by guest blogger Stephanie Eckelkamp, senior associate editor at Prevention magazine
We’ve all been there—doubled over in pain after eating five too many Christmas cookies chased with spiked eggnog followed by a generous slab of cranberry- and nut-crusted cheese log. ‘Tis the season…right?! But while overindulging during the holidays is to be expected—and even, I’d argue, perfectly healthy if you otherwise eat a balanced diet—feeling like a bloated, gassy mess is never a good time.
So, what do you do after going a little crazy on that buffalo chicken dip? While you can’t undo the damage completely, you can load up on certain foods and drinks that will help counter the effects of your junk binge and get your digestion back on track. For me, getting back to feeling great is a two-step process:
Step 1: When I get home from whatever belly-bloating bash I’ve just attended, I typically brew myself a mug of ginger or peppermint tea. That’s because both are anti-spasmodic, which is a fancy way of saying that they relax the muscles in your digestive tract and allow gas to pass through more easily, preventing those sharp, stabbing pains. Whew!
Step 2: The following morning, I’ll make myself a green smoothie packed with an array of stomach-soothing foods. The blend below tastes great, and each individual ingredient helps you feel better and helps get your digestion back on track. Here’s how…
- Parsley: The herb is a natural diuretic that helps flush excess fluid from your system, which you retain after overdoing it on high-sodium foods.
- Banana & Coconut Water: The potassium in bananas and coconut water helps rid your body of belly-bloating sodium and excess water—perfect after a salt binge.
- Yogurt: Over time, eating probiotic-rich foods like yogurt can help address bacterial imbalances in your gut that may be causing gas and bloating.
Post-Holiday Party Detox Smoothie
- 1 cup loosely packed fresh parsley
- 1 cup plain yogurt
- 1 cup coconut water
- 1 frozen banana
Combine all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth. Pour into 2 glasses.
Try it out, and let us know how you feel!
Stephanie Eckelkamp is a senior associate editor at Prevention magazine covering food and nutrition, and a certified holistic-health coach. She’s obsessed with her pup Milo and loves to get a little crazy in the kitchen. For more from Stephanie, visit StephEckelkamp.com.