Happier Holidays: How to mindfully eat drink and be merry!
With a little advance planning and a few strategies in mind, you can enjoy the holidays with your own wellbeing in tact! Here are some ideas for maximum joy:
Plan Ahead for Holiday Parties:
Eat a healthy snack prior to going to a holiday gathering to avoid over-eating. Foods that contain fiber such as vegetables, beans, and nuts help you feel satisfied.
Bring a healthy offering such as vegetables and hummus, fruit and dip or a festive salad.
Have a food strategy in mind. Budget your calories wisely and only indulge in homemade foods and treats that are truly special to you. Skip the store bought junk.
Move away from the food table! Move your conversation away from the food to a place where you won’t be tempted to “pick.”
Get plenty of rest:
Sleep deprivation causes over-eating and increases stress hormones.
Get 7 to 9 hours of sleep when possible.
Manage your stress:
Make time for a “quiet” moment. Stop, sit down and take a few deep breaths.
Practice letting go - things don’t have to be perfect! It’s better to under-promise and accomplish your goals, than to over-promise and feel stressed and discouraged.
Simplify! Do you really need to prepare a 5-course meal when a 3-course would do just fine?
Ask for help if you need it - what can you take off of your to do list? What is really not necessary?
Exercise when you can:
Exercise helps to burn calories and to reduce stress.
Add extra steps to your day: park farther away at the mall, take the stairs instead of the elevator, or take a brisk walk after a holiday meal.
Alcoholic and caffeinated beverages are dehydrating. If you indulge, drink an 8-ounce glass of water for every alcoholic or caffeinated beverage you consume.
Sugary beverages are very high in calories. Stay away from high calorie soda and coffee drinks and go for mixers such as club soda with a squeeze of lemon or a splash of fruit juice.
Moderation, moderation, moderation!
You do NOT need to suffer and feel like you are depriving your
self over the holidays. Have the foods you enjoy but be aware of eating/drinking sensible portions.
Be particularly mindful over the holidays. Ask yourself – am I making the best choice? How will I feel after I eat/do/say this? Will this food/situation/relationship nourish me physically/emotionally/spiritually?
Wishing you a very happy and healthy holiday season!