Yup, it’s the holiday season. From Thanksgiving to New Year’s Eve, our schedules are jam packed with back-to-back events. This means we’re faced with tons of heavy meals, tempting cookies and cakes, yummy holiday cocktails, etc. During these indulgent few weeks, we become nervous about eating everything in sight and getting wasted on the endless alcoholic bevvies.
Having a plan in place for the season can help us maintain a healthy balance, mentally and physically. So, here are my seven tips for surviving the holidays.
1) Do some pre-planning
If your company holiday party is this week, plan out some healthy meals leading up to the party. Preparing some meals on Sunday night will allow you to stick to the 80/20 rule. This rule refers to eating healthy 80% of the time and eating whatever the heck you want the remaining 20%. This will also help eliminate that super guilty feeling that creeps in after eating an amazingly delicious dessert, or two.
I recommend making a huge vat of quinoa and throwing in whatever you have in the house like veggies, avocados, sliced almonds, etc. Quinoa is super easy to make and you can have it for breakfast, lunch or dinner as it’s pretty versatile. It also has tons of fiber and is a complete protein, so it’s super satiating and healthy.
2) Have a snack before going to a party
If you’re heading to a holiday party straight from work, bring a snack to work that day and eat it right before you head out. Showing up full will prevent you from attacking the first thing you see and it will allow you to make smarter choices. You can actually take a few minutes, say your hellos to everyone and assess all the different food options before eating. You can then more thoughtfully decide what appeals to you the most. And, once you decide on that one thing you can’t live without, give yourself permission to eat it and totally enjoy it.
3) Eat more mindfully
Mindful eating means being more thoughtful when eating. This includes chewing very well and appreciating the yummy flavors and other elements of our food. Normally, we just throw food down our throats as we want to taste every single thing in front of us. Instead of feeling the pressure to eat fast and try everything, focus your attention on the food you are currently enjoying. You’ll see that when you eat more mindfully, your cravings start to decrease and you’re satisfied with a less amount of food.
4) Stick to less sugary drinks and don’t have too many
Try to avoid those super fancy cocktails with tons of calories and sugary ingredients. Stick to good old vodka sodas, which have fewer calories and less sugar than most other alcoholic beverages. Feel free to throw in lemon slices for some added flavor. Another option is a dry red wine as it has very little, if any, sugar.
Also, don’t go overboard. Cap yourself at one to two drinks a night, especially if you’re going out multiple nights a week. Having three or four drinks at each party will add up over the season.
5) Detoxing after a big night
For that night you just give into your cravings, you need some sort of plan for detoxing your system of your decisions. I recommend adding one tablespoon of apple cider vinegar with some lemon juice to a full glass of warm water. After eating and drinking all sorts of toxins, the unique acids in apple cider vinegar bind to these toxins and help eliminate them more efficiently.
Also, make sure to eat tons of veggies, especially the dark green leafy ones like kale, spinach, etc., and only eat whole, unprocessed foods the day after overindulging. These healthy foods will help replenish your body and provide it with the nutrients it needs to bounce back.
6) Be grateful
Take a few minutes this season and be thankful for everything around you. Think about how grateful you are for your family and friends and how lucky you are to share these moments with them. You can even take it a step further and actually tell them how you feel. Expressing yourself allows people to understand you better and will open the door for more authentic relationships.
7) Don’t forget about yourself
Finally, don’t neglect yourself and your self-care routine this time of year. The holidays are all about giving, but don’t forget to put yourself on that list too. Still make time for your favorite gym class or whatever else you usually do to feel your best.
Happy and HEALTHY holidays!