Have you established a good healthy routine? Maybe you’ve made some positive changes to your diet during this past year and you feel great. Having a good routine with your diet is key to health.
However, with so many holiday temptations, it’s hard to stick to the routine during the festive season. There is always this fear that falling out of routine will mean all your symptoms will return. At the same time though, you want to be able to have fun and “cheat” a bit. So how do you prevent yourself from going too far?
It’s important to establish rules for your holiday events, and give yourself boundaries.
Here’s how to prevent that from happening without driving yourself crazy this holiday season. This will be different for everyone, but here are some ideas:
There may be certain foods that are just off-the-menu for you regardless of the time of year. Maybe you’re a strict vegan, or you’re really sensitive to gluten. Don’t be shy about what is off-limits. There’s no need to explain yourself, or feel guilty about refusing certain foods. If you had a severe allergy to nuts, no one would force pecan pie on you. Why should it be any different if you are gluten or dairy-free? Your food choices are your business.
However, it goes both ways. The holidays may not be the best time to try to impose your healthy food habits on to others. I find the best way to influence others to make a change is to lead by example.
Some foods may still be on the menu, but you will want to limit them. Perhaps this is sugar or alcohol. It’s important to have rules around this as well. This may mean just one glass of wine, or one small slice of cake. Hosts will always encourage you to refill your drink, or have another helping of dessert, but don’t be afraid to politely decline. Listen to your body, not to others. Over-indulging in desserts and alcohol doesn’t make the holidays more fun, it just means you will feel sick the next day.
It can be too easy to get swept up by “holiday mode”, causing you to fall out of your healthy routine, to the detriment of your eating and sleep schedules. In order to get the most out of this festive time, try sticking to your healthy routine on the non-party days. There’s no need to drink wine at home on a Tuesday just because it’s the holiday season. Take the bottles of wine and chocolates you received as gifts and store them away for when company is over.
The day before a party or a big family meal, make sure you are drinking lots of water. Eat plenty of fruits and vegetables, especially dark greens, as the chlorophyll is so cleansing for the liver, colon and lungs. I don’t recommend that you restrict your quantity of food or calories, as this will just lead to over-indulgence later on.
The best way to make sure there are healthy options around the holiday season is to make your own. Bring a veggie tray with hummus to a party. Bake healthier desserts for your friends and family. For years, I have gifted healthy treats, such as homemade raw chocolate. If you’re looking for inspiration, follow us on Instagram and Facebook.
In the first half of December, we will be doing a Holiday Healthy Cookie Series, all vegan, gluten-free cookies made with real ingredients and natural sweeteners!
We will also be making some delicious vegetable side dishes for holiday feasts and healthy appetizers for parties.
If you need help establishing rules and limits for yourself this holiday season, we can help! Get a personalized holiday survival guide and a post-holiday New Year cleanse.