Healthy Holiday How-To & Quiz
It's the time of year when sweets and treats galore start to show up at every turn. The office, the shops, family, friends, your own home. All at a time when we are acutely aware that the time for new beginnings is a few short weeks away. So what do you do? Say no? Say YOLO? Here are a few tips to staying healthy while still enjoying the season.
It's Monday. You meal prepped all Sunday. You're feeling good. You get to work and your co-worker has brought in homemade cheesecake brownies and carries them to you on the tray and says " you HAVE to try these. They are the best. It takes me two days but it's worth it". What do you say?
a. "OMG yum. I'll take two". Then feel guilty and a bit sick all day.
b. "NO! I am on a diet and I can't eat stuff like that anymore". Walk away.
c. "That's so nice of you. I will have to grab one at lunch. Thank you". Smile and eat the breakfast you made. Then decide at lunch if you really want one or not.
If you answered 'c' you are right and I'll tell you why. A: you are putting the co-workers feelings over your own health and goals. Just because someone made you something doesn't mean you are obligated to say yes. On the other hand you want to be polite about declining. They were kind enough to make something and offer it after all. 'B' is also not a good choice because you should never tell people you are on a diet. That is just code for 'convince me' and they say 'oh you don't need to diet, you're fine or, but this is worth it, diet tomorrow, etc. Plus, you shouldn't be dieting! (if you still are, consider booking a call with Amber or another coach for alternative ways to be healthy). That's why 'c' makes the most sense here. You haven't said no, but you haven't really said yes either. You acknowledged her efforts without undermining your own. Then later after you eat your healthy lunch, you can decide whether or not you want the brownie. You are in control and it feels so good.
Who doesn't love a good holiday party? It's cozy and warm inside, you get to wear an ugly sweater or a sparkly dress and enjoy time off. Parties are full of good company but also a ton of booze and snacks and sweets. It's so easy to be overwhelmed and want to eat everything. What is your course of action here:
a. Grab a big cup of they mysterious punch and chug it back (parties are easier with alcohol). Realize it was stronger than it tasted, and stack your plate with breads and crackers because 'carbs soak up alcohol right? Or was it protein?' *piles cured meats and cheeses on plate to be safe*
b. Go straight for the baked goods. "I never eat like this (except last weekend at the other holiday party, and yesterday when I ate a lot of what I brought to this party, and tomorrow when I'll be at my sister's and she'll make Grandmas cheesecake which I HAVE to eat. Hmmm. Whatever it's the holidays". *eats one of everything, okay two*
c. Decide to start with water and mingle a little before have some of the healthier (but still so good) snacks you made and a little glass of wine. Look over everything and pick your 2 favorites to have and be done.
Which one did you choose? Okay, but which one should you choose? 'C' right? The best way here is to go in with a game plan. Eat a little salad or quinoa and salmon (or something on the healthy but still good side) before you go so you don't feel so desperate to eat everything right away. Be honest with yourself and know that not eating anything there is also not plausible. So go in not starving and knowing you plan to eat the candied nuts because they are your favorite