Maintaining Healthy Eating Habits Over the Holidays
You probably made it through Halloween somewhat unscathed… or not. Thanksgiving is moments away and Hanukkah, Christmas and New Year’s are lining up to take you and your healthy diet down with them. It’s the biggest eating time of the year! What’s a holistic health minded person, like you, supposed to do? How do you avoid the constant onslaught of treats around every corner, on every desk top, store and kitchen counter top? It’s a conspiracy of temptation that we know leads us straight to an extra 10 pounds and feeling like crap come January. Where do we find the strength to do the holidays differently this year? I’ve got some ideas!
As a certified holistic health coach my #1 recommendation is don’t set perfection as your goal. Don’t shoot for eating only healthy stuff. It’s too hard and takes a lot of the true fun out of the holidays. Instead, I find it helpful to my clients to plan out and schedule some cheat days. If you’ve got some treat days on your calendar, you won’t have to eat every single cookie put in front of you, because you already know at this year’s work holiday party you’re going to let the reins go. I like to plan for the big holidays and certain parties. Pick the days and foods you’d feel deprived without enjoying.
Trying to not eat certain things while at your grandma’s for Thanksgiving is just way to stressful. It sucks the joy marrow out of the day. Holidays bring enough stress without adding to them. Know ahead of time your cheat days and then enjoy the heck out of them. You’ll be pleasantly surprised when your inner child gets satiated knowing the yule log is coming on Christmas Eve and he or she doesn’t even need those 5 gingerbread cookies your co-worker brought. It lets you have some times to let the pressure off and you don’t have to fight each and every temptation. No need to white knuckle the next 6 weeks, because you’ve got your stress releases built in. Plus, you get to enjoy the holiday treats to their full extent! The path to holistic health isn’t measured by perfection, so don’t even go there!
Which brings me to my next suggestion… if you end up eating more than you planned for or break out of your schedule sometimes – do not start shaming yourself. No holiday eating shaming!! It doesn’t help. It doesn’t work. If anything it leads us right into the jaws of pecan pie instead of out of it. I’m telling you, you are 100% doing the best you can. If you could do better, you would, so love yourself in all the ugly spots. Honestly, it really isn’t your fault. Pretty much all of us have a war going on in our guts between the good bugs and the bad bugs and we’re ALL losing this battle. When the bad guys are kicking the good guys butts, then we crave all the crap the bad bugs like to eat, like sugar, bread, chips, etc. I promise your cravings will shift when the good guys start winning the war, so let’s focus on that later… like in January. Holistic health does not include self-shaming.
Some practical holistic healthcare steps that can help through the holiday minefields include eating more vegetables. Can’t ever go wrong there, right? Ate a plate of sugar cookies at the office today, eat a salad for dinner. Still stuffed from Thanksgiving leftovers yesterday, eat a ton of vegetables today. Start the day after your schedule cheat days with a little mini cleanse, vegetable heavy. You get the idea! You’ll feel better mentally too, knowing you’re doing something to right the ship as well as balancing out your body chemistry so the bad bugs aren’t as happy.
Drink extra water this time of year. If you’re at a party, alternate glasses of egg nog with glasses of water. Water keeps you flushed out and helps you process toxins better. Plus, it fills you up a bit and helps keep your immunity up too. Lastly, take probiotics every day. Those are the good bugs. They’ll give your good guys a little leg up, keep things (#2) moving through you better, boost your immunity and brain chemistry and just generally help you fight the gut war.
Remember, if all else fails do a cleanse come January 2! Even if all else doesn’t fail! After the holidays is a great time to hit the reset button, set new goals, and change your evil ways. New year new you. The momentum is there and doing things like cleanses gives us a short break from ourselves and our old habits. Create something new we want to cultivate in our lives. Holistic care focused cleanses help you reset those bugs, so you can turn the tide of the war in your gut and get through to the place where cravings are no longer an issue. I swear it exists!
Check out my favorite cleanse by clicking here