Find out how to make it through the holidays with no stomach pains and without gaining weight!

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Winter holidays in Romania can be defined by excessive eating, no sleeping at night and fatigue. To avoid stomach problems during the holidays, when everyone eats (yes, even me!) a bit more fat food than the usual, it is necessary to take certain precautions. In short: eat healthier, reduce smoking, eat more citrus and get enough rest!

Since the body tends to accumulate energy it’s likely we’ll gain some extra pounds! Although this period is not suitable for diets, it would be best if you didn’t eat too much fat and you didn’t drink too much alcohol. Chocolate, excess fat and meat are the biggest enemies of digestion.
The traditional menu abounds with specialties of cooked pork, boeuf salad with mayonnaise, sour cream, cheese, pickles, hot spices, home baked or industrial sweets. All these dishes can trigger biliary colic, can lead to indigestion; if the food is altered, food poisoning can occur. It’s known that a high-fat meal, sprinkled with lots of alcohol may trigger acute pancreatitis which requires hospitalization. Avoid combining these foods at one meal!

Here are some recommended food products that have animal proteins: chicken, pheasant, pork (preferably Romanian pig breeds), fish (mackerel, sardines, herring, salmon, carp, trout). Cheese products are not recommended during winter because cheese is hard to digest. During the fasting period you are sometimes allowed to eat cheese.

The best treatment for indigestion is the rigorous food hygiene, avoid heavy meals, discussions during meals and physical exercise immediately after eating. Chew food carefully and completely, do not rush to the table!

Cereals are recommended during this period because they provide energy. Eat wheat, durum wheat, spelt, kamut, rice, oatmeal, millet, quinoa, amaranth, buckwheat. You should maintain a constant intake of natural vitamin C in combination with other compounds, natural enhancers, such as flavonoids, found in citrus fruits, hawthorn fruit, apples, pears. During winter, pickles and especially traditional sauerkraut (not industrial canned vegetables in vinegar) are a good source of vitamin C and probiotic bacteria for healthy people who are not on a low sodium diet.

Winter vegetables are the richest in vitamins and minerals: pumpkins, artichokes, white radish, leek, fennel, beets, chicory, endive, cauliflower, onions and potatoes. Here are some examples of recommended fruits: apples, pears, citrus fruits, rose hips. During winter you should eat raw nuts and peanuts. You can also take food supplements and drink teas rich in vitamins and natural minerals. In order to support  the immune function you should eat foods or supplements that are rich in selenium, zinc, Brazilian nuts, seafood, dried plums.

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More tips on how to become a smart drinker

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Since parties and celebrations always come up I think you may feel like having a drink or two, so here’s how to do it so that you’ll feel better and you won’t put your health at risk.

Alcohol has the ability to inhibit the activity of both digestive enzymes and some metabolic enzymes. The only alimentary alcohol are alcohol and alcoholic beverages obtained by fermentation (beer, vodka, wine, whiskey, cider, calvados, cognac, brandy, or alcohol based on fermentation of agricultural origin: liqueurs, bitters etc.) and not alcoholic drinks based on synthetic ethyl gasoline.

YOU MUST NOT:
-    drink alcohol on an empty stomach in the first part of the day
-    mix alcoholic drinks with energy drinks, drugs or medicines.

YOU SHOULD:
-    eat solid and hard to digest foods (eg. bread and butter) to slow down alcohol absorption and drunkenness
-    if you have a drink during dinner, than you should have food that is nutritious, rich in vitamins, minerals, phytonutrients
-    avoid alcohol association with smoking
-    take breaks in the fresh air and do some exercise while you’re drinking
-    drink only natural authentic alcohol, in moderation.

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Heavy meal, cluttered digestion!

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At Christmas we usually indulge ourselves with traditional dishes, but our ancestors ate heavy foods in moderation and only at celebrations.

Warning! Almost all the traditional dishes of food are made from ingredients that are incompatible and their combination makes food difficult to digest, with many calories; once combined with large quantities of alchohol, we’ll end up at the hospital!

