It’s the holiday season … Let the over-eating begin! T’is the season for over indulging and if you suffer from heartburn (also known as GERD) you know that this is also a very painful season. Many of us end up spending the night after a feast unable to sleep because of an acidy feeling in our stomach or even worse. Some of us even have such severe GERD, that we wake up with a sore throat or infected sinuses because our stomach contents have flowed out of our stomachs and into our upper intestinal tract as we tried to sleep. Well, here are a few hints that should help relieve these symptoms during the holiday season.
1. PACE YOURSELF. The worst thing you can do is to stuff yourself to the brink of vomiting. As your stomach is distended, so is your esophageal sphincter — making reflux more likely. Instead of depriving yourself of that tasty thanksgiving fare, eat small amounts then go help in the kitchen or watch the football game. After a half an hour or so, go eat some more.2. DO NOT LIE DOWN AFTER EATING. Stuffing ourselves and then lying down and watching a football game is as much a Thanksgiving Day tradition as turkey itself. But it’s the worst thing that you can do if you have GERD. After eating, stay upright for at least an hour. Help clean the dishes. Take a walk with the family. Sing karaoke. But, definitely do not lie on the couch or go to bed. You will pay dearly for it.
3. PUT DOWN THE BUTTER. Anything that is very fatty will cause your stomach to create more acid which in turn creates more heartburn. So, take it easy on the gravy. Make sure you pick lean pieces of turkey… that means as little turkey skin as possible.
4. PICK UP THE VEGETABLES. Eating foods that are high in fiber — like fruits and vegetables — will help your stomach empty a bit quicker, making reflux less likely. So, have an extra helping of the Brussels sprouts and corn.
Make about 11/2 cups; serves 6 to 8I call this a party spread because it’s so good, you’ll want to offer it to guests. Both fresh and smoked salmon are blended with light whipped cream cheese in place of butter, which can be difficult for GERD sufferers to digest. Either spread over the thick ends of Belgian endive spears or serve with whole-grain crackers.
6 ounces center-cut salmon fillet
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
11/2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil
3 ounces smoked salmon
4 ounces (1/2 cup) light whipped cream cheese
3 tablespoons chopped fresh dill
2 tablespoons minced fresh chives
Season the salmon with salt and pepper. Drizzle the olive oil over the meaty side. Grill the fish skin side up over a hot fire or in a grill pan for 2 minutes. Turn over and grill for 2 to 3 minutes, until just opaque in the center but still moist. Remove and let cool slightly, then discard the skin and trim off any dark brown bits along the center.
In a food processor, combine the grilled salmon, smoked salmon, cream cheese, dill, and chives.
Reprinted with permission from The Acid Reflux Solution: A Cookbook and Lifestyle Guide for Healing Heartburn Naturally by Dr. Jorge E. Rodriguez (Ten Speed Press, © 2012). Photo Credit: Jennifer Martiné.