By Monika Bock
Don’t get let the holidays keep you from continuing to reach your nutritional goals.
This season is almost always busy, filled with gatherings and get-togethers, cookie baking and possibly glühwein drinking. It doesn’t have to be one filled with gluttony and regret about the food choices you make.
It takes a little bit of planning, a bit of accountability and choice on your part, and perhaps some experimentation. Looking out for yourself over the sometimes stressful holiday season is important and balance is key.
By definition, balance is the even distribution of something. How can you balance the overwhelming desire to eat and drink all the goodness over the coming weeks?
Balance is key.
1) If you are headed over to someone’s house for a holiday gathering:
Inform them ahead of time of your dietary needs. Give them fair warning especially if this change is relatively new and they haven’t seen you in a while.
Offer to bring 1-2 dishes that you can enjoy, this takes the stress off the host and alleviates you guessing what could be in certain dishes.
Bring healthy and fresh appetizers like cut up veggies and hummus or prosciutto wrapped figs/dates.
Eat before you go out. If you eat a protein (two hardboiled eggs for example) you won’t be tempted to graze all evening and be stuck between a rock and hard place.
Ensure that you are well hydrated before you attend a gathering.
Switch off drinking alcoholic beverages with sparkling water to alleviate some of the effects.
Consider choosing non-alcoholic beverages for the party and bring along some great mocktails. Pomegranate lime spritzers made with sparkling water are tasty for example.
2) If it hasn’t worked for you in the past why continue?
If every year you feel awful after eating your Aunt Matilda’s Christmas pudding give yourself permission to opt out (and as stated above give people a heads up in advance). As we are all grown-ups your aunt/cousin/uncle/friends should understand if you opt out of a particular course or treat. You don’t have to eat or drink something if it makes YOU feel bad (bloated, foggy, itchy, etc.) If you need someone else’s permission to do so, I’m giving it you right now. (So, no excuses.) Worried about how someone else “feels” because you won’t eat their food when you suffer the consequences is neither healthy for you in the long run nor would I think your friends/family would want you to feel that way. Be appreciative of the fact that they took time to make it, comment on it’s appearance, but politely decline. Remember…
“Not everyone will understand your journey. That’s fine.
It’s not their journey to make sense of. It’s yours.”
– Zero Dean
3) Get outside and play.
If your holiday plans include a lot of time sitting and visiting with friends and family get outside for a walk. Explore your neighborhood or that of your friends and family. Perhaps there is a lake or park nearby. The benefits of getting outside even for 10 minutes can give you a reset.
If no one will join you then take a brief time out for yourself and do a lap around the block.
Play games and move away from the food/snack table.
Catch up with family in a different setting and see where the day or afternoon might lead you.
If you know that the event will likely include a lot of time sitting do a quick workout at home before you go. It doesn’t need to long or super involved, but will give your body that extra burst of energy as well as flooding your system with oxygen.
4) Enjoy them!
Along with the above tips one of the most important tips is to ENJOY the holidays and all they have to offer. Enjoy the treats that only come around once a year. Eat them, savor them, taste them, eat them slowly. Don’t beat yourself up because you had too many cookies/wine/chocolate. Tomorrow is another day and as I said above balance is key.
Monika Bock is a holistic nutritionist based in Munich, she is the owner of Nourish-Alō Holistic Nutrition and whose motto is Nourish/Thrive/Sustain. Monika works with a diverse clientele with various health concerns and goals making changes that are both positive and sustainable over time. Start off 2018 on the right foot and join her January as she hosts three workshops on clean eating followed up with a 21 Day Reset (small group) coaching program to ensure that you attain your health and wellness goals. Acknowledging that Every BODY is different and people have individual needs, she addresses these needs through a whole food nutrition program and lifestyle change approach.