Prioritizing Your Health During the Holidays

Part I: Food

The holidays are a wonderful time of year where we get together with family and friends. The holidays can also be a stressful and hectic time as we host or attend more parties, rush around to get everything ready for that one day (in this case Thanksgiving), or travel during one of the busiest travel times of the year. Let’s just say there is much more hustle and bustle when the holidays roll around, and it usually starts during the weeks leading up to Thanksgiving.

Prioritizing your health is one of the best things you can do anytime of the year but especially during the holidays. If you take care of YOU first, then you will be able to show up for others and be able to be fully present.

It is no secret that food plays a major role in how we feel on daily basis. I am here to tell you that it is absolutely possible to nourish your body and enjoy some of your favorite foods during this holiday season! It does not have to be all or nothing where you feel like you have to completely start over January 1st. 80% of the time focus on eating whole, real, foods, and the other 20% of the time enjoy some of your favorites this holiday season! Life is meant to be enjoyed!

How do I find a balance between eating well during this holiday season while also wanting to have all the foods that I look forward to all year?

One of the best things you can do is to build your plate in a way that satiates you and stabilizes your blood sugar 80% of the time. For most people, this includes filling up on 25-30 grams of protein (vegan or animal), some healthy fat, and lots of fiber.

Here are some examples of breakfast, lunch, and dinner that should stabilize your blood sugar:

Breakfast– Eggs, spinach, tomato and avocado with coffee/tea and collagen

Lunch– Lentil soup with crackers and a salad with extra virgin olive oil

Snack– Green apple and handful of nuts

Dinner– Wild caught salmon, quinoa or sweet potato, and roasted broccoli

If MOST of your plates are filled with protein, fat, and fiber and you find that your blood sugar stays stable, then you will likely actually not want to overdo it on your favorites. Savor each bite, and move on!

What should I eat (if anything) before a party or Thanksgiving dinner?

You should ABSOLUTELY eat normally before going to a party or eating Thanksgiving dinner. You don’t want to go starving because then you are more likely to overeat, and then you will just not feel good.

If you need a little something beforehand, again, focus on protein, fat, and fiber. You could have a spoonful of almond butter and some carrots or a small protein shake. Just make sure you are not ravenous!

A note about Thanksgiving dinner…if your mom’s mashed potatoes and pumpkin pie are your absolute favorites then enjoy every single bite! No guilt. I do recommend bringing some digestive enzymes if, say, you have been avoiding gluten and dairy for months. It can definitely be a shock to your digestion!

Can I have alcohol and prioritize my health?

Alcohol seems to be flowing just a little bit more during the holidays! Celebrations tend to center around drinks and food. My recommendation, if you do drink alcohol, is to have a plan about how many drinks you can handle and still sleep well and feel good the next day. For me, I can only have one drink anymore, and I usually stick to clear alcohol like vodka. I like to add soda and a lime or two. With two small kids, it is not worth not sleeping and/or feeling off the next day. Of course, there might be a time or two during the holidays that you drink more than normal, but if prioritizing your health is a priority this holiday season then I suggest sticking to what you know works for you.

If you stick to your plan, stay consistent, and make nourishing choices for your body most of the time, then you are prioritizing your health! Don’t forget to enjoy the moments in between with your loved ones.

If you are finding that it is hard to prioritize your health this holiday season, I would love to help you figure out ways to make it happen! You can book an appointment with me here.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Be well,

Stephanie Watson