You know the feeling…like everything is just gummed up. This starts about December 9th, depending how early you hit the holiday party circuit. You feel sluggish, full – even though you haven’t ate – and cranky. Feeling bad usually leads to eating even worse and this is usually about the time you start planning the New Year’s detox. If I may, let me humbly suggest that you don’t need to start subsisting on rice crackers and air to starting feeling better again. Want to get your digestion moving and begin to feel vital and energetic again? Just follow these 5 simple steps to help bring your digestive mojo back, stat…or normally within 48 hours.

1. Begin the day with a tall glass of room temperature or warm water with lemon and a green smoothie

If digestion is sluggish, wake it up with a heavy dose of nutrition. Fibre is critical for smooth digestion and a green smoothie is a great way to deliver all of that anti-oxidant rich fibre in an easily digested format. Greens are great digestion aids and a smoothie takes just 5 minutes to make. Check out The Blender Girl blog for awesome recipes.

Drink the water as you prep the smoothie.

2. Move your body for at least 30 minutes

You know what else clogs your pipes? Sitting still. You must get the heart, muscles and intestines pumping by exercising. Inactivity is a major contributor to constipation so get moving! For extra credit, try yoga which helps by calming you down (crucial for digestion) and applying lots of twisting and contractions to the abdomen to encourage elimination.

3. Make half your plate fruit and or vegetables the rest of the day

Fruits and vegetables are phenomenal for digestion: they are filled with water and fibre to help get things moving. In addition, if you have an imbalance in your digestive flora, eating too many starchy foods can lead to that heavy, full bloated feeling. Up the produce, ease up on the bread for a few days.

4. Chew some ginger and take your probiotics

Ginger is traditionally used for building digestive fire and soothing an upset stomach; probiotics offer healthy bacteria to keep your colon healthy and potentially fight off constipation-promoting bacteria. See point three above. Having the right bacteria can help improve that full feeling you might experience but if this is a huge issue for you, you might need more individualized care. Talk to an integrative doc or your gastroenterologist about whether small intestinal bacterial overgrowth is an issue for you…don’t self-diagnose!

5. Lay off the starchy stuff and keep drinking that water throughout the day

If the blockage is an acute issue, watch processed starchy foods like breads, crackers and baked goods which will do you no favours in the motility department. Keep your diet protein and produce rich to jump start your engines and keep those engines well- lubricated with plenty of water. Drink until your urine is pale yellow or clear – because dehydration will stop you up faster than you can say digestive drought.

What are some of your favourite healthy digestion tips? Let’s keep the discussion going on the Facebook page!