A Healthy and Healing Holiday Season

A Healthy and Healing Holiday Season

It is almost the holidays again and if you’re like me you are probably getting excited for all the festivities. I absolutely love the holiday music, seeing close friends and family and also taking part in some winter fun! Not much of a skier, but I do love to ice skate!

Anyways, people also correlate this time of year with food and indulging in some dishes that only come around once a year. And since you have to wait until next year to have it, it’s easy to overeat and then regret the decision a few minutes later.

If you find yourself struggling during the holiday season, you are not alone. I work with many individuals during this time. I guide them through logical steps so that they can stay on track, reach their health goals and still enjoy the holiday season!

At the same time, comfort foods are the epitome of the holiday season and you do not want to feel like you have to deprive yourself of all the goodies. Deprivation can often lead to feelings of anxiety, stress and you with the cookie jar at midnight.

Once Thanksgiving hits, it feels like the holiday parties, feasts, and goodies just keep coming day by day, and you might find yourself giving into the unhealthy patterns. First of all, do not judge yourself if you happen to indulge in something. Let it go and move on. If you allow yourself to feel guilty after indulging, you are going to keep brewing negative thoughts in your head and that will lead to a series of negative behaviors. So let’s now move onto some simple steps that you can implement.

Healing Tip 1: Stick to a Routine

It can be very challenging to stick to a routine during the holiday season. Parties on the weekend, shopping in the evenings after work and coordinating travel plans with relatives coming into town.  It’s certainly easy to get off track and slip from your exercise and health routine.

Do the best you can to stick to your routine. There is only so much time in the day, but set aside at least 15-30 minutes for self care and prioritize healthy meals and eat vegetables daily!

Healing Tip 2:  Listen to Your Body

When you are attending a holiday dinner, truly listen to your body.  When you tune into your hunger and fullness cues, it can be easier to slow down and not overeat. Turn this meal into an experience. Let’s practice.

- As you sit down, take a few deep breaths. Breathing can help to stimulate proper digestion and calm the nervous system.

- Give thanks and gratitude for the beautiful meal that has been prepared for you.

- Take a few sips of water.

- With your fork, take a small bite of food. Chew slowly, fully breaking down the food. Think about the flavor, the texture on your mouth and how this food is serving and healing your body.

- Rest your fork down, converse with someone else around the table.

-Eat slowly, repeating this process for 15-20 minutes. Tune in to your fullness cues. Are you still hungry? Are you satisfied? Keep in mind, that you will want to finish your meal when you are 80% full, as opposed to actually feeling full. If you are still hungry, you can always go back for more!

-We often overeat and underestimate the power of just slowing down. You don’t necessarily need to make major changes in your meal during the holidays, just slow down. This can definitely help you to eat less.

Healing Tip 3: Movement

Move your body. With the winter months, it can be easier to sit inside and munch on the extra holiday sweets as opposed to getting in some movement. Move your body every day.

This does not mean you have to do an intense workout every day. Try something as simple as walking.  Especially after holiday dinners. Get the whole family to join in on a walk. Make it a new, fun tradition!

Healing Tip 4: Be Prepared

The absolute worse is when you show up somewhere ravenous. Trust me, it is so easy to overeat when you are starving. I’ve been there!

Be prepared and have a snack before you show up. It’s culturally accepted to starve yourself all day until a holiday meal so that you can eat more. Instead, try to stick to a regular eating routine.

Eat a snack with protein or healthy fat. This will stabilize blood sugar, curve cravings and save you from overeating.

I personally like to pair nut butter with celery sticks, munch on macadamia nuts, eat ½ avocado or even a hard boiled egg.

Working with a Dietitian this time of year can be crucial for your health. Especially if you are someone who tends to have the winter blues or get caught up in the holiday fun, only to realize in January you are far from your goals.

Be sure to reach out and let me know how I can support you.

Happy Holidays! Wishing you all a healthy and healing holiday season.

Xoxo

Eleni