Sure, you can stick to a healthy diet during the workweek, but who can resist all the hors d'oeuvres and desserts at the nonstop round of holiday events? "Decide ahead of time to attend only the parties and eat only those foods that are most important to your tradition of the holidays," suggests Elizabeth Somer, a registered dietitian in Salem, Oregon, and author of Age-Proof Your Body (McGraw-Hill, 2006) and 10 Habits that Mess Up a Woman's Diet (McGraw-Hill, 2005). Keep in mind that "the enjoyment of tasting new foods comes in the first few bites," she says, "so savor the flavor of one appetizer, but don't eat the whole bowl." Your insides—and your waistline—will thank you.
If your last trip to the buffet table left you feeling bloated or uncomfortable with indigestion, the herb artichoke ( Cynara scolymus) might offer relief. Add 2 ml of artichoke extract tincture (containing the active constituent cynarin) to a glass of water and sip after a meal; you can also take it before meals you suspect will trigger indigestion. Skip this remedy if you have ulcers or gastritis. A hot brew of linden flowers ( Tilia spp.) also can soothe intestinal upset; this herb comes as a tincture too. Or try rooibos (red bush), a caffeine-free herbal tisane made from a South African shrub, to settle a tummy taxed by too many party foods.