Tips on Staying Healthy During the Holidays
Christmas can be very stressful when we have a big family and try make everything perfect. The decorations, Christmas cards, shopping, gifts, hair, clothes, and the food! Deciding what to cook for family and guests and attending Christmas parties. Phew, what a run! The hustle and bustle of the holiday season can cause you to become overly stressed or anxious. It becomes even more stressful if we indulge in too much foods mostly before the holidays and arrive at Christmas already exhausted. The importance of not losing yourself along the way.
Trying to be healthy during the holiday season can be a real challenge at times. Beyond the stress, we are exposed to so much food and temptations that it is so easy to overeat. Not taking care of your self can result in sickness or weight gain. Horror! So how can you cope with the challenges of the holiday season?
Whether you follow a raw food diet or simply want to avoid fattening dishes this Christmas, it can be a challenge to eat healthy during the holidays. It’s very tempting to let yourself go, giving into the idea that you’ll start taking better care of yourself again in the new year. Give yourself the gift of awesome health (only you can do it). Wake up on the morning of January 2nd feeling healthy, energetic, and happy that you stayed true to your values.
Here are some tips to help you deal with the stress of the holiday season:
1. Plan ahead
Set realistic goals. Be prepared, get some good recipes, and know what you are making in advance. Know your intentions, what you want to indulge in and what you want to restrict. How do you want to wake up on January 2nd? For example, you may decide to skip all alcoholic drinks and bring your own punch. Take time to decide what you want to do for Christmas with the end in mind. Write it on an index card to stay true to your health goals.
2. Design a holiday menu that is compatible with your health goals
Include raw and healthy alternatives to heavy and fattening dishes. Prepare lots of raw dishes for the holidays. Take it as a great opportunity to try your skills at preparing delicious raw food dishes for the holidays. You’ll have leftovers that you can enjoy all week long. Go through your raw food books and choose yummy recipes. Choose nut loaf, cashew sauce for salad and steamed veggies, relish with cranberries, side dishes with buttercup squash, steamed veggies, and miso gravy are all examples. The Internet is an invaluable resource. If you are looking to replace your favorite recipe, then Google it with the word “raw” (for example, search for “raw Christmas pudding”). You’ll be surprised at what you find.
Don’t miss out on your daily raw staples such as salads and smoothies. Drink herbal tea to keep you warm and prevent you from overeating. It works!
3. Socialize the best you can
Attend only the parties that you really want to attend, and learn to say no to others. You’ll save a lot of calories and time. Focus on the social part instead of the foods.
Eat a raw meal before attending an event. You’ll be less likely to fill up on sweets and high-calorie appetizers.
Bring your own raw food appetizers to potluck parties. Impress your guests. You can always eat your own dish if there are no healthy alternatives.
Arrive at mealtime for a dinner party and avoid before-dinner drinks and appetizers.
Focus on the social part of the event rather than the eating.
4. Deal positively with family gatherings
Bring your own favorite dish! Take enough to share and have back-ups in case your family likes the raw stuff so much that there’s none left for you!
Instead of alcohol, make a great punch that will delight your palate and refresh you instead of (recipe below).
Bring an awesome raw dessert so you won’t feel deprived at the end of the meal. Dessert is comforting, so you won’t miss other tempting foods.
I know it can be a bit rough to sit at the table while everybody is praising the roast and you’re eating vegan food. Just remind yourself of your reasons for eating the way you do, and you’ll feel instantly better. After the meal, you’ll be able to relax and talk about other subjects. The best thing to do is to bring foods that you can share with others.
Deal with positively family members. You may have chosen this lifestyle, but you need to respect the lifestyles of others. Don’t talk about diets at the table. A party is the worst time to talk about nutrition. If the topic of why you may not be eating something comes up, mention that this is what you feel like eating. Simply state that you don’t judge them–you eat this way, because that’s what makes sense for you. If you are certain of your motives, it will make them more at ease. Set your boundaries ahead of time. Decide exactly what conversations you are willing to have and know the ones you want to avoid. Be confident in your choice, relax, and enjoy. Maintain the focus on what make the holiday special: sharing your love.
5. Keep up your exercise program
It will help you maintain your weight, give you more energy, and allow you to deal better with holiday stress. Go for walks or do outdoor sports. Go skiing, hiking, or skating. Don’t forget that walking is one of the healthiest ways to reduce stress. Keep walking every day.
Love, laugh and enjoy. The holidays are about spending time with the ones you love. Don’t sweat the small stuff. Embrace the spirit, and have fun. Laughter is the key to being healthy. By taking steps to keep stress at bay, you open yourself up to more joy and peace!
6. Get enough sleep
Without a good night’s sleep you’ll feel the stress of the holidays even more. Get to bed at the same time each night or earlier if you can. When you’re rested, you handle stress better, work more productively, think more clearly, and run your errands more efficiently.
7. Take time for yourself
Take some time out for yourself. Celebrate your life and raw journey.
Eat light the week before Christmas and get plenty of rest, so you arrive feel refreshed and full of life.
Treat yourself to a massage or do something nice just for you to provide relief from the season.
Refuse to feel guilty if you have not lived up to your expectations. Take the lessons, write down your feelings, and plan for next year
Guylaine Lacerte is a Certified Raw Food Nutrition Educator, a Certified Coach, a Professional Counsellor and founder of The Raw Food Path. She helps health seekers achieve vibrant health and boundless energy, get the body of their dream, solve emotional issues and limiting beliefs.
Guylaine offers one on one coaching and consultation, raw food classes, and holistic retreats.
Check out Guylaine’s website at Raw Food Path dot com Sign up for her Newsletter and receive monthly recipes of deliciousness!