In Summary

  • Rather than a high-carb breakfast such as cereal, that can trigger low blood sugar after a few hours, I suggest a protein-rich breakfast to keep hunger under control. Try some scrambled, poached or boiled eggs with wholemeal toast.
  • And if you do overindulge, keep some pawpaw on hand. Pawpaw contains papain, a protein-digesting enzyme that is reputed to be so powerful that it can digest 200 times its own weight in protein.
  • Ginger is also very effective for settling the stomach. Making fresh ginger tea is easy; simply grate or chop a cube of root ginger, and simmer it in a litre of water for about 10 minutes.

For the next few days, most of us will run risk of overindulgence, either in food or alcohol. Being aware of this possibility ahead of time can help you prepare to handle things in moderation, to avoid nursing the effects of too much food or drink.

It all begins at the breakfast table. Eating a good breakfast works wonders to reduce the risk of overeating later on. You may be tempted to leave your stomach empty in anticipation of a feeding frenzy on the holiday feast, but remember that skipping breakfast makes you more likely to gorge later on. Rather than a high-carb breakfast such as cereal, that can trigger low blood sugar after a few hours, I suggest a protein-rich breakfast to keep hunger under control. Try some scrambled, poached or boiled eggs with wholemeal toast.

A few hours after you’ve eaten breakfast, the next trick is to make sure you keep yourself satisfied with a few well-timed snacks. Nuts and olives are best for this. Cubed pineapple with a small chunk of cheese on cocktail sticks also helps to stave off the really disastrous cravings.

And when you do eat, make the effort to eat slowly. Savour the flavours of each mouthful and chew thoroughly. That is the starting point of efficient digestion, especially of the starch component of your meal.

And if you do overindulge, keep some pawpaw on hand. Pawpaw contains papain, a protein-digesting enzyme that is reputed to be so powerful that it can digest 200 times its own weight in protein. Digestive enzymes help the body in its digestive duties, and can reduce the risk of indigestion and that sloth-like feeling after meals

If you don’t have pawpaw, keep some peppermint on hand. The inexpensive Ayurvedic remedy of pudin hara is now widely available in supermarkets and is an excellent carminative (a substance which promotes the elimination of intestinal gas). Ginger is also very effective for settling the stomach. Making fresh ginger tea is easy; simply grate or chop a cube of root ginger, and simmer it in a litre of water for about 10 minutes. Sip it as you would any other tea.

Don’t forget about water. Keep up your good water habit and you’ll almost certainly end up drinking less unhealthy stuff.