At Christmas we have to keep in mind the fact that some of us have been fasting and gross consumption of such indigestible foods, accompanied by too much alcohol can trigger acute pancreatic crisis, which is extremely dangerous and also indigestion, which can easily spoil our celebration.

We should approach Christmas dinner with great moderation – small and frequent meals are mostly recommended, followed by walks out in the fresh air. It is out of the question to smoke in the room where we eat!

It is advised as a just in case measure to use digestive food supplements – enzymes and bile salts based. It is also recommended to eat raw pineapple for easy digestion. Take breaks while eating and be careful to avoid inappropriate associations. Try to eat one dish at a time and then take a break.

Do not guzzle, do not rush, chew food really well and do not combine food with alcohol. Refrain from smoking. When you sit at the table you must be rested, you should create a pleasant, calm environment while listening to Christmas music.

All types of food are not only extremely difficult to digest, but they also have lots of fats and calories. The solution is to eat each food product separately, in moderate quantities and not mix food. Do not rush to finish all at once.

Thus, you will enjoy the holidays and you will have not only nutritious, but also spiritual food. It is precisely this great celebration that requires us to restrain from eating, as a superior proof of faith of the human being whose inner self is lightened by the divine spark.

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If it’s fasting period, then it’s time to detox!

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During the fasting period our body purifies, detoxifies and our diet is balanced. In order for our body not to suffer nutritional imbalances it is highly important that the fasting diet be adapted to the everyone’s needs.

Fasting is seen from the medical perspective as a change in diet, but remember that not everyone gets the same benefits. It is important to know that fasting should be approached differently and according to age: a young man with an active lifestyle will not have the same diet as an elderly with a sedentary lifestyle. In principle, the fasting diet should be extremely varied and must contain potatoes (the main vegetable one has during fasting period), fruits (bananas, apples, pears, lemons, oranges, etc.), vegetable oils, nuts and seeds (fat).

What to eat

Here are some dishes you can eat during the fasting period: pie with olives or onions, vegetarian pizza, carrot salad with radishes, cauliflower salad with garlic, cabbage, potatoes, beans, celery, winter salads, dandelion salad, all seasoned with sauces such as spicy sauce, spicy horseradish, Italian dressing or vegetable mayonnaise. Try also soups made of onions, tomatoes, lentils, vegetables, scallions..

You can also try some light dishes such as cream beans, roasted mushrooms, green mushrooms, food mushrooms with celery, steamed vegetables with mustard sauce, vegetable soup, peppers stuffed with walnuts, with pumpkin seeds, mushrooms, rice with mushrooms, peas, vegetable stew, steamed potatoes, potatoes with pickles, cabbage, spinach, leeks and celery, bean ragout, nettles, cocoa cake.

In addition, you can eat a lot of dried fruit (dates, figs, apricots), seeds (pumpkin, sunflower), raw nuts (cashew, Brazilian), almonds, etc.

Moreover, during the fasting period you are allowed many times to eat fish, there is Shrove Tuesday for cheese, meat, which helps balance the diet with proteins and animal fats of high nutritional quality.

About vegetable pate

You can find available on the market the vegetable pate which unfortunately mimics the composition of the pates made of meat and liver: water, hydrogenated vegetable oil (margarine) or aromatic, soy protein, iodized salt, seasoning extract , mustard, flavors. They contain allergens such as: gluten, celery, mustard, soy.

People who suffer from DIABETES should be extremely careful as this kind of pate contains carbohydrates that are to be subtracted from the daily ration. Due to the fact that vegetable pate is highly-fat, it is are not recommended for those with dyslipidemia, heart disease, overweight, or for obese persons. These products contain salt, sugar and hidden fats that we must not overlook.

Because of the many E numbers vegetable pate contains, it is not recommended for children, for people with heart diseases or for pregnant women. Sometimes vegetable pate contains ingredients that are not allowed during the fasting period and therefore, as a general rule, make sure to read the label thoroughly.

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