To help you see the silly season through without too much damage on the health front, here are some tips…

* To save yourself from the (mostly!) inevitable Chrissy ‘bloat’, ensure that you eat a few smaller meals throughout the day rather than nothing and then one massive meal. Having just one huge meal can lead to wind, bloating and indigestion.

* Chewing is the critical first step in digestion. It tells the brain to start secreting things like saliva. Without this, the food reaches the tummy essentially having skipped step 1 of digestion and attempting to go straight to step 2. This does not make for a very happy gut. Chew, chew, chew is one of the best things you can do..

* Even the simple action of being upright (as opposed to laying like a sunning lizard on the couch!) whilst you digest your food is helpful. Going for a short stroll will be better than immediately plonking yourself into a horizontal position too.. why not chase the young ones around the backyard a couple of times and THEN plonk yourself down.. If there are no young ones to chase, walk around the house / backyard a couple of times and then plonk..

* I often advise my clients to take some slippery elm (a type of fibre – the powdered form of this can be bought in most health food shops and even some supermarkets – you’ll find it in the health food section) half an hour before meals. It will help you to feel fuller so you’re not inclined to eat so much.. It can also help your digestive system by aiding with reflux, inflammation in your gut and gastritis.

* A liver tonic. Lets face it – our poor liver must cringe at the thought of Christmas! All that heavy eating and flushing it down with alcohol.. We sell a few Liver Potions at Saltuary.. we’ve proudly labelled them ‘Give Me Mercy’, ‘Hangover Help’ and a few other creative names.. Be sure to pick your up your potion before we close up for the year!

* Digestive enzymes are another saviour at times of merry celebration (aka ‘overeating!’). They help to break down your food – kind of ‘supercharging’ your body’s digestive processes. These are widely available and of course we carry a good quality brand at Saltuary.

* Probiotics are the last suggestion I’ll add.. These are the good bacteria throughout your entire gastrointestinal tract. There are over 400 strains of them residing in there. When the healthy balance of these is disrupted – your get gut symptoms like bloating, wind etc. When supplementing with these guys – always opt for a good quality brand. We stock practitioner only ones here that have undergone rigourous testing to ensure they are the real deal. I’ve recently had a tummy bug (I don’t make a very good patient I’ve discovered!) and have double dosed on these guys to get rid of it. My tummy now = happy!

With luv.. tiina xx