Holiday season is here. Meaning lots of festivities. Even during this odd time, I know we will figure something out that will indeed have us still running around. Enough to tire out body and soul if you aren’t taking care of yourself during all the celebration. Yes, you can do both—take care of you and celebrate. The holidays are about family, friends and re-filling our hearts with love and gratitude. It’s about traditions that give joy, warmth and giving. And yes, it’s about feeling your most radiant, most fulfilled self.
So how do you do that? By feeding your insides with all of the surrounding love while fueling your outsides with healthy, whole foods. Yes, I have loads of healthy recipes to share. But fill what ever void you may have by overindulging in more heart-felt conversations, gratitude, family, fun and watching the joy just unfold. Yes, every family has their issues, but overindulging in another drink, another slice and yet another eggnog won’t help you feel your best. Just the opposite actually. And you know this. I am simply the reminder.
Empower yourself by loving yourself up. This starts with allowing yourself to enjoy and indulge. Healthy is a daily practice. We are not going for perfection here, just progress. Keep this top of mind when you are celebrating the season.
Here’s our essential Holiday hitlist to make this your healthiest holiday yet and keep you glowing, gracious and guilt-free this crazy holiday season. Try to keep these top of mind while celebrating with your family and your safe 6.
- Eat Slowly; Practice Mindful Eating. It’s a sad thing when I hear a someone tell me that they indulged in their fave food but “didn’t even taste it” because they were beating themselves up for eating it before they even finished it. Don’t fall into that trap. Make it a conscious indulgence, eat slowly, enjoy every bite and saviour it. Slow down by sitting down, using a plate and real napkin. Between every bite, put your fork down and allow yourself some breathing room. Do not take a nibble while texting, hailing a taxi, watching TV, chatting on the phone or opening up your mail. Be present and in the moment. After all, the seasons change quickly.
- Focus on the company, conversation and the meaning of the holiday.
- Eat before dinner: My green Go-Go juice and a salad will do perfectly.
- Bring a dish … My Pumpkin Hummus is the perfect protein-packed appetizer; quinoa endive cups; or my all time favourite sweet treat. Your hosts will be blown away. (Plus you know it’s good for your body, mind and spirit and delicious so you will want to eat it!)
- Fill your plate with leafy greens.
- When in doubt choose Veggies. Choose vegetables as much as possible and skip the basics like peanuts, chips, etc. These are just fillers. Remember the goal here is to make every bite count.
- Pick healthier holiday faves like Turkey, sweet potatoes and roasted vegetables.
- Eat, but not too much. Enough, not until full. The full feeling is actually a signal to you that you have eaten too much. We don’t really ever want to get to that place. So think about eating and enjoying, but not overeating. Think of it as the 80-20 rule.
- Opt for a hot water with lemon after dinner. This really helps digestion and helps flush toxins out.
- Grant yourself permission to induldge! Eating foods just for the sake of pleasure, in a conscious and deliberate way, is all part of healthy eating and will not zap your healthy lifestyle. Deprivation doesn’t ever work. When we are constantly restricting our food, we are always coming from a place of lack. This is a paralyzing state to be in.
- Enjoy outdoor time: Go for a walk, play an outdoor family game, see some sights. Movement alone benefits your central nervous system and helps the entire digestion process.
- Shove it all in, rushing your every bite.
- Over focus on the food.
- Show up starving. You will, no doubt, overeat and end up eating the foods that don’t make you feel your best.
- Go empty handed. Bring your hostess a homemade pesto or healthy superfood dessert.
- Pile your plate with mountains of food.
- Eat just cause it’s there. Munch on pre-dinner snacks like chips and cheese or little one-bite desserts.
- Overindulge in casseroles (usually loaded with hidden fats and dairy), stuffing and mashed potatoes smothered in gravy. I just get ill thinking of all that starchy food on one plate. Choose your all time favourite traditional holiday food or take a small sample of each.
- Eat until you are so full you are sick. I can’t think of a worse feeling. We shouldn’t need to unbutton our pants after a meal. This is unhealthy for our entire system. Keep your focus while eating. You and how you feel is the priority
- Continue to drink after a huge dinner. I know, way to ruin the party, but alcohol totally hinders with digestion. Alternate with water.
- Eat multiple desserts. Sugar and sweets on top of a big meal also harms digestion. Opt for a small piece of your favourite instead. Yes, you can have your cake and eat it too.