Eating season is upon us. The holiday's are here and food is around us all the time. Holiday parties, party left-overs, casseroles made out of the left-overs are everywhere! Yep. It's the fattest, greediest, most glutenous time of year. This season can be difficult for those of us who struggle to make healthy choices. Food has a major affect on how we feel; thus, your dietary choices impact your quality of life. In effort to keep you performing and feeling well, I wanted to offer a few practical tips that can result in enjoying the holiday and still honoring your body with healthy habits and foods.
1. Eat what you want. Just don't take a plate. If you are not hosting for the holiday, you are the lucky one who doesn't have to move huge treys of macaroni and cheese out of the way just to get to the milk in the back of fridge. Eat! Enjoy! Get seconds if you want...but be done after the meal. Don't keep eating Thanksgiving for days...or weeks. If you are hosting, do the opposite, send out as much of the left-overs as you can. Get the Glad bags now!
2. Take a walk before or after big meals. Sitting down to eat a meal is a great way to spend time with family and friends but so is taking a walk. Grab a cousin, uncle, aunt, or take all the kids. Go for a brisk walk and talk...just don't talk about people in the family :-). Keep it positive and productive.
3. Avoid the break room until January 4th. From now until the New Year, you should avoid the break room like the plague. Everyday someone is going to bring something they don't want to eat anymore and they are going to expect you to eat it. Seriously, one of my friends is hosting Thanksgiving for the first time ever so she made a practice Turkey before the main event. I asked her, "What did you do with a 12 pound Turkey?" Her answer, "I took it to work. They ate it." Don't eat it. Just stay away.
4. Be more conscious around all of your other meals. Between all the dinners and parties, be conscious about everything else you eat. Eat fruit for breakfast, have a salad for lunch, eat a healthier dinner. Drink water.
5. Get enough sleep. I know it's hard, but resist the temptation to cook all night long, or socialize until the wee-hours of morning. Maybe you can do this one night, but avoid spending this time off of work exhausting yourself. Take a nap. Go to bed early. Sleep in late.
6. Say nice things to your body. One of the stressful things about the holiday is seeing folks who have not seen you in a long time. There are a lot of comments on bodies: "Looking good! I can see you slimmed down!" or "Whew! You got a little thick since last year." Avoid doing this to yourself. Begin your day with affirmations of how wonderful your body is how grateful you are for all that it does for you.
7. Be Thankful for you. Take a minute to sweat yourself and say "Thank you" for all the good things: your health, your right mind, healthy relationships, paid bills, funny moments, and love wherever it is available. Let other people know that you are thankful for them too...just don't forget to thank yourself for your growth, hard-work, and dedication to your wellness.
The holidays can be a time when many of us are triggered, especially if we struggle with self-control when it comes to food and self-care. We'd love to support you throughout the holidays. Having a coach on your team can be an important part of your success and self-care through the holidays. You have my permission to serve others, and serve your highest good as well.
Dr. Adrianne R. Pinkney,
Integrative Wellness and Life Coach