Mindful Eating During the Holidays (While Still Enjoying Yourself)
By: Charlotte Silverstein
We have hit that point in the year where holiday treats are constantly circling the office, there’s a cocktail party every night, and family and friend gatherings every weekend. Whether you have dietary restrictions, or have been working hard in the gym, the holidays can really stress out our bodies and minds. Not to mention the dreaded New Years resolution “deadline” coming up (more on that in an upcoming blog).
We all want to feel our best, but we also want to have fun and take part in the holiday festivities. As you know, we’re all about duality, so we’ve put together some quick suggestions you can use to get through the holiday season, while still enjoying yourself!
FOR A LARGE-SCALE GATHERING: Bring your own food
Don’t be shy. There will be many people and dishes galore. Make your go-to healthy savory or sweet dish, and make enough for others to try! The host will appreciate the extra food and it may end up being hit of the party. Feeling stuck? We have a tasty gluten-free and vegan holiday recipe on our blog.
If the thought of cooking and baking stresses you out, stop by the grocery store and bring a few of your pre-made favorites. Heck, you can even call ahead and order from your favorite restaurant!
FOR AN INTIMATE FAMILY & FRIENDS EVENT: Be honest
We turned to The Balanced Blonde, Jordan Younger, for this one. Don’t be afraid to tell the host about your dietary restrictions beforehand. No need to feel guilty! If the host already knows you well, they may go out of their way to make you a special dish.
Now, you may encounter situations where there is absolutely nothing you can eat. Jordan suggests the following wording in-order to politely turn down a dish, and to avoid feeling sick: “Thank you so much, but I really have to stick to my healing protocol. I know my diet is always changing and that can be confusing, so trust me it’s MY CONCERN not yours. Don’t worry about me at all, I am totally fine eating when I get home! I just want to spend time with you — that’s what matters about getting together, not the food.”
Have a decent sized meal before showing up to the event and eat something healthy that makes you feel satisfied. Upon arrival, you can easily skip all of the snacks and hearty main courses - treat yourself to some dessert and a few drinks!
Be of assistance + move move move
Maybe you overindulged a little bit during the meal, that’s okay! Offer to clean up and do the dishes. The extra movement is great for digestion and will be greatly appreciated. If there is some down time, grab a friend or family member and go for a ten minute walk around the block. Your body will thank you.
Watch the alcohol + hydrate
We’re not saying don’t drink... we're saying be mindful of what you drink. Holiday cocktails are loaded with sugars and syrups. Avoid mixed cocktails and opt for a clear liquor with soda water, or a glass of wine or two. If you are unsure, it is always safest to bring your own. On that note, hydrate, hydrate, hydrate! Your skin and organs need it, especially during these dry months.
Indulge in moderation and control your portions
We’re all about the mac and cheese, mashed potatoes and gravy, egg nog, and pie, but not so keen on how they make us feel when we've devoured them all in one sitting. Being mindful of our portions can help us enjoy our meals without the post bloat, crash or fatigue. Research shows that the first few bites of a meal are the most satisfying.
Prep your body
In addition to squeezing in a few extra yoga or spin classes during your time off, you can prep your body for the heartier meals by taking supplements. For example, for those who often feel bloated and uncomfortable after eating dairy and gluten, we suggest taking GlutenFlam or Rainbow Light Advanced Enzyme System. These supplements help break down gluten-based products (Rainbow Light helps with gluten, dairy, meat, veggies and more, as well!) and allow them to be more easily digested and broken down by our bodies. This really comes in handy when you want that piece of pie that is filled with gluten and dairy. *Please note that it is safest to consult your primary care physician first before trying any new supplement
We’d love to hear how you plan tackle this holiday season! Comment below for a chance to win a box of holiday treats.