Throughout the holidays, there are so many parties, events, and get-togethers. It truly is the most wonderful time of the year. When it comes to our health, however; our wellness motivation starts to get pushed to the back burner as the seasons change. In the health industry we call it "surviving the holidays" and that drives me CRAZY.
To be clear, the holidays are the time that we get to come together with family, enjoy community, give gifts, and be thankful for our lives. By talking about "surviving the holidays" we are putting a huge focus on food and a smaller focus on fellowship.
This year, let's switch the script.
Here are some ways to make this most FILLING (physically and emotionally!) holiday season yet!
1. Look up.
There are 5 cultures in the world that are known to have the longest living people, and these are called the Blue Zones. Researchers have found that one of the most consistent and tell-tale signs of these Blue Zones are that they all have an exceptionally strong sense of community.
Too often, especially those of us who enjoy eating healthy, can feel uncomfortable in social settings that are created around food. I tell my clients that I would rather you take your time to eat with community, then to get nervous about food rules and to scarf down healthy food alone. Community is one of the most vital contributors to our health.
So instead of focusing on the food as the centerpiece of the holidays, look up, and look around you. Engage with that community as deeply as you can and try to keep your eyes off your plate and on your friends and family. This attention shift can do wonders!
2. Don’t start tomorrow.
When you tell yourself that you will start tomorrow, it can create a sense of urgency to eat whatever you can, while you can. Those with healthy relationships to food do not struggle with binge eating or overeating as frequently because they know that if they want ice cream tomorrow, they can have it. This will not be their last meal, so they don’t treat it as such. The well intentioned “I will start my diet tomorrow” or “I will start in January,” can mindlessly cause you to overeat because it creates a scarcity mentality. Our bodies were made to survive, when we threaten to do a cleanse or detox tomorrow, we will eat significantly more today. Instead, pay attention to your self- talk and remind yourself that you can have cake or cookies whenever you want. From there you get to choose what you’d truly like to have, and what you wouldn’t. Follow through with this, and build that trust with yourself by starting the next morning not depriving, but giving your body a full, balanced breakfast. And then go on with your day free of the guilt and shame that should never pair with a meal.
3. Bring your own side dish, and talk about it!
If your health is important to you, bringing your own side dish is a great way to make sure that there is something healthy for you to enjoy everywhere you go. It also serves as a great conversation starter. Most people lose interest when the dessert they are eyeing is labelled “healthy” so make sure to whip up something delicious to change that notion! And then talk about it, the way you communicate about your health is huge, and people are listening! If you struggle with “food pushers,” take a step back and notice how you are talking about food. For the most part people just want you to be happy, so if you are constantly complaining saying, “Oh how I wish I could have a burger like that!” Or “Oh no I am actually not having sugar right now,” then of course they will push food on you. They want you to be happy and you are not communicating that you are happy with your food. Instead, talk about how you much you enjoy your meal, your healthy foods, and uplift your lifestyle if you want to encourage others. You will find that people will start asking for a bite of your food instead! Everyone is influencing someone, how are you influencing those around you?
4. Eat slowly.
We have 8 hormones in our bodies that are responsible for regulating our optimal food intake. If we listen and slow down the rate we are eating, we will unintentionally eat less of our food and avoid abdominal bloating after a meal.
"If your mouth is full, your fork should not be."
5. Drink like a camel.
Even with the best intentions, the holidays bring more food, more sugar, and more sodium than you would have made in your own home and your own kitchen. Make sure to up your hydration to keep your digestion running, your skin vibrant, and your pH levels constant. A good rule of thumb is to take your body weight and cut it in half: that is the number of ounces you should be drinking each day. During this season, I would bump that up as much as 40-50 ounces more!
If you finish this holiday season feeling out of balance, tempted to detox, or do a crazy new diet, DON'T!
You are capable of finding your true health, of understanding your food, your body, and of never dieting again. Let me help you get there!
Become a client, let's start nourishing your body sustainably.
Happy Thanksgiving and Merry Christmas!