Holiday Digestion and Alcohol

Don’t worry, don’t hurry, take it easy. That’s already one good formula for an Ayurvedic holiday. Ayurveda focuses on keeping good digestion going and nothing helps gut function better than relaxing. Many tend to relax around a glass of cocktail under the sun. (That’s what I’ve been doing daily for the last week. Yum and Yikes!)

The reality is, though, that a change of environment is going to put the bodymind out of balance. By default, especially if you travel fast to a country with differences in culture, temperature, season, diet, meal timings and microbial exposure your gut is the first to feel it. Even for the most zen like folks, the sum total of these factors can cause constipation or diarrhoea, not to mention gas and bloating. Yeah, the usual unwanted. The imodiums and laxatives are packed in the suitcases of many a traveller.

Two happy women enjoying a relaxing drink on holiday

In addition to the potential gut dysfunction by bad eating habits, there’s the inflammatory effect of alcohol. Beer, wine and spirits can help to relax but only in small doses and taken with food. There’s no denying alcohol can be a good digestive but larger doses are indeed, pretty bad for digestion.

Then, there’s your skin to think about. If you’re travelling to a sunnier and warmer place and intend to sunbathe after a year closed inside four walls between home and office, you better be ready for some serious sun stress. Alcohol makes this problem even worse. Whilst you’re trying not to burn, alcohol might already have inflamed the skin.

The reason I’m writing this article is because there’s plenty you can do before you hit the unwelcome digestive distress. You might be able to enjoy a holiday under the sun without burning the skin, digesting better and having moods that help you to relax.

  • Before you leave, start preparing your skin for the sun with an added dose of chlorophyll, in other words greens. Eat lots of greens, and take green powdered supplements such as chlorella already a week before you leave. Chlorophyl helps the skin to adapt to an increased amount of sun. It might not be helpful on its own and you need added protection but it will create more resilience towards exposure. Greens help you to alkalise and holidays tend to acidify the body. Take tablets aor 1 tsp of chlorella or wheat grass powder am & pm
  • During the holiday, eat greens (yes, as much as you can) and take an added does of green powders such as chlorella, morning and evening. It helps you to digest alcohol, an added support for your liver. Greens are always in season and have a fantastic range of health promoting features. Green salads are especially good as a dinner option, which takes me to the next point:
  • Avoid heavy carbs, especially in the evening. Pizza, pasta, noodles and heavy starches are good at lunch. Go keto by night with salads and proteins
  • Keep cardamom pods in your pocket. They are an excellent help for gas and bloating. Easy to carry and easy to chew
  • Sip hot water when you can, especially in the morning. Make sure you have at least 800ml before lunch, otherwise you might have an unquenchable thirst in the afternoon whilst digesting
  • Massage your abdomen before you get out of bed, circular movements clockwise for 2 mins followed by seeping movements from sternum to pubic bone
  • Avoid coffee on an empty stomach, have hot water and lemon first when you get up
  • Avoid alcohol on an empty stomach, have nuts around if you’re in a bar. Fibre is important for alcohol digestion
  • Avoid sunbathing between 12-3pm. Have a nice hefty lunch then. Eat what you like from the seasonal offer
  • Cinnamon can be a one salvation for the sugar overload. Helps to balance blood sugar levels and is an excellent digestive. Carry powder with you and take 1 tsp am & pm
  • Fractured organic cold pressed coconut oil can act as a as sun block and is a very good after-sun oil
  • If you are constipated, sit in a squat and sip hot water when you wake up. A natural laxative might help such as psyllium husk
  • If you have diarrhoea, you should not try to stop it. Let it come out if it is caused by bacterial imbalance. If it lasts more than three days then take something or see someone. If it is caused by too much alcohol, pomegranates and nutmeg can help to bind the stools

It sounds like a long list but it really isn’t that complicated. Watch when you eat, time it right and be mindful with alcohol consumption. Not all but many, me included, drink more than usual on holidays.  The principle of ayurveda is to combat the effect with the opposite qualities of inflammation. Cool and calm, bitters and astringents that help to are to alkalise in the morning before anything with lemon and chlorella. Have a light breakfast, hefty lunch and for dinner go keto. Keep some cardamon pods with you to boost digestion. Avoid snacking as much as you can and make sure you take 1 tsp of chlorella morning and evening to balance the effect of alcohol. And, above all, don’t forget to relax.

Green powder and digestive aids as lemon and ginger on the table for the morning

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