10 Tips for eating with self-love over the holidays
1. Savour your food
Shelve that guilt. In fact, throw it away. Enjoy the food you like, chew every morsel, and taste all the flavours. Shame is a spice that no one deserves to have spoil the taste of their food. Be mindful of what you’re eating, and choose the things you enjoy the most, especially if they’re not available during the year. Are you a fan of eggnog? Have a small cup, sip it and enjoy the feeling it gives you. It’s only available once a year, enjoy it.
2. Stay hydrated!
Sometimes we think we’re hungry, when we’re actually thirsty. We’ll be out shopping, or at a holiday party, and facing a sea of food. Stop and think. Did I have enough water today? Have a couple of glasses of water before you leave home, and then one at the party, then dip in to the holiday treats. You may find that you’re not as hungry as you think, and will make better choices instead of just eating the first thing you see.
3. Plan Ahead
Try to make some time to do a little meal prep on Sunday so that you have healthy food available at home. A lot of holiday parties, work parties and dinner parties are low in protein and high in starches. Pack lunches for work that are higher in protein, veggies and fibre, so that you have nourishing food to go along with the endless trays of desserts and sweets that are around at workplaces during the holidays.
4. Surround yourself with people you love
Holidays are about connecting with friends and family who care for you. Practice self-love with receiving love from people whose company you enjoy. This will elevate your mood, and make it less likely for you to turn to food for comfort. Savour the taste of the food and the comfort of the wonderful people around you.
5. Avoid store-bought treats when you can.
There is nothing like a homemade cookie, warm beverage or meal. Reach for those foods prepared with love, time, effort and good intentions. Chances are, if it’s made at home, it contains whole foods, few preservatives and real ingredients. A way better choice than a boxed cookie, candy or cake.
6. Choose colour
If you’re looking for the most nutrient dishes at a party and are faced with a sea of choices, always choose colour. Not only are greens, yellows, reds and oranges indication of vitamins and nutrients, like beta carotene, Vitamin C and iron, but those foods are going to be loaded with fibre and taste, and keep you filled up longer and won’t spike your blood sugar leading to a crash that you’ll find with bland, colourless foods.
7. MOVE! 🙂
Be active! Don’t let daily physical activity fall by the wayside because things get busy. Consider it an important aspect of your health, happiness and sleep. Not only will daily physical activity help you get a better quality sleep, but it will improve your mood, give you more energy and if you’re worried about extra calories from party eating, then that extra trip to the gym will help get rid of any guilt you feel for the extra indulgences.
8. Pack snacks and drinks
Shopping trips can be tiring, make you cranky, stressed and aren’t always fun. What makes them less fun is being hungry and thirsty while you’re shopping and then having to break down and buy sugary drinks and unhealthy food at the food court. Keep handy snacks in the car, in your purse or backpack, and pack your water bottle. Nuts, seeds, fruit, vegetables and a full water bottle will keep your energy up, your blood sugar stable and will help keep the hangries and dehydration at bay.
9. Be compassionate with yourself
If you ended up eating something you didn’t necessarily want to at a party, don’t try to “make up for it” by punishing yourself with just a salad the next day, or skimping on food. Drink a lot of water, eat nourishing food, eat sufficiently and don’t beat yourself up. Stress has a negative impact on mood and health, and does not need to be an additional burden you put on yourself because you weren’t “perfect” the day before. Each moment is new, do what’s best for you NOW.
10. Supplement with vitamins and minerals
Your body still needs vitamins, minerals and other nutrients to operate at optimal capacity during the holidays, especially when it comes to fighting off colds, flu, stress and extra work. A good multivitamin, a good probiotic and good quality targeted vitamins are always helpful when a well-rounded diet isn’t as realistic as you’d like it to be. I usually bump up my intake of vitamins during this time to make sure that my body is fueled with the right things to do its job. And that’s it! Be kind to yourself, fuel your body, and enjoy your food!