First of all, why avoid? The goal should be to never have to feel that “avoiding” feeling.
Deprivation, will-power, and avoidance don’t need to be in your vocabulary when you have some good intentions and key strategies around the holidays.
“Eat what you want,” I always say. Just take responsibility for the feelings afterward. That’s the kicker. Accountability is the first step in making choices in feeling better or feeling worse around the holidays. You decide.
Reason to be unhealthy No. 1: It’s the holidays — time to unwind and let loose! Of course, the holiday season should be a time to unwind and spend more time with friends and family.
Unwinding and letting loose can easily be equated to tobogganing with the family, going for a morning ski or walk in the brisk air on a not-so -40C kind of day.
Water can still be consumed, and starting your day with a warm pot of oatmeal loaded with super food goodness of cinnamon, raisins, hemp seeds, almond milk, some natural honey and vanilla sounds pretty good to me! Letting loose doesn’t have to mean let feeling good go down the drain. In fact, you can have a lot more fun if you are not in a tired, burned out, I ate too much kind of mode.
Reason No. 2: There’s no time for healthy food! If only that were true — the excuses we tend to tell ourselves in order to have our sneaky self-sabotaging behaviour take over.
Get your taste buds on track by throwing in some fresh pressed juices, fruits and veg. Keep it simple. Keep it simple.
Keep it simple. Avocado with olive oil and sea salt with a side of fresh tomato — simple. Green smoothie. Done.
Fresh apple with almond butter — never been simpler.
Reason No. 3: All my favourite indulgences are at every gathering — I can’t help myself!
Having some key focus around getting active, having a solid source of protein, good fats like avocado, coconut oil or olives and incorporating some greens in your day leaves some cushioning for the eve where you don’t have to feel so guilty about your choices.
And your body won’t have such strong cravings when given the appropriate nourishment earlier in the day.
Set your home up for success so that any not-so-good choices are happening outside the home. And remember nourishing your body is one thing and nourishing your social life is another. There’s room for both!
If you’re having troubles being hard on yourself, ask yourself these three questions: “What did you eat?” “How did you feel?” “What are you going to do about it?”
It’s really as simple as that. It could lead you to do nothing.
It could lead you to make better choices tomorrow — again, back to accountability. Whatever your choice, you made it.
Move onward. Wishing for you to eat better, feel better, and live better.
Kristin Fraser, BSc, is a holistic nutritionist and local freelance writer. Her column appears every second Thursday. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.