Social gatherings and holidays are usually filled with gluttony and overeating. Sadly, what these indulgences leave behind is zapped energy, disrupted sleep, incessant sugar cravings,bloated bellies, thick brain fog and sometimes constipation or diarrhea. Not to mention, the guilt and self-loathing you have now invested hours into as a result of the 2LBS you packed on along the way.
So how do we walk the fine line between indulging and still NOURISHING our body and spirit?
Below are 8 tips to help you sail gracefully through social gatherings feeling in control, without inflicting strict rules of deprivation & abstinence.
1) CHEAT WITHOUT GUILT
Are there foods that you only eat when you eat out, like dessert, alcohol or your grandma’s homemade cobbler? No need to abstain, instead reframe. Take those incredibly indulgent recipes and reinvent them or UPGRADE them by using less sugar, higher quality fats, oils and sweeteners and swapping regular flour for gluten free, almond, or coconut flour.
Below are 5 of my favorite GUILT-FREE, gluten-free, Paleo brunch recipes.
Feta and Dill Spinach Frittata
Bacon Braised Brussels Sprouts
Coconut Macaroons Thumbprints with Raspberry Chia Jam
2) KEEP YOUR WILLPOWER INTACT
- Avoid the temptation of fasting all day in hopes of saving your appetite and calories for your holiday feast! Fasting will set you up for disaster, hijack your willpower, and lead to overindulging.
- Instead, start your day off right with a balanced, hearty breakfast centered on high-quality protein, Nutritious fat & mixed veggies
- OR make a nutrient packed VEGAN protein shake or green smoothie for breakfast and lunch. This strategy will keep your hunger at bay and keep willpower on your side; allowing you to choose foods that nourish and support your body while at the same time prevent you from overindulging.
3) NAVIGATE HOLIDAY PARTIES LIKE AN EXPERT!
- Timing is everything. Never go to a party HUNGRY!
- Filling up on healthy food before you go. Saying “No Thank You!” and passing up an entire plate full of goodies becomes a whole lot easier one you taken hunger off the table.
- It’s amazing what happens to your better judgment when hunger is taken off the table.
- Arm yourself with bubbly water and a lime in a cocktail or wine glass. It will do two things: 1) Prevent the host/hostess from continually asking you if you want a drink and 2) It will keep your hands occupied.
- Get out of the kitchen- grab a small plate and ask people to join you in another room away from the kitchen to avoid temptation
- Slow down! Pace your eating with the slowest eater in the room. Setting your fork down between bites can help you achieve this. You should find you consume much less food just by slowing down.
4) STRATEGIZE BEFORE YOU ARRIVE
- Have a PLAN and strategize what you are going to eat, and what you’re going to skip before you arrive.
- Where is your calorie compromise going to come from? Are you going to choose to drink alcohol? What kind/how much? If you have a glass or two of wine then perhaps you will skip appetizers?
- Will you be eating dessert? If so, maybe skip the starch during your meal.
- If you know you will be tempted by desserts opt to bring a healthy one. I call it a dessert upgrade! It’s something that tastes great but offers high quality ingredients too. Paleo muffins, pumpkin custard, raw coconut macaroons, 70% or higher dark chocolate.
- Travelling during the holidays? NO PROBLEM! Bring along your magic bullet or smoothie shaker, some Vegan Protein powder (I love ARBONNE and PurePaleo), and chia seed. You’ll be good to go for at least 1, maybe 2 meals per day, eliminating the added stress of having to worry/obsess about finding your next healthy meal!
5) SET A GOAL
- Instead of waiting for tomorrow to dedicate your time to healthy eating and exercise, start those habits now!
- Weight loss is probably a lofty and unrealistic goal during the holidays but what about maintaining where you’re at?
- Keep yourself honest. Instead of living in your workout gear or leggings, wear your “skinny jeans” weekly to make sure your weight isn’t creeping up on you.
6) INDULGE IN SOMETHING THAT FEEDS & NOURISHES YOUR SOUL.
- Life is hectic and stressful– make sure you take time to slow down and even schedule special ways to feed your soul and de-stress.
- If you don’t plan it-it won’t happen! You can manage your stress and lower your cortisol levels (belly fat hormone) by taking time to slow down. Take a walk, read a book, sit by the fire.
- Times of high stress are not the time to be taxing your body with intense exercise!
- Sign up for Yoga or a dance class. Commit to take at least 1-2 classes per week.
- Practice deep breathing and meditationYoga and deep breathing have been proven to increase hormones like GABA, our natural valium/tranquilizer, boost serotonin,your happy calming neurotransmitter, AND lower cortisol, our stress and belly fat hormone!
- Try an app like Pranayama App or sign up for a class
- Schedule a massage or facial for yourself now!
- Schedule a stress reduction session with your therapist or healer.
- Limit/upgrade your caffeine
- Use green tea instead of coffee and trade wine and alcohol for bubbly water with lemon in your favorite wine glass.
- Both coffee (most coffee and alcohol) disrupt sleep and drive up cortisol levels, encouraging your body to pack on body and belly fat.
7) TAKE THE FOCUS OFF FOOD
- Make celebrating and socializing with your family and friends more fun and meaningful by coming up with activities that aren’t centered around food.
- Plan activities for the kids such as making ornaments or completing a festive scrapbook project.
- Play games, take a long walk, or organize an active game of flag football after dinner.
- This is a great way to keep your hands and mouth occupied and keep the focus on what the true meaning of the holidays are all about–being surrounded with those you love!
8) SAY NO WITH GRACE & EASE
- No one can make you eat something you don’t want to eat! It is always your choice.
- Just learn to say “no thank you” politely.
- Don’t make up excuses like “Not now” or “I’m too full” because it doesn’t discourage people from continuing to ask you to join in on dessert!
- Simply, get in the habit of saying, “No thank you! Sadly, if I eat that it makes me feel really awful!” Or “No thank you. I feel so much better without it!“
- Rarely will you be met with resistance and you’ll quickly realize it’s much easier to do than you believed.
“I REGRET EATING HEALTHY TODAY!”
Said NO ONE EVER
Wishing you and your loved ones a wonderful holiday season!