Natural Health Blog

On Turkey Day, Keep It Simple (Especially If Your Under the Weather)


Ok, so now over-eating on Turkey Day contributes to illness? WHAT NEXT?

You can't drink the water, breath the air or eat food without there being some danger in it these days. Yes, true- it can be a bit bleak out there. However what I'm referring to specifically is food combining, how the body digests food and how it relates to this time of year when everyone and their grandmother is fighting off some "bug". 

So what the heck am I talking about? Food Combining. Food combining is the concept of eating certain foods together and avoiding other food combinations so that they digest easily, without or with less gas and with best assimilation of nutrients contained therein. 

When you eat too many different foods in one sitting, i.e. Thanksgiving or Christmas, your birthday or other festive event, your body gets REALLY tired after the meal. Ever notice this phenomenon? This is because your body is trying like HECK to digest 10 different foods all at once. Each requiring a different set of gastric juices, enzymes etc.

The body really needs to work hard to produce all these gastric juices- putting a massive demand on your body physiological. This is more of a demand than running, having sex or cleaning out the basement. Your body MUST deal with these foods- there is no choice in the matter. Your body expels this energy to digest your food.

This energy used to fascilitate digestion was being used to walk, talk, think and be engaged in the world- before you ate stuffing, cranberry sauce, turkey, ham, a roll, green been casserole, mashed potatoes with gravy and of course pie with whipped cream. Lord- that is exactly 10 foods there and that seems pretty realistic for Thanksgiving, no? 

When the body is busy digesting massive amounts of food like this- many of which will take almost 12 hours to break down in the stomach and intestinal tract- the body simply can't contend as well with illness.

It's a simple concept- too many balls in the air at once and your body is bound to drop one. The body is the ultamate multitasker- don't get me wrong! But there are limitations. If you've been fighting off a bug in the last week or more, the last thing you want to do is crack out on food, sugar or alcohol. It could be the 1-2 punch that your immune system takes that puts you down for the count. Less is more. 

Ok, On with it- What are these rules I speak of: 

  • The first rule of food combining that i have to say I stick to NO MATTER WHAT anymore is the rule of fruit. Fruit should always, always, ALWAYS be eaten on an empty stomach. Fruit digests the fastest. So don't want to eat a meal and then reach for fruit salad as what happens is fruit ends up not properly digesting- as it's sitting on top of turkey and stuffing let's say. Fruit that sits around in the stomach not getting digested and then moving on to the small intestine ferments and causes bloating, smelly gas and makes you in general just feel like poo. 
  • The next rule of food combining that i can't say that I strictly adhere to but that I'm now conscious of and do try to follow now is this: There are food "concentrates". These are dense foods like meat, potatoes, bread, any sort of starch really and dairy. These foods are pretty easy to pick out of lineup really if you think about it. They are protein and or calorically dense therefore they are considered "concentrates". Try to limit the amount of food concentrates you have on Turkey Day. This will help you to digest better, not feel like a bloated dead animal after the meal, and perhaps help you to stave off a 2 hour nap during the Thanksgiving day parade. (unless you want to nap then- I totally understand you there!)
  • The third rule (there are many more but let's keep it simple), is "The More Simple The Meal, The Better I Feel". Let this perhaps be a mantra for you if your trying not to overeat this holiday season. It's the Gods' honest truth. 

Here's an example of a trimmed down thanksgiving day meal that will help you to not feel so bogged down. 

  • First of all- wait till your REALLY hungry to eat. This is your body saying "hey- I'm ready to digest!"
  • Pick just one meat: let's say it's Turkey.
  • Limit the amount of liquid you consume during the meal- this dilutes stomach acids. 
  • Skip the mashed potatoes and go hog-wild on some green bean casserole.
  • Eat a big helping of salad with all the fixins and a dressing you like. 
  • Skip the roll- think of the pie your going to have and it might just be worth it. 
  • Wait approximately 30-60 minutes and then enjoy pie! Whipped cream and the whole nine yards. Giving your body a chance to digest the first round is ALWAYS a good idea. 

These are just suggestions- obviously if you just gotta have a dinner roll- don't feel bad about it. Bless it- and ENJOY every bite! Worse than improper food combining is feeling guilt, shame or self-loathing over eating the wrong food or too much of it. These are only suggestions to help you feel better post Thanksgiving day, to allow your body to keep the immune system online and to make you think about what is really happening inside when we eat. I hope you found it helpful!

Happy Thanksgiving Week Friends!