Mindful Nutrition and Wellness

Jessica Miller, Holistic Health Coach

Healthy Holiday Indulging

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Which came first the New Year’s resolution or holiday treats? It’s possible one might have influenced the other. The holidays are so often filled with sweets, sauces, and booze, that by the time the next year rolls around, we feel the need to make a huge new commitment to our health. That’s why so many New Year’s resolutions are focused on weight loss, exercising more, and eating better. Unfortunately, many of these resolutions are not maintained despite good intentions because they require extreme lifestyle shifts that are difficult to implement all at once.
But you don’t need to let the holidays force you to make an entire lifestyle overhaul, instead you can start implementing some healthy habits this week despite all of the temptations. You can enjoy the holidays without letting them get the best of you and you can continue these habits into 2015.
Try some of these tips to help you feel happy and healthy at the best time of year.
Do not arrive hungry
It’s easy to overeat at holiday parties that have stocked snack tables and full meals all within a couple of hours. Arriving hungry will likely lead to heavy snacking followed by the standard meal. Before heading to the party, try having a bowl of soup or a solid snack with protein and fiber to keep you satiated to avoid excessive snacking.
Try some of these healthy snack ideas.
Mingle far from the snack table
When you’re hanging out in front of temptation, it’s very hard to resist it- or to know how much you are consuming. When chatting up your friends and family over the holidays, find a spot away from the food and snacks. This will keep you from overeating, but more importantly, will allow you to focus your attention on what (or who) is most important at the party.
Sip tea (or red wine)
Sometimes it’s difficult to have empty hands at a party. Try sipping on some tea or red wine to keep your hands occupied so you don’t feel the need to keep grabbing for something more. Club soda with lime and muddled berries is one of my favorite, simple mocktails!
Check-in
Before grabbing your next plate or snack, wait 15 minutes. Ask yourself if you are really hungry and need more food. If you’re feeling full, hold off. You might discover you have eaten enough and don’t actually need more.
 
Hold out for your favorites
The holidays should not be a time of deprivation, just mindfulness. There is no need to eliminate your favorite treats- just think about what you really love the most. Make that your indulgence, and avoid the others- the ones you don’t care so much about. Don’t try to resist your most favorite treats!
The holidays are not a time to focus on your diet, to feel guilty, or keep a record of how extreme your New Year’s resolution should be. Remember what the holidays are for, and most of all enjoy yourself. Turn off, relax, and reconnect with those you love.
***
Happy Holidays!
Photo: Rockefeller Center, New York City, 2012
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Author: Mindful Nutrition and Wellness

Holistic Health Coach, mindfulnutritionandwellness.com

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