I know many of you have reached your goals and now stressing about the holiday ahead. I have put together some guidelines for you to take away with you so you don't fall off the wagon to much and stay healthy during this festive season.
I used to have a tough time getting through the holiday season. I constantly had a full plate of food and full glass of booze in front of me just to handle the stress. I’d find myself eating too many potatoes, garlic bread and chips that always seem to be out. I just found I was always bloated and feeling uncomfortable …. Let alone the weight gain.
Now I have discovered simple strategies to make it through the holiday season without the stress eating and inevitable tummy troubles and extra kgs.
You make it through the entire holiday season without the bloating, fatigue or weight gain. It is possible. I know because I developed a plan to make it through the holidays feeling fabulous.
This plan has solutions for you whether you’re tempted by grandma’s homemade tart at your family get-together, struggling to keep your cocktail intake in check at parties, or wondering what to eat if you’re traveling and on the go. I am here to walk you step-by-step through, what I call, “how to make it work in the real world when temptation is everywhere.”
We are NOT talking about deprivation during the holidays. Instead, I want to give you approachable ideas to help you enjoy the sweetness in life without counting calories.
Don't worry though, that beautiful, black party dress or the bathing suit you bought for your holiday vacation will still fit.
WHOOPS, YOU DID IT AGAIN ?
YOU SAID TO YOURSELF, “THIS MEAL WILL BE DIFFERENT” OR “AT THIS PARTY I WILL NOT EAT __________.”
But, it happened anyway, and then you woke up the next day with a raging headache and bags under your eyes. Maybe you’re like me and feel all of the above when you try just a teeny, weeny bite of that chocolate cake (hello, wheat belly… ugh).
I’ve learned (through a lot of trial and error) that the holidays don’t have to be a rollercoaster of bingeing on treats and regretting it the next day. I’ve learned how to maintain my health (and my waistline) while still having a blast during this time of celebration
WHEN DO YOU GET TEMPTED?
Before we jump into my tips and strategies for staying healthy during the holidays, it’s important to take a look at your triggers and understand when you feel tempted to overdo it with food.
Take note of the situations that you will be in this holiday season and bring awareness to your temptations. Here are some examples:
● Attending a cocktail party or a wedding
● The cake at the office party makes your mouth water
● When you’re watching TV
● Cookies and chocolate being delivered to the house for the holidays
● Bringing treats to your kid’s school
● Preparing food for a party you’re throwing
● Family holiday parties
● Cocktail parties with drinks and tons of snacks
5 TIPS FOR SURVIVING THE HOLIDAYS (without needing to wear an elastic waistband)
These tips are separated into 3 sections to give you strategies for before, during, and after your holiday parties and meals.
TIP #1: PLAN AHEAD
Make SURE TO PLAN before you attend a gathering or party.
Find out what will be served:
If possible, ask the host what kinds of foods and drinks will be served so you’ll know ahead of time how to prepare.
Bring a dish to your holiday dinner:
Don’t be afraid to call ahead and offer to bring a healthier plate to share with the other guests. This isn’t being rude; it’s taking care of yourself so you can spend your energy on having a good time and not worrying about how you’ll feel after you eat.
Pack a healthy snack:
Throw a healthy protein bar in your bag so you’ll have something to snack on besides the chips and dip. Make your own Kale chips and take them with.
Don’t show up hungry or shop when you hungry:
Always eat at least a small meal before you go to a dinner or party. If you show up starving you’ll be likely to wolf down everything in sight. Try one of the following protein-rich mini meals to tide you over and keep you from pigging out on sugar.
MY FAVOURITE MINI MEALS ARE:
1. A healthy protein like chicken with avocado
2. Greek or non-dairy yogurt with nuts
3. A smoothie
4. A cup of soup
5. A healthy protein bar
6. Gluten-free crackers with hummus
7. Any protein and vegetables
WHILE YOU’RE THERE:
TIP #2: HYDRATE
If you’re feeling super hungry at an event, focus on drinking water before you go for that plate of food. Sometimes that hunger is actually a sign of thirst.
If you’re finding yourself craving sugar and salt, your body is likely depleted in minerals. Order a tall glass of water with lemon while you’re out to replenish. Are you toasting the holiday with a glass of bubbly or wine? Make sure to drink a glass of water before and after your cocktail.
Another awesome option is to make a healthy vitamin water, and drink it both before you head out AND the morning after.
Vitamin Water Recipe:
100ml coconut water
1 teaspoon raw apple cider vinegar
2 inch piece of ginger
Juice from one lemon
Stir or shake the ingredients to combine, and sip. The raw apple cider vinegar will enhance your digestive enzymes and balance PH, while the coconut water will mineralize your body.
As you are drinking your vitamin water, take 5 deep breaths. Deep breathing calms your nervous system and reduces stress levels naturally.
