Start the New Year Right with Healthy Eating



The holidays are a time to gather together with family and friends, to celebrate and enjoy life. A large part of the holiday times is eating traditional foods, which are generally very heavy and rich. This makes sense, according to our biology. During the colder months of November, December, and beyond, the tendency is to eat warm, comforting foods. This is an instinctual response to the cold weather to keep your body warm in order to survive. Eating rich, cloying foods, combined with the busyness and stress of the holidays, may take a toll on your digestive system. It tends to ‘gunk up’ the works of your body, so to speak. A weak digestive system may even lead to a weak immune system, which can cause us to be vulnerable to catching cold or the flu.

In Chinese medicine, the Spleen is the main organ of digestion. This is not the anatomical spleen, but an organ system that actually includes all of your digestive organs, and also your general metabolism. The Spleen’s role is to distribute all of our food nutrients to the rest of the body, and it also plays an important role in a strong immune system. When the Spleen is out of balance, your digestion may be sluggish, you are prone to weight gain, and you may experience such symptoms as fatigue, loose stools or diarrhea, poor appetite, abdominal bloating, feeling sluggish or foggy-headed.

Many people start the new year with a resolution to lose weight. This can be a great time of year to start new healthy eating habits and detox the body. In addition to helping the Spleen, it is also important to detoxify the other organs, especially the Liver, Kidneys, and Lungs, and Large Intestine. Here are some tips to help you detoxify your system:

• Gentle exercise, such as walking, yoga, and tai chi get everything in the body moving, including the digestive system
• Drink plenty of water
• Eat foods that are easy to digest, such as soups and broths
• Eat plenty of fiber, especially from vegetables and fruits
• Probiotics can be very beneficial in detoxifying the digestive system and weight loss. They are also crucial for immune health, since around 80% of your immune system is located in your gut. It is incredibly important to use a quality product, or it will not be of any use. What to look for in a probiotic:

o The colony-forming units (CFU’s) must be at least 10 billion, guaranteed potency; if the label says “at the time of manufacture,” this is not guaranteed potency, and therefore not a quality product
o Avoid those that contain sugar, artificial colors, or other additives, such as dairy, soy, and gluten

• Eliminate foods that cause toxicity in the body, such as alcohol, sugar, caffeine, and processed foods
• Allow at least 3 hours after dinner before going to bed at night
• Keep a food diary. Being aware of what foods you are eating will help to keep you on track
• Get enough rest. The ideal times to sleep are between 11pm and 7am
• Merry Clinic has 3 herbal formulas you can use to help detoxify your system:

o Skin Detox to detoxify the skin system, and maintain a healthy glow (

o DigestVive, for bloating, loose stools, constipation, general weak digestive system (

o Lean-tone Max – all-natural herbal weight loss supplement ( )

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