Trying to watch your health this holiday season? Here are some ways to eat well and still take care of yourself

Photo: Igor Miske
Photo: Igor Miske

The festive season is basically here, folks, which means lots of eating, sleeping, eating and more sleeping to digest what you ate before eating more. Whether you are planning a full-on holiday spread with friends and family or just want an extra helping of bak kwa during Chinese New Year, it can be helpful to watch your consumption and keep health top of mind. With Chinese New Year right around the corner, we partnered with Eu Yan Sang to highlight some of the more popular approaches to healthy festive eating for those who subscribe to, or are interested in, traditional Chinese medicine (TCM). 

Although TCM might not be for everyone, and it is not a replacement for conventional medicine and hospitals, these tips might give you a bit more pep in your step this holiday season. 

Eat during regular intervals throughout the day

This is also often mentioned outside the TCM space. Some studies have shown that eating at regular intervals, instead of sporadically, can help digestion and encourage the body to burn calories more efficiently. In fact, skipping meals can lead to putting on fat. If you really have to snack, opt for healthy snacks like unprocessed nuts and fruit.

Drink warm water or tea before eating

TCM proponents often say that drinking warm water or tea before a meal can help the circulation of your qi (the life force they believe flows through all nature and works as the backbone of the practice). In addition, a study by PubMed in 2003 also backed this up to some degree—showing that drinking warm water before eating could boost metabolism by as much as 30%.

Avoid the sweets and fried treats

OK, we know, this one is basically impossible, but it is the effort that counts here. We don’t expect anyone to skip the love letters (biscuit rolls) altogether, and everyone wants to munch on a sesame ball here and there. But if you can, try to avoid excessive sweets and especially oily and fried foods. Greasy foods have been shown to slow stomach emptying, which can lead to bloating and stomach pain—not very festive. They are also packed with calories. 

Interested in learning more about traditional Chinese medicine?

Eu Yan Sang TCM Clinic operates a bunch of traditional Chinese medicine clinics around Singapore where you can speak to professional TCM practitioners and try your hand at treatments like acupuncture, cupping, tui na (therapeutic massage), and herbal remedies. They have tailored treatments for everyone from children, to adults and elderly folks depending on their needs. Eu Yan Sang TCM Clinic has also recently launched a new home recovery self-care formula, which comes in batches of 10 herb-packed sachets, to help you find some soothing comfort at home during these times when going outside to a clinic might not be the best idea. 

You can check out all the details of Eu Yan Sang TCM Clinic on their main website, and find a location close to you if you’re keen to give it a shot. 

Traditional Chinese medicine is not a replacement for conventional medical treatments and pharmaceuticals prescribed by medical doctors to cure or treat diseases. Coconuts Media is not a medical service provider and cannot replace advice from a doctor. This article was done in partnership with Eu Yan Sang and is meant for educational purposes only.

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