TIP #3 - SAY NO (MOST OF THE TIME)
The key to staying healthy and feeling good (both physically and mentally) during the holidays is to avoid eating everything in sight. We’re all human. There’s no way we’re going to make it through an entire month of parties and holiday treats saying NO every single time. Nor do we want to.
That kind of extreme mentality is what leaves us feeling emotionally deprived and ready to go home after the party and overeat.
The last thing we want is to get so frustrated with deprivation that we show up to a party and say screw it, I’m eating everything!
Practice the 80/20 rule: Focus on eating healthy, nourishing foods 80% of the time. This gives you some leeway to indulge the other 20% of the time without feeling guilty.
TIP #4 - TAKE A TASTE
When you do decide to have the slice of pie or helping of mom’s stuffing, focus on savoring the food instead of inhaling it. Moderation and paying attention to portion sizes go a long way to keeping us healthy and feeling good.
If this relationship with food is something that you struggle with (I know I have), I recommend the work of Geneen Roth. She’s been pivotal to my life and shown me that eating isn’t about pulling a chair up to the fridge.
Check in with yourself before you eat: Take a few moments to turn inward before you start eating. Ask yourself: Have I filled myself up with self-care today? Have I slowed down and addressed my emotions?
If you’re feeling stressed, anxious or overwhelmed, take a few moments to do some deep breathing. Excuse yourself to the restroom if you need to step away.
Taking the time to touch base with your body and slowdown will help prevent overeating.
Ask about healthy options: Don’t be afraid to talk with the party host, the waiter or your co-workers about healthy foods for your holiday events. We might feel nervous about speaking up - what will people think? But we’re not being a pain. We’re being mindful of taking care of ourselves and setting the stage for success.
Slow down & enjoy your food: If you actually want to have a taste of something, then do it! Slow down and enjoy the decadent flavour of that chocolate cake or the creamy deliciousness of those mashed potatoes. Taste the food you’re eating, and don’t feel guilty.
Savour the moment: Remember that a truly healthy, happy holiday is about being present in the moment.
As you’re celebrating, practice mindfulness:
I deserve to really enjoy my life.
I deserve to step away from a stressful situation to focus on myself for 5 minutes.
I deserve to enjoy celebrating in the company of my friends and family.
It’s not only about the plate of food. Take a taste of life, too. The food is a reflection of your life and what is happening inside and around you. Savor your life.
AFTER THE FACT:
TIP #5 - DE-BLOAT & RESET
Sometimes, regardless of our best intentions, we can still feel bloated, tired, and less-than-amazing once the party’s over. It’s important to have some healthy tricks in the toolbox to nip those gross symptoms in the bud and get us back on track to feeling great. We want to focus on flushing toxins out of our bodies to reduce the acidic waste that leads to bloating and fatigue.
Here are my 3 favorite ways to de-bloat and reset the day after.
1. MY MORNING LEMON ELIXIR
Take 2 cups of room temperature water, and add the juice from 1/2 a lemon, a pinch of cayenne (optional), and 1 teaspoon of raw honey or a couple drops of stevia (use stevia if you are on a yeast cleansing diet).
Mix well, and sip to cleanse the body.
2. MY EVENING ALKALIZING CHLOROPHYLL DRINK
Add 1 tablespoon of chlorophyll to 100ml of water with the juice of one lemon and drink.
Note: you can buy chlorophyll or in tablet form at any natural food store,
3. MOVE YOUR BODY
Exercise is one of the best ways to cleanse your body and remove toxins. Try taking a brisk walk on the beach, hitting the gym, or going to your favorite Zumba class. Sweating helps the body to eliminate toxins through the skin. Be sure to shower and scrub when you’re done.
YOUR DAILY PLAN FOR 4-DAYS:
UPON WAKING: Drink Lemon Elixir to cleanse, alkalize your body, and reduce sugar cravings.
BREAKFAST: Healthy smoothie (recipe on my web page)
SNACK: Enjoy a cup of peppermint or ginger tea and raw veggies with hummus.
LUNCH: Great ideas on lunches on my YouTube as well as my web page
LATE AFTERNOON SNACK (around 4 pm): Enjoy a cup of detox tea and have an apple with 1 tablespoon almond butter.
DINNER: Great ideas on my web page as well as YouTube
EVENING: If you are craving something sweet, have a cup of chamomile tea with stevia or 1 teaspoon of raw honey. Or enjoy a baked apple with cinnamon, walnuts, and raw honey or stevia (bake at 180 degrees for 20 minutes). Another option is half a banana with 1 tablespoon of almond butter and 1 tablespoon of honey with slivered almonds.
Pop onto my website www.healthyourself.co.za to see what I have to offer you or book a private consultation and let’s make your 2022 the healthiest, happiest year yet.
Travel safe, stay healthy and be present with those around you.
Yours in health & wellness xx