How to Survive the Demands and Pitfalls of the HolidaysPosted November 28, 2017 by Moragh Lippert
Does just thinking about the holidays cause a knot in your gut?
As a Functional Medicine Health Coach, I help people adapt to everyday circumstances that can throw them off their Health Goals.
Here are some simple strategies that can help you make it through the season without burn-out or falling big time off your diet/food plan:
- Own Your Intentions: Review your health goals and why you set them. Revisiting these may give you the incentive to be mindful about the food you eat. However, this is not about being perfect. It’s about being human. Do what you can to stay on track.
- Be kind to Yourself: If you do not stick to the plan practice self compassion. Set the intention to start again tomorrow.
- Practice Mindful Living: Whatever your practice to relax, try to keep that in your schedule no matter how busy you are. Staying centred and grounded will go a long way to help you handle the hustle and bustle.
- Be Prepared: Anticipate the settings of upcoming holiday events and what the food might be. If a pot luck, offer to bring your favourite dish from your current plan so you have something you know you can eat.
- Don’t Go Hungry: Eat as per your normal schedule. Before going to a party ensuring you have a small meal or snack 1-2 hours before the event. Especially helpful would be a healthy fat and moderate protein, low carb snack so you will feel satiated. When the treats come out and you will be less likely to indulge.
- Make Good Choices: When the table is full of delicious choices choose foods that you know will help you stay healthy. For example, dark meat turkey with lots of salad and vegetables. If you can, reduce or skip the mashed potatoes and stuffing, sweet potatoes and other traditional fare that is loaded with carbs. Enjoy the good stuff but don’t overdo. Then you can have a small amount of dessert or treats if you mindfully choose.
- Eat Mindfully: Holiday Eating can be a huge trigger for many. With family dynamics that go awry we can jump into emotional eating to sooth that upset inner child. Centre yourself in a quiet place or take a few deep breaths before going to the buffet table to ensure you are eating food that resonates with you.
- Get Away: If you are in the midst of the dramatics, escape for a walk or if you are really feeling brave (and it’s appropriate), in a compassionate way you can address the family members about what is bothering you. Of course with no blame and “I feel….” statements rather than “you are and you make me feel…j”.
- Drink Wisely: Alcohol reduces our abilities to make good judgements about food and drink not to mention appropriate social norms. If you are a Designated Driver, please skip the alcohol. Keep hydrated whether drinking or not it will help your body metabolize what you consume and reduce bad side effects.
- Be Jolly and Enjoy: The holidays are a special time of year. Enjoy them while still enjoying great health. Spending time with family and friends feeds the soul. Suggest group activities like a walk after dinner or board games to keep the focus on the people you love. If you will be alone during the holidays, do special things for yourself like a delicious and healthy candlelight meal, journalling, a spa day or an evening of your favourite movies. Reach out to a friend.
May your Holidays be filled with Health, Happiness, Peace and Joy.
General, Nutritional Ketosis