We are officially getting into the holiday season! I personally love it.
BUT, I do know that it comes with some challenges when trying to live a healthy lifestyle – namely, it’s common this time of year to eat out more often, attend dinner parties at other peoples homes where you have less say in what’s served and of course – holiday parties!
Sharing below my go-to tips for these situations so you can navigate this holiday season in a way that supports your health + self care AND enjoy yourself!
1: SET YOUR INTENTIONS FOR SATIATION VS FULL
No matter if you’re eating out, at a friends home, a party, etc. – I suggest you’re overarching intention be to “push back from the table” satisfied and content – aka you had enough to eat but not so much that you feel stuffed. In so doing, no matter WHAT you eat, you will better support blood sugar response and circadian rhythm (so you sleep well that night).
2: MAKE PROTEIN + GREENS YOUR PRIORITY
If you’re eating out – find greens on the menu first and then peruse the menu for what protein sounds best. From there, if there is something else that sounds good – order it, have a few bites, enjoy it – perhaps share it with someone else at the table.
This might look like: starting with a salad, then steak as your entree; count on this as your main nutrition and maybe someone at the table orders mac and cheese or mashed potatoes come with the steak – etc. – have a few bites of one or the other or both (if they sound good) and ENJOY it.
If you’re eating at someone’s home or going to a party with heavy hors d’oeuvre’s, this can be a bit more challenging. In which case – what you eat PRIOR to going is most important. Consider having a high protein snack 90 minutes to 2 hours before the dinner, party, etc. so that blood sugar stays stable.
A few examples of what that snack could look like:
- Plain, 2% or Whole Milk Grass Fed Greek Yogurt, Goat Yogurt or Cottage Cheese with a few Pecans, Walnuts, Pine Nuts or Nut Butter mixed in (bonus: dash of cinnamon to further help stabilize blood sugar)
- Grass Fed Beef Jerky and/or Hard Boiled Egg(s)
- Organic Deli Turkey with a little olive-oil based Hummus
- 1/2 – 1 KOIA + few Nuts // Seeds
- Any Leftover Protein (steak, chicken, chicken salad, etc) you have on hand + few Raw Vegetables
3: FUEL YOURSELF WELL THROUGHOUT THE DAY VS SAVING FOR DINNER
Two takeaways: 1- do not skip meals or “save” for the dinner/party – this is how you set yourself up for low blood sugar and therefore make it very challenging to stay mindful around food. 2- make protein and greens your priority through the day, leading up to your evening plans – this way you walk into the situation fueled well, blood sugar is stable and you’re better able to be mindful of the foods you’re choosing to consume.
4: FOCUS ON THE FOODS YOU WANT TO CONSUME VS STRESSING OVER THE FOODS YOU DON’T
It’s very easy to get consumed with, overwhelmed by and stressed over all of the temptations the holidays present around food and therefore make a lot of promises to yourself about what you WON’T do.
I am SUCH a believer in the notion: “where the mind is, the body will follow”.
If we focus on what we don’t want – we’re probably going to fail (I’ve seen it happen in myself and others over and over again).
Instead, do your best to focus on WHAT YOU DO WANT.
For example: instead of “I’m not going to eat dessert at any party this year – I only get to have dessert on Thanksgiving Day and Christmas Day.” Try: “When the holidays are over, I want to feel really good in my body + my clothes. To do this, I will support myself with movement, sleep, hydration and nutrition, consistently.”
I PROMISE YOU – when you lead yourself with the former – ALL you’re going to think about is dessert. And it’s going to get REAL old after the first couple of parties.
When you lead yourself with the latter, you will probably have some dessert, but you will be much more mindful around it – you will enjoy it more vs feeling like you have to scarf it down, hide it or binge it; you will appreciate it more vs being angry at it (bc you let yourself down) AND you will ultimately eat less of it because you’re focused on the holistic picture of what you WANT to feel like when it’s all said and done.
5: SET SPECIFIC OR HOLISTIC INTENTIONS AROUND ALCOHOL
You didn’t think I was going to miss this one did you? 😉
I’d like to offer some perspective on navigating alcohol (during the holidays or otherwise) – KNOW YOURSELF – let me explain:
You may be someone who does much better with very specific boundaries.
For example: I will only have 4 drinks per week OR I have 3 parties this week, I will only have 2 drinks at each.
Alternatively, you may be someone who does much better with holistic intentions (similar to the example I gave in #4 above).
For example: I want to feel GOOD when I wake up in the mornings – I will do what I need to do to support that.
The latter is a less restrictive way to approach it, but they both ask us to tap into our own self-trust and keep our promises to ourselves.
ENJOY this time of year. YOU CAN TRUST YOURSELF to take GOOD care of yourself. Think about ALL you’ve learned from our work together + the last year of Sunday Wisdom’s!! You have ALL of the knowledge you need to make choices that take good care of you + help you feel the way you WANT to feel.
And when you do make a choice that feels off-kilter from your intentions, set the guilt and shame down (be honest: have these tactics ever truly worked for you long term), PAUSE and ask yourself:
“What is the next right thing that takes the best care of me?”
Set your intentions for this holiday season – specifically or holistically, with a focus on what you WANT >> lead yourself with:
How do I want to FEEL on January 2nd?
I’m here for pep talks, reminders and a lot of cheerleading!