9 Ways to Protect Your Gut from Holiday Horrors

Woman In Red SweaterThe holiday season is officially upon us and that means we are going to be experiencing the usual whirlwind of emotions that this time of the year brings. Getting your schedule in order and everything you need to do to prepare takes the front seat to the rest of your life, and that means that your focus on health often takes a back burner. 

If you don’t want to risk losing your gut health to the holiday craziness, then grab a cup of tea and hang out here for the next few minutes while we help you prepare your gut for everything you’re about to endure. We, at Atrantil, want to help you maintain health while taking care of all that is on your (literal and figurative) plate.

What about the holidays that can affect your gut?

To protect your gut, first, you need to understand what kind of forces you’re up against — what kind of things make a difference in your microbiome. 

During the holidays there are a few big things that alter your lifestyle and therefore your gut. The main things to watch out for are:

  • Routine changes
  • Lack of sleep
  • Increased alcohol consumption
  • Less exercise
  • More (and usually more unhealthy) food
  • Additional stress
  • Traveling

When things change in your life — even if they’re yearly and planned for — they can throw your whole body out of whack. If your body is used to exercising, eating healthfully, and sleeping the same hours every night, changing those things sends it into a form of shock. Your microbiome is affected by all of these things as well which is why you may notice differences in your bowel movements during this time of the year. 

So how can we balance out all of these alterations in our lifestyles to accommodate our health?

1. Stick to a similar sleep/wake routine

Going to visit with family and friends can mean early mornings for travel and late nights of laughs and making memories. Most times this is unavoidable, but try your best to stick to your normal sleep routine. Proper amounts of sleep help your intestinal tract to stay tight and gut microbes balanced. Enough sleep has been linked to having a more robust (and therefore healthier) quantity of microbes in your gut.

Sleeping enough also helps you manage stress better for when you have to deal with those who you aren’t as keen on seeing this holiday season.

2. Continue doing some form of exercise as frequently as you normally do

Even if it is just going for a quick walk around the neighborhood or 30 minutes of yoga, getting your body moving is going to be important to keep your mind clear and your gut healthy. Run around with your younger family members as a way to have fun, connect with your family, and still keep your gut happy. Exercise can also help you to manage stress and release the tension you may feel this time of year.

3. Set aside time to journal and for mindfulness

This may not be something that is part of your everyday routine, but it can help tremendously during more chaotic times. Write down a list of things that are stressing you out and a list of things you are thankful for. Jot down things you need to remember to do and things you want to do. 

This time where you can set your intentions and think through all the thoughts that rattle around in your head can help you to relax a little more than you’d expect. 

4. Plan for stressful situations and meditate on them

We all know what things tend to stress us out during the holiday season. To deal with these things we often think about it and stress more about it until that time arrives. Then generally it isn’t as bad as we had imagined it would be. Then next year do the same thing, but we still tend to stress about it anyway.

Instead of staying in a fearful/negative mindset about these situations, it helps to meditate on them and figure out a way that you can make it better. To do this:

  1. Sit in a quiet space and think about the troubling situation.
  2. Allow the negative thoughts to come in and acknowledge them.
  3. Turn the negative thoughts into a positive way to react to the situation. 
  4. Continue envisioning yourself being calm, happy, and unbothered by the situation.

As you do this more frequently, you’ll find it easier to get to the happy place. In the beginning, it will be difficult, but if you make this a regular practice it can help you significantly.

 

5. Hit up the vegetable tray

Make sure you get your healthy foods in during snacking times prior to meals. During a meal, you will likely opt for all of your favorites and then after want the delicious, sugar-filled treats for dessert. Getting your fruits and vegetables in can help you to eat a little less during dinner and provide you with prebiotics, polyphenols, and postbiotics to help keep your gut healthy

6. Go nuts!

Nuts and seeds are a great source of polyphenols, prebiotics, postbiotics, protein, and healthy fats. All of these things help you to feel less hungry and protect your gut from anything else you’re going to eat. 

7. Take Atrantil

Atrantil was created to maintain and improve gut health. It provides you with health-boosting polyphenols and postbiotics just like the healthy foods we listed above. Atrantil can be what makes this your best holiday season yet. Just double-check with your doctor before adding any new supplements to your routine, then grab yours here!

8. Make wise decisions with sweets and alcohol

The sweets and alcohol will be tempting, just make sure to partake in them mindfully when you do. Eating mindfully means that you’re tasting your food, noticing the textures, and actually realizing what you’re putting into your body. By noticing these things, your brain can take note that you have eaten and actually aren’t hungry when you’re reaching for another cookie or glass of eggnog. 

9. Be a smart traveler

Traveling is a big part of this season. Make sure to be prepared while you’re traveling this season. Things to keep in mind while traveling are:

  • Keep healthy snacks on hand so you aren’t tempted by unhealthy or fast foods
  • Socially distance yourself when possible and keep masks and hand sanitizer on hand (wash hands with soap and water as a preferable method of ridding yourself of germs)
  • Plan your trips out to avoid unnecessary stress
  • Stay hydrated during your trips — just plan for restroom breaks along the way (your health isn’t worth you getting somewhere 30 minutes faster)

Keeping your gut safe sounds like a lot of work, but when you become mindful of your actions it becomes easier to take care of your gut and mental health. Share this article with an accountability buddy so you can ensure your guts’ safety this holiday season.

9 Ways to Protect Your Gut from Holiday Horrors9 Ways to Protect Your Gut from Holiday Horrors