Your Guide to Staying Healthy Over the Holidays!
The holidays are here and that means lots of social & family gatherings with plates and platters of all those things you know won’t work for you and your health goals.
Trust me, I understand. The holidays used to be a time of extreme anxiety for me, especially when I was first diagnosed with celiac and found out I had to avoid gluten (and everything that even came close to touching gluten).
Now, I follow these fail safe tactics to enjoy the holidays AND feel my best!
1) ASK YOUR HOST WHAT TO EXPECT
If you’re going to parties hosted by loved ones, it’s pretty likely that they will be nothing but happy to accommodate you and your needs.
You don’t have to be demanding. Simply, ask what you can expect to be there in terms of food and drink. Get a sense of what you will and will not be able to consume. If there is something that would just need a tiny tweak for you to be able to eat it, just ask! Again, loved ones just want you to be happy and healthy too!
2) BRING YOUR OWN
If it sounds like there isn’t going to be a lot for you to work with, make like the Scar and BE PREPARED!
Even if it sounds like there might be a few things that could work for me, I almost always bring my own snack AND dessert. For example, I’ll bring a platter of my gluten-free brownies for everyone to enjoy AND I’ll have a baggie of tigernuts in my purse, just in case those run out too fast!
If you’re avoiding alcohol, I recommend bringing drinks with you as well. For me, kombucha is a go-to! The best part about it is that you can pour it into a pint glass and it pretty much looks like beer so you don’t attract attention or questions and you get to enjoy something that will actually improve your health! I’ve also just brought mason jars of lemon water, lots of La Croix or other sparkling waters… I’ve even gone as far as to bring bone broth with me in a thermos. I have no shame! I’m doing what is best for me - and so should you!
3) EAT A NOURISHING MEAL BEFORE YOU GO
I know for those trying to keep the calorie count low, the tactic is sometimes to do the opposite and eat nothing all day so that you have an “allowance” for what you’re going to mow down on at night.
I can promise this doesn’t work. If you get to an event completely starving with food trays everywhere and desserts galore, you’ll end up consuming way more than you otherwise would have, you’ll bloat like crazy because your digestive system wasn’t ready and you’ll feel lethargic when you should be enjoying the fun and energy with loved ones!
Eating a nourishing breakfast and lunch before a dinner event (or 3 healthy meals if it’s an after dinner event) will ensure that your body has everything it needs. Your digestive system will be primed, your blood sugar will be regulated so that you are more likely to resist the things that really won’t work for you and avoid bloating, crashing or bringing.
4) POP A MINT
I know, this is an old school tactic but it has saved me from losing control a time or two. If you find yourself feeling almost full after appetizers or really craving that baguette that you know your body will hate, popping a mint can curb cravings and (even more effectively) ruin the taste of anything you eat after it.
5) MOST IMPORTANTLY, ENJOY YOURSELF AND BE KIND TO YOUR MIND!
This is the holiday season. It is a time for joy, fun, laughter and celebration and if you are not going to enjoy yourself because you are denying yourself the things you love the most, then it is NOT worth it.
This is where you just have to figure out your lines.
What are the foods that are going to bring you so much joy that it is worth a little tummy pain or weight gain?
What are the foods that aren’t even that good but you just eat them cause they’re there?
What are the foods that are super delicious but you know will make such a dent in your health that it’s just not worth it?
I advise that you decide these ahead of time. Draw your lines so that you can ENJOY yourself fully without feeling like total crap.
Most importantly, no matter what happens, if all these tips go out the window and you really really indulge, give yourself a hug. Find the compassion for yourself and remind yourself that it’s okay and all you can do is keep trying your best.
Sometimes I find those experiences are needed for clients because until you really feel the difference that food makes and have those realizations that for some things it really isn’t worth it, it’s hard to be really concrete in your resolve that you’re doing it for YOU.
What are your biggest struggles over the holidays? Do you think some of these tactics might work for you? Please COMMENT BELOW and let me know, I will update this blog with more answers to your challenges! All I want to do is help this holiday season!