5 Tips to Feel Great after Thanksgiving Dinner - Ayurveda | Everyday Ayurveda

5 Tips to Feel Great after Thanksgiving Dinner

By on November 26, 2015

It’s Thanksgiving! Here are a couple of great tips to make sure you feel energetic and vibrant after all that food.

Tip One: Eat When the Fire is Hot

One of the nice things about a Thanksgiving meal is that it is typically in the early afternoon, when the digestive fire burns hottest!

According to Ayurveda, the digestion is the strongest in the afternoon and the best time to be filling the tank to capacity. So try not to have that big turkey dinner at night when the cooks have gone home and your digestive fire is the weakest.

Tip Two: Chat and Chew

It is not a bad idea to eat a very light and balanced breakfast that day, so by the time the big meal comes you have fully digested breakfast and are ready to fill up.

Be careful though, if you sit down to that table starving, you risk inhaling your food and after hours of preparation you are stuffed to the gills in under 10 minutes. The key here is to eat slowly! Relax and dine! Force yourself to put the fork down and chat while you chew.

The more time you give yourself to chew and relax, the more your stomach will gracefully expand and allow you to comfortably continue to enjoy your Thanksgiving meal without overeating. If you eat fast, the meal will hit you like a rock and you will find yourself spending much of the afternoon on the couch.

Tip Three: Stoke the Furnace

Use these simple tricks to jump-start digestion before your big meal:

  1. Drink a tall glass of water 20 minutes before starting the meal. This will pre-hydrate your stomach wall, which is lined with an acid buffer that is 80% water. The more water, the better the buffer and the more acid your stomach will produce to enjoy more food.
  2. You can add a little salt and pepper to this glass of water to further stoke the digestive fire.
  3. Sip some ginger tea while you are eating, or sip it during the 20-30 minutes prior to the meal to stoke the fire.
  4. If you happen to have some trikatu or our Warm Digest formula on hand, take 1 or 2 capsules with that pre-meal glass of water. If you don’t have any trikatu or Warm Digest, slice some ginger into dime-sized pieces and sprinkle them with salt and a squeeze of lemon. Eat 2 or 3 before you feast for a palpable digestive boost!

Tip Four: After Dinner-Tricks

There is an old Ayurvedic strategy to lie on your left side for 10 to 15 minutes after a large meal. This is not an all afternoon siesta, but a short rest on the left side to allow the stomach to empty gracefully and effortlessly.

The stomach is on the left side of the belly and empties from left to right into the small intestine. By lying on the left side, you allow the stomach to hang freely and contract naturally to move the food through when it is all properly digested.

If you lie on the right side or get up too soon, the food is hurried and forced out of the stomach prematurely by gravity. This can cause ingestion and, after a big meal like Thanksgiving, it can cause some gas pains!

After your short rest on the left side (or some serious table leaning to the left) after the meal, it’s time for a nice relaxing walk. Pray for nice weather!

Tip Five: Digestive No-No’s

  • Don’t drink cold or iced water with this meal!
  • Take a few minutes to relax, get settled, and say some form of blessing or grace before eating. Do not start eating until you are really settled, calm and ready to eat and enjoy each bite with awareness!
  • Don’t watch TV while eating.
  • Don’t eat standing up.
  • Don’t pig out on bread first. It is heavy and hard to digest and before you know it, you will be full!

Most of all, make it a special time with friends and family and be grateful for all that we have!

Bon appétit!


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About Dr John Douillard

Dr. John Douillard, DC, CAP, is a globally recognized leader in the fields of natural health, Ayurveda, and sports medicine. He is the creator of LifeSpa.com, the leading Ayurvedic health and wellness resource on the web. LifeSpa.com is evolving the way Ayurveda is understood around the world, with over 700 articles and videos proving ancient wisdom with modern science. Dr. John is the former Director of Player Development for the New Jersey Nets NBA team, author of 6 books, a repeat guest on the Dr. Oz show, and featured in Woman’s World Magazine, Huffington Post, Yoga Journal and dozens of other publications. He directs LifeSpa, the 2013 Holistic Wellness Center of the year, in Boulder, CO. For more information visit www.lifespa.com.

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