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Surviving the Holiday Table

Every holiday season, we get together with family to celebrate. And inevitably, some of us will suffer from some kind of stomach upset. So here are a few tips to keep your digestive system healthy through the holidays.


Select slim glassware for alcoholic and carbonated beverages, and set your glass on a flat surface for filling. People tend to over-pour into wide-mouth glassware, and into glasses that are being held rather than sitting on a bar or table.


Stay close to friends who eat healthy when you select food and drinks. Consciously or unconsciously, this can help you make better choices. If your friends don’t practice healthy eating, then resolve to avoid items they choose; a private “opposites” game for just you.


Start with small portions, and only eat what tastes good and is good for you. Entertainment, loud music, interesting conversation and holiday lights can distract us so that we keep eating without thinking about it. Resolve to slow down and taste what you’re putting into your mouth. Savoring flavors goes a long way toward satisfaction.


Going through a buffet line? Make your first three selections healthy ones, as in fruits and low-fat foods. The first three foods you choose fill two-thirds of your plate, and you’re less likely to choose healthy foods toward the end of the buffet. (It’s also worth noting that poor choices are often followed by more poor choices.)


It can be hard to make smart choices during the holidays. Indulging in food and drink that trigger heartburn, acid reflux, GERD or bloating is a little too easy this time of year. After all, where’s the fun in restraint? Then again, there’s nothing fun about that queasy, uneasy, refluxy feeling you can experience after eating. Be smart and proactive when it comes to your holiday health.


Dr. Stuart H. Coleman, MD
Gastroenterology of Southern Indiana

Dr. Coleman began his medical practice in New Albany in 1984 after many years of training. He attended the University of Kentucky for his pre-medical studies and the University of Louisville Medical School. This education was followed by a year of internship and an additional two years of specialty training in Internal Medicine, all in Portsmouth, Virginia with the U.S. Navy. He then received two additional years of training in Gastroenterology at the University of Alabama in Birmingham. Dr. Coleman is board certified in both Internal Medicine and Gastroenterology. He is married and the proud father of two sons. In addition to spending time with his family, he enjoys gardening, woodworking, and all outdoor activities.


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