The holidays have become synonymous with gluttony. It’s as if we don’t know how to celebrate without feeling like bloated slugs when its all over. But you don’t have to “celebrate” like that!
Before you close this page because I sound like some crazy killjoy, I want you to know that I love holiday food — seriously, love it! Grandma’s stuffing, sweet potato casserole, and pecan pie are all delicious and bring back so many happy memories. If we are lucky, our holiday tables are a part of beautiful traditions that we get to share and pass on. But they can also be scenes of heinous crimes we commit on our digestive system. Often, we see that table and eat too much, too quickly and end up really wasting a beautiful meal.
So how can you have both? How can we enjoy participating in that beautiful tradition without going overboard and putting stress on our digestive system? Here are some tips!
- Have a plan. Before you step foot near that table, have a plan. Know what and how much you are going to eat and drink because it’s way harder to make good decisions when surrounded by not so great ones. Which leads me to tip 2
- Load up on taste vegetables. At least half of your plate should be non-starchy vegetables that are not coated in sugar. So if greens aren’t something normally served at your table, adjust the menu. Check out this technique for simple and easy to cook greens like chard, kale, or collard greens.
- Eat even more taste vegetables. Instead of the traditional sweet potato casserole that should probably be setting next to the rest of the desserts, roast some sweet potatoes along with some red onion and an apple. Or chop up your favorite vegetables into bite sized pieces and roast them until they are soft. My favorite combinations are broccoli and carrots or Brussell sprouts, butternut squash, and red onion. Most vegetables taste great roasted, and all you really need is a bit of coconut oil or ghee, some salt and pepper, and an oven set to 400. The great thing about eating a whole foods diet is that the food already tastes good so the cooking doesn’t have to be hard.
- Don’t let yourself get too hungry. Eat normally before the meal or party because the last thing you need is for blood sugar to go on a roller coaster ride. We make our best choices when our blood sugar is stable, so make sure to eat normally up until the big meal.
- Enjoy your food! The funny thing about these feasting days is that we load up our plates to the breaking point and then shovel it all down like at any minute it’s just going to disappear — which means that we are very rarely even tasting our food. So stop. The food isn’t going anywhere and there is probably wayyyy more than you need. Take a few deep breaths and chew slowly and thoroughly so you can actually enjoy what you are putting into your body.
I hope this holiday season is wonderful for you and that you find lots of ways to take pleasure in and enjoy all the beauty that is around us.
If you’d like to make lasting changes for a healthier life, I offer a variety of health coaching programs. I’m booking people now for January, so go ahead and sign up for your free health consultation and let’s kick off the new year right!