Balance the holiday festivities with these top 7 “how to’s”

holidaytreats

The holidays are a time for gathering with family and friends.  It’s social for adults, families and children and typically involves foods that we may not indulge in on a consistent basis throughout the year but  are ever present at every event we attend.  So how do you get through the holiday festivities enjoying the foods and drinks but while also keeping your health intact?  The largest focus is to not create a total stress load on your body.  I often use the bathtub analogy which I won’t go into here.  But in essence, keep your tub from overflowing by not over-indulging.  For example all of these indulgences in a day may fill your tub to the rim:  3 cookies, eating dairy which you know doesn’t agree with you, a sugary drink which will keep you up half the night, stressed out from last minute holiday shopping  and travel, etc.  Sound familiar?  Here are 7 great how to’s to help keep your tub ‘low’ and help you keep in balance.

  1.  If it’s a potluck, bring a dish you know that you’ll enjoy and can meet your dietary needs (whatever those needs may be: ie., no dairy, no wheat, no corn, no sugar, etc).  For examples, I am strict about abstaining from dairy, so I’ll bring hummus.  Or my son needs to eat gluten free, so I’ll be sure to pack gluten free crackers (whether I’m asked to bring a dish or not).
  2. Eat the veggies that are offered first.  It’s best to fill up on nutrient dense foods before indulging in the “treats” whatever they may be.
  3. Try to keep with the real food options.  In other words, skip the prepackaged potato salad, fruit/whipped salad, store bought cookies, etc.   Eat home made meat skewers, veggies, avocado dips, etc.   These items require few ingredients and should be closer to “real”.  
  4. Stay away from the “treats” table.  Place yourself in a different location, as far away as possible.
  5. If you are going to indulge (just can’t commit to #4); do so with only one item.   Scan the options that are being offered and acknowledge that you will have the chocolate truffle that’s been waving to you from across the room.  BUT eat the veggies, meat options and other health “real food” items first.  
  6. Enjoy a beverage of your choice without sugars.  And if you do choose alcohol, try to refrain from sugary additives: fruit juices, syrups, etc.  Added sugars create an added toxic load on the liver and may even keep you awake half of the night.  Instead, opt for soda water as an additive with lemons or limes.  
  7. Alternate an alcoholic beverage with water.  I love soda water and that becomes my alternative.  (I will often bring this to a party as well as that I have this as an option).

Have fun.  Enjoy your time with friends and family.  And most of all…. be well.

Lynn

P.S. if you have other ideas on how to maintain a healthy balance through the holidays please share.  I’d love to hear from you.  

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