Survive the Season

survive-the-seasonThe holidays are at once a spirited and for many, stressful, time of the year. There’s plenty of excitement and lots to look forward to: family and friends flying in; gift giving and receiving and some holiday ‘cheer.’  And with those tempting spirits, think Christmas punch, festive champagne cocktails and warming hard ciders, it’s possible to overdo and your body may pay the price.

Alcohol, while enjoyable and often a stress reliever, causes more stress on the body than many are aware, or willing to admit. The infamous hangover isn’t the only symptom that is a common result of excessive or binge drinking. Along with extremely high sugar and acidity levels, which feeds bad bacteria, yeast and micro-organisms, alcohol, causes severe dehydration the definition of a hangover.

In addition, alcohol contains chemicals that cancel out and kill off water soluble nutrients. Water soluble nutrients are B vitamins, amino acids, minerals and certain antioxidants like vitamin C, they are used for all bodily functions, including (but not limited to) brain function and memory retention, digestive function, food enzyme production,  energy levels, muscle repair and growth, bone strength, and more.

The key to anti-aging and disease prevention is to add the same, if not more, nutrients into the body as are lost. Stress alone can cause huge drops in energy levels due to how much nutrient utilization is expelled during high-stress situations.  The combination of alcohol and stress deplete the body of much needed nutrients. Therefore, supplementing with bio-available Co-enzyme or Phosphorylated B Vitamins, organic liquid minerals, whole food based amino acids from super foods like Moringa Oleifera can help balance out the body in times of need.

A body must be adequately hydrated especially on those holiday party nights where there’s likely to be quite a few cocktails. Drinking a minimum of 30 to 32 fluid ounces of water with fresh-squeezed lemon or minerals before bed can help to fight off that hangover. The morning after is the opportune time to hydrate once again with pure, organic coconut water (not from concentrate) or water with trace minerals (one drop of minerals for every two fluid ounces, minimum).

Processed or refined sugars are another big concern when it comes to the holidays. What can be temporarily satisfying now can quickly turn into long term regret later. For a new twist on things, look into alternative baking techniques with natural sugar substitutes. For example, Monk fruit extract, non GMO Xylitol and liquid Stevia extract (or TRUVIA ®) are all low-glycemic, zero-calories and chemical-free. Not all taste buds are the same, and for some these alternatives can seemingly alter the tastes of traditional holiday treats. For those unwilling to let go of traditionally sweetened treats, pure non-irradiated cinnamon extract is an excellent alternative to explore this holiday season.  For years it has been known to assist with stabilizing blood sugar and glycemic levels, while providing a natural sweetness of its own. The taste of cinnamon isn’t for everyone, so there’s always the option of taking it in supplement form.

For many, the greatest challenge during the holidays is quite simply this: overindulgence. It’s so easy to have that second helping of mashed potatoes or third (or fourth) cookie. And everyone’s done it: straight to the couch to sleep it off.  Here’s the thing; food is fuel, and fuel provides energy. If it’s straight to the couch after a big holiday dinner then it’s likely the meal was consumed too quickly (with too much on the plate) and/or whatever was eaten was not compatible with the body, blood and metabolic type. Or, the various food combinations on that plate overwhelmed the digestive system and have slowed down the absorption and energy production process.

Food combining has become an increasingly successful technique to aid in a smooth digestion process. It decreases chances of bloating, gas, acid reflux, indigestion and helps the body absorb foods properly; having an increase in energy levels and assisting in battling chronic fatigue. The concept is simple: our bodies were not made to be able to handle different types of food groups and molecules all at once. Depending on the food group, the body will produce a specific type of enzyme to break down the food molecule into its simplest form, which in turn is how your body produces ATP (energy). Some of these enzymes were not meant to interact with each other. For example, Proteas (the enzyme that breaks down proteins) deactivates Amylase (the enzyme that breaks down starches and carbs) therefore neither food molecule properly breaks down. This can cause a series of symptoms including feeling full too fast, not having enough bowel movements a day, fatigue and long term digestive discomfort.

Looking at the evolution of the human body, humans primarily survived off grazing and consuming raw foods, typically one type of food at a time. Today, the human body has to deal with an abundance of different food groups that are cooked, therefore the naturally-occurring enzymes once available are now dead, causing your body to take on the task of breaking it down, which can cause digestion problems including symptoms of indigestion such as constipation, diarrhea, and acid reflux, for example. THe

With food combining there are specific rules to follow when creating a plate or cooking meals. The Food Combining Chart demonstrates how food combining works. For individuals who are unable to fully follow the ground rules of proper food combining, the next best thing is to add a digestive enzyme supplement with every meal and a Lacto/Bifido multi-stranded high count probiotic before bed time. These supplements assist the body with fully breaking down foods and help the body eliminate on a regular basis.

There’s no need to deprive yourself during the holidays as long as you understand how the body reacts and its limits. So eat, drink and be merry, wisely and in moderation.

Jaqlyn Tinaro carries a degree and certifications in Orthomolecular & Sports Nutrition, Bright field and Dark field microscopy (live blood analysis) and Dry Layer oxidative stress testing. For more information go to VirtueOfHealth.com , call 941-724-6399 or email her at VirtueOfHealth48@gmail.com.