products, which increases internal heat sources. From Western Medicine it is said that it generates vasodilation of the blood capillaries, reducing body temperature. This is how we generate heat loss, which we will have to compensate for later and, in addition, we make our liver work twice as hard , which is in charge of metabolizing this alcohol. And although this is the main organ to break it down, 1% is eliminated through the kidneys, alcohol alters the renal hormonal mechanisms and unbalances the electrolytes , consequently producing changes in heart rate, blood pressure, muscle cramps, weakness overall, etc). Likewise, it has been seen that alcoholic beverages and their sugars unbalance the intestinal microbiota , so if you suffer from intestinal dysbiosis, or candida, abusing them is not a good idea. So keep in mind what you consume and do it in moderation , avoiding mixing too much.

Gluten-containing foods

Although many people do not have celiac disease, they have developed some sensitivity and tend to avoid or usually eat a reduced amount of gluten. If this is your case, keep this in mind if these days you inconsiderately increase the amount of gluten in just two weeks. Maybe if you notice digestive discomfort such as bloating, gas, muscle aches or headaches they come from this increase in gluten.


Also watch the number of foods or the amount that you add to the dishes ( you can replace it with spices ), since it can cause an increase in blood pressure and the risk of heart disease, fluid retention, favors overweight and alters the renal system (the release of vasopressin, an antidiuretic hormone, raises blood pressure). It is also contraindicated in cases of osteoporosis, that is, it favors the elimination of calcium.


Take probiotics such as kombucha, miso, water kefir, vegetable yogurts with ferments and calcium, sauerkraut and tempeh to give your intestinal microbiota a joy .

Foods that acidify our body

As Dr. Rafael Cepa affirms, rather than talking about foods that acidify or alkalize the blood, whose pH remains more or less constant thanks to the different cellular mechanisms that make it possible, we should talk about foods that cause the start of different processes to maintain this pH in equilibrium . Therefore, if we continually eat acidic foods, the body is always subjected to an extra workload, which can lead to osteoporosis, muscle weakness, high blood pressure or anxiety. Some mechanisms that help balance this pH are the mobilization of renal calcium, the use of muscle glutamine and the generation of more frequent breathing to excrete more carbon dioxide. The foods that acidify our body are:
  • Refined foods such as flour (pasta, cookies, nougat, lasagna).
  • Sugars (confectionery and industrial fruit juices).
  • Food of animal origin (especially red meat, sausages, dairy products, eggs).
  • Coffee, alcohol, soft drinks, cocoa and shellfish. The latter also have the handicap of being frozen as we have already seen.

Eastern wisdom says no to dairy and excess meat


From the Chinese point of view, dairy products with a sweet flavor and a cold or neutral nature favor Spleen/Stomach dysfunction at an energetic level . Something that, of course, can end up translating into physical symptoms such as:
  • body heaviness
  • Drowsiness
  • frontal headaches
  • Bad memory
  • poor concentration
  • Excess mucus
  • diarrhea
  • Fluid retention
  • Fatigue
  • abdominal swelling
  • Oily skin
This is especially important when you are already weak by constitution, a poor nutritional diet, excessive mental work, irregular hours or you are continuous, which damages the energetic liver and, in turn, acts on the digestive system. Example that happens when we are nervous and have more swelling, heartburn, nausea or gas.


Meat has Yang energy, so its excess can generate internal heat, as well as unbalance energy or Liver Qi, blocking it . In Western terms we could talk about a liver with many toxins, which accentuates or causes:
  • Irritability
  • Trouble sleeping or numerous dreams
  • bruxism
  • muscle contractures
  • Stomach problems such as heartburn, bloating, constipation, food stagnation or heavy digestions.

Yoga and Christmas. Purifying action.

twisting asana

To favor the activity of our digestive system, we can perform these twisting asanas both before and after eating . These will stretch the abdominal fascia, stimulating intestinal activity by mobilizing the diaphragm, where the corners of our intestine are held. They can be done sitting ( Adha Matsyendrasana ) or lying down ( Supta Matsyendrasana with one leg bent and the other straight, Jathara Parivartanasana with legs bent and together or crossed). Remember to always do both sides. Other options that we can do, although better before eating, would be Balasana (which compresses the abdominal area), Parivrtta Prasarita Padottanasana (standing with legs open, one hand touching the ground and the other hand facing the ceiling, leaving the torso turned towards that side), Parivrtta Utkatasana (with the legs bent, the palms of the hands together, the triceps, which is supported on the opposite leg), Parivrtta Utthita Parsvokanasana , Parivritta trikonasana and Parivritta Tadasana (standing, open your arms in a cross , or place your hands on your hips on your hips, and turn to the side only the torso, feet pointing forward). "Parivrtta" means "turned, rotated, torsion", and that is exactly what we are interested in doing a little massage to our digestive organs and getting our batteries back on track.

conscious breaths

Abdominal breaths and full breaths, using the three parts of our torso: abdomen, ribs and collarbones, can benefit digestion. These can be done before and after meals .

Circular massage on the abdomen

You can make a big circle or make small circles in the navel, and gradually enlarge that circle. Do it for 5-10 minutes after meals .

Mudras: a position that helps you digest

samana mudra

From the yogic tradition, this mudra, or hand position, is considered to activate the digestive energy or Samana vayu. Too easy! Bring all your fingertips together, close your eyes, and bring your attention to all the digestive organs. You can leave your hands resting on the knees or bring them towards the spleen/stomach, directing the fingertips towards them. If you know them, practice it before eating to activate digestive energy with Kapalabhati pranayama (breath of fire) or Uddiyana bandha . If you do it after eating, do not add these techniques. And if you have never practiced them, simply breathe slowly and deeply, gently moving the abdomen .

pushan mudra

If you have eaten more than necessary, and you have problems in the upper part of your stomach (burping, swelling in the pit of your stomach or heartburn), join the pads of your thumb, index and middle fingers of your right hand. The rest of the fingers are stretched. Leave your hand relaxed in this position on your right knee. If, on the other hand, you have some alteration of the lower digestive tract (gas, rumbling, constipation or diarrhea), join the tips of the thumb, ring finger and little finger of the right hand. The rest of the fingers are stretched. Rest your hand in this position on your knee. In both cases, join the thumb, middle, and ring fingers of the left hand. I wish you to enjoy these Christmas holidays and that they pass without consequence for your digestions. A hug, Marta Manero


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