Holiday meals and parties can sabotage our best health intentions. One sip or bite can lead to another. Combined with festive spirits, healthy eating is suddenly thrown to the wind and you find yourself tired, bloated and full at the end of the month.
Here are 10 simple tips I give clients who want to remain in control during the holiday season.
I guarantee there is at least one tip in here you can use to help kick holiday chaos to the curb.
1. Avoid grains at breakfast. I know it sounds scary, but it works! I promise! Start your day with a hefty dose of healthy fats (avocado, coconut, nuts, seeds and nut milk), a little lean protein (eggs, fish, protein powder) and a serving of vegetables or low glycemic fruit (berries, pears, apples). One of my favourite combinations is a bullet proof coffee, coupled with a cup of berries or even vegetable sticks (I can eat in the car). This keeps insulin low and taps into the hormone glucagon to harness fat as an energy source. You'll be fuelled for hours.
2. Plan to eat a healthy salad or snack before parties to avoid noshing on too many appetizers.
3. Offer to bring food. Remember that Holiday Recipe guide you received last week? There are lots of healthy, delicious and festive options there that will keep you fuelled and guilt-free.
4. Avoid courses or options that are breaded or covered in sauce. Chose lean protein and vegetables to help balance blood sugar.
5. Want seconds? Reach for the vegetables or salad to fill you up.
6. When it comes to dessert, try a two-bite approach. You taste. You savour. You move on - guilt-free.
7. Aim for 2L of water daily. It will help flush the system and metabolize un-wanted fat. Water is a food group! Drinking warm water (vs cold) helps flush the lymphatic system (your body's largest circulatory system that is responsible for waste management).
8. During the week, take a few days to cleanse. Make a big batch of homemade vegetable soup for work and home. Drink bone broth as a snack. Load up on salads. Emphasize lean, whole healthy foods and you WILL maintain balance.
9. Take time to BREATH. Some of the healthiest blood I've ever seen (in my live cell microscopy practice) belonged to Yogis. Not because they ate well - because they practiced daily breath work. Five slow counts in, hold for 5 counts, five counts out. Five minutes a day. It detoxes the body, mind and soul. And keeps you cool, calm and collected during the holiday chaos.
10. Finally, chose quality over quantity. Look for healthier meal options at parties– nutrient dense, fibre filled meals. Just like a good pair of shoes, quality will take you further AND keep you looking and feeling great.