This Saturday was my first party of the season and it got me thinking how the holidays are really a minefield for those of us trying to keep inflammation at bay. From loads of sugar we push on each other to the stress of making it a perfect holiday, the season can leave us worse for wear. But it doesn’t have to be that way. There are simple steps we can take to protect ourselves and keep the inflammation at bay.
1. Have a plan. Whether it’s your companies holiday party or Christmas dinner with your in-laws decide beforehand what you will and won’t be eating and drinking. Have a plan to eat one good piece of pie or only indulge in one nice cocktail. Deciding beforehand will give you the power to say no overindulging on the things that make you feel ill.
2. Bring a dish you love that is nutrient rich. If the environment is right and you can or are asked to bring a dish make sure you provide yourself with a really healthy and delicious option. I love braised kale because of its silly simple, delicious, and can be dressed up in all sorts of ways with nuts and berries. Bonus points if you use bone broth!
3. Be a mindful eater. Often times the reason we eat things that make us feel bad is that we aren’t aware of what we are eating. We load our plate up and shovel it all down fast. No matter what your plate looks like make sure to get into a relaxed state before eating (my go-to is deep breathing!), and then chewing thoroughly, pausing between bites. Notice the taste, the smell, the texture. Doing these things (all year round) will ensure that you are digesting properly and giving your brain room to send you the “all full” queue we miss when shoveling in food.
4. Manage stress. The holidays can be stressful which can rob of us of our joy and seriously do a number on our free will. When we are stressed our body is driven towards those types of foods that cause inflammation, like sugary sweets and highly refined carbs. Finding a way to manage your stress, especially when everything else is against you, will keep you in the driver’s seat. You can check out my FREE stress management course here through the end of December.
Holidays are supposed to be a pressure release from the mundane but often they feel like a powder keg. But you can change that. You are in charge and you can create a space to enjoy and nourish yourself.
Happy Healthy Holidays!
PS I have recently partnered with a haircare line that uses cruelty-free non-toxic ingredients that WORK! I know, I was surprised too. If you are interested, check out my Facebook Live announcing my new venture and/or contact me.