How NOT to eat yourself into a food coma this year. Plus, a delicious recipe for Kuzu tonic.

Every year, a mix of nervous tension and butterfly excitement begin to arise in my stomach as I get close to the Thanksgiving MEAL.

Yes—you want to eat lots and enjoy, and no— you don’t want to plop face down stuffed on stuffing as you continue to glorp food down your throat. Not this year.

This is why I’ve come up with with a 10-step guide to pacing yourself on Thanksgiving day. 

On the morning of:  

  1. Wake up and have a cup of hot water with freshly squeezed lemon or lime juice.
  2. Go for a walk/run/dance in your living room. Get your 15 minutes of cardio.
  3. Make and drink a cup of kuzu tonic (see recipe below). This will prep your stomach and intestines for what’s to come later.
  4. Have a snack: slice your favorite fruit, drizzle 1/2 Tbsp of tahini, and sprinkle with sea salt.
  5. Drink plenty of water before arriving to your meal destination.

At the Thanksgiving meal:

6. Engage in conversation with family or friends before and after, but not so much while you’re chewing. And do chew!

7. Eat slowly. Put your fork down at least 3 times during the meal. Take breaks between mouthfuls.

8. BREATHE while you eat. Just as you need oxygen to burn anything, you also need oxygen to burn calories. Breathe deeply in order to reach your fullest calorie burning capacity while you eat.

At home at night:

9. Drink a glass of water mixed with 1tsp of baking soda.

10. Drink a cup of kuzu tonic before going to bed (the same one you made earlier).

Be prepared for the best sleep you’ve ever had since 2013.Kuzu is a root that grows deep in the earth and has been used by Eastern healers for more than 2,000 years to support and balance the digestive system. It is also used as a thickener in Macrobiotic cooking.

Kuzu’s healing properties:

  • Tonifies, soothes, and settles the stomach.
  • Relieves discomfort caused by over-acidity and indigestion.
  • Relieves stomach cramping.
  • Has an alkalizing effect that helps neutralize the acidic effects of sugar, refined carbohydrates, alcohol and caffeine.
  • Consolidates bowel movement and has a quieting effect on an overactive stomach.

The kuzu tonic is most effective when taken about one hour before meals (preferably in the morning on an empty stomach). Here are three kuzu tonic recipes. Pick and prepare your favorite!

  1. Sweet and simple kuzu tonic

Makes 1 cup

1 cup water

1 rounded tsp kuzu (crush chunks with back of spoon before measuring)
1-2 tsp brown rice syrup or honey

Directions: In a cup, add about 2 Tbsp of water to the kuzu and stir it until it dissolves. Add water to this mix to fill the cup, about 1 cup of water or a mug-full. Pour into a small pot and heat on medium, stirring constantly, until the liquid becomes translucent. Add the brown rice syrup and continue stirring until it dissolves. Pour back into your cup and drink it hot.

2. Savory umeboshi-ginger kuzu tonic

Umeboshi neutralizes excess acid and has strong antimicrobial power. Ginger aids digestion and circulation.

Makes 1 cup

1 cup water

1 rounded tsp kuzu (crush chunks with back of spoon before measuring)
1 umeboshi plum, pitted and minced, or 1 teaspoon umeboshi paste
1/4-1/2 teaspoon fresh ginger juice (finely grate ginger root and squeeze to extract juice)

Directions:
In a cup, add about 2 Tbsp of water to the kuzu and stir it until it dissolves into a slurry. Add 1 cup of water and umeboshi into a small pot, then add the kuzu slurry. Bring to a simmer over medium heat, stirring frequently. As soon as the mixture begins to bubble around the edges, bring down the heat and let simmer for 1 to 2 minutes, keep stirring! Then remove from heat. Add ginger juice, and pour back into your cup and drink it hot.

3. Kids kuzu tonic

Makes 1 cup

1 cup apple juice
1 rounded tsp kuzu (crush chunks with back of spoon before measuring)
1-2 tablespoons water for dissolving kuzu

Heat the apple juice and salt in a small saucepan over medium heat until it just begins to bubble around the edges. Remove from heat.  In a cup, add about 2 Tbsp of water to the kuzu and stir it until it dissolves.  Add the kuzu slurry to the apple juice pot and heat on medium, stirring constantly until the liquid becomes translucent. Simmer for one more minute, then remove from heat.  Pour into a cup and let it cool before drinking.

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