Overeating is an indulgence we've all come to feel guilty about in Malaysia, where we observe a number of festive occasions with family and friends over delicious food. The open houses we are invited to tend to throw off any good intentions we had of eating in moderation.
Think with your gut
The gut functions like a second brain, affecting our immune system, mental clarity and even our mood. Clearly, it does more than just help us with our digestion. Hence, protecting our gut health during the holiday season ensures we will have a smooth transition back to work and daily life after the festivities.
Managing your diet during the festive season could begin with planning your day of visits or hosting. By paying attention at each visit and eating with awareness, you can actually choose moderate amounts of food at each function you attend to meet the day's nutrition. Try to eat as many fruits and vegetables whenever possible to keep your digestive system running smoothly.
We could also time our visits so that they coincide with the main meals of the day. This is not a glutton's strategy but an acknowledgement that our hosts normally show their hospitality and love through the sharing of meals and dishes they take pride in preparing. They will appreciate your sharing in the meal and will also understand if you tell them you have more homes to visit, but that you are being careful to limit your amounts at each meal.
Too many meals within a short period of time will soon have us bloated, sluggish and feeling not very festive at all.
It's all about moderation
It's always good not to strain the digestive system with large amounts of food. Digestion requires time. Too many meals within a short period of time will soon have us bloated, sluggish and feeling not very festive at all.
If you have chosen a certain food item at one open house, why not avoid the same item at the next venue? That will save you from too much of ingredients like chilli and meats that take longer to digest.
Don't forget to drink right too
It's a good idea to stay away from sugar-laden drinks during the festive season to avoid unsettling your gut. Instead, drink water. Your body needs plenty of fluid to help move waste in your intestinal system. Cultured milk drinks containing probiotics is also a must to restore the good bacteria in your gut after a week of eating.
Overall, a little effort will see us all through the festive seasons in a happy and content mood. And that's really what's important when we celebrate with family and friends.