The holiday eating frenzy is upon us. With Thanksgiving & Christmas meal planning, pie making, and cocktail curating in the works, the anticipation for heaping holiday plates of health-compromising foods is looming.
But we can manage wasteful intake of poor foods and bad choices, and their impact on our mind and body this holiday season. Keeping in mind that we are human and we are allowed (and deserve) to enjoy the holidays, we can make better choices and healthier decisions that mitigate the risk and after effects of binge eating pumpkin pie, over consuming Christmas cocktails, and snacking on cookies, crackers and chips all month long.
Most importantly, if we focus on the foods we need to include in our daily diet to maximize our health around the holidays, we leave less room for the foods that have no biz being apart of the party; the party in our bellies.
Fill up on plant-based foods first! You’re totally allowed to have that piece of apple pie. And you should enjoy it. But make sure you’re getting your day’s requirement of vitamins and nutrients from your favorite vegetables, fruits, and whole grains. And don’t forget that good healthy fats, like avocado and olive oil, are important too. They help us digest and absorb the nutrients from the plant based foods we eat, and keep our digestive system healthy, especially during the holidays – when we tend to be slightly self sabotaging and extra stressed out.
Eating a plethora of seasonal vegetables is key. Taste the rainbow! And I mean literally. The more color we add to our daily meals, the healthier we’ll feel – from the inside out. So fill up on foods that have lots of fiber and protein, but minimal calories – this will help with appetite suppression and leave little room and less desire for unhealthy foods.
By eating lots of seasonal fruits, you can naturally crowd out unwanted sugar cravings. Fruit is nature’s dose of natural sugar and sweetener. Be sure to add fresh pomegranate to your breakfast, and snack on an apple in the afternoon.
Go ahead, Indulge! Don’t beat yourself up about having a cocktail or glass of wine here and there. Just make sure to plan ahead. Have a work gathering or friendsgiving to attend? Practice these three things:
Make yourself drink a full glass of water between each alcoholic beverage at parties. That glass of H2O will help you stay hydrated, which is super important for your digestive system and equally as important for your skin (especially during the cold months). Water keeps everything flowing and helps clear out unwanted toxins and chemicals, and rid our bodies of waste. Healthy pooping is extra important this time of year!
Always make sure there is food in your stomach before you have a drink. I’ve had to learn this one the hard way. Plan ahead and make sure you’ve had your serving of complex carbohydrates, like sweet potato for instance – one of the season’s best bounties, with anti-inflammatory benefits, antioxidant rich properties, and a great source of Vitamin A. Sustaining a whole foods, plant-based diet, that includes complex carbohydrates, provides you with the proper nutrients to sustain social gatherings, and enjoy a cocktail or two, without feeling or looking like you did the next day.
Don’t feel obligated to attend every party, gathering and social event – choose your holiday get-togethers wisely. The uptick in social activities can cause stress to the bodies lymphatic system and immune system – causing us to get sick during the holidays, put on extra pounds, and crave foods that create even more stress and anxiety. Sometimes it’s more important to check in with ourselves and get some rest.
Remember that alcohol provides empty calories for our bodies, suppresses our immune system, and dehydrates us of our energy reserves, on top of adding unwanted sugars to our bodies system that create an increase in toxins and heavy metals. Keep your beverages to a minimum!
STAY HEALTHY, ENERGIZED AND POSITIVE
Parties, shopping, and excess junk food can get us down during the holidays. Remember! Check in with yourself to make sure you are nourishing your body with primary foods. Primary foods are those that give us energy and have the ability to make us happy. Play, fun, touch, romance, intimacy, achievement, success, music, self-expression, excitement and adventure: these are primary foods and they are essential forms of nourishment.
At this time of year, it’s extra important to check in in with ourselves and make sure our primary foods are in balance.
Write it down.
Stress build up tends to occur around the holidays – seeing family, fitting in friends, finding time to exercise, socializing and after work parties, holiday shopping, weekend gigs, and kids events. Have a to-do list that’s a mile long? Write it down. Feeling stressed, fearful, and anxious? Ask yourself why and write it down. Diaries aren’t for teenagers. Having a journal handy can help you focus your attention where it’s best kept. Journaling can help you empty your head of negative thoughts. Rather than taking stress out on those around you, write it down.
Take a lap.
If you’re feeling overwhelmed, take a walk. Want to spend extra time with your family while getting in a little exercise, take a walk! Walking is also great for burning off a few extra calories without putting too much stress on your body.
Get fresh air.
Don’t forget to breath. Try a breathing exercise and concentrate on calming your breath. Step outside and take a breath of fresh air. Take a moment to remember that holidays are a time for appreciation. Be thankful for that breath.
Beauty Rest is Real.
I can’t stress this enough. Get enough rest is crucial to your health and sanity. Balance begins when your circadian rhythm is in check, and you’re poop schedule follows suit. I recommend getting 7-8 hours of sleep per night. Getting the right amount of rest not only helps your digestive system work properly, but keeps your skin looking younger and helps your brain power through the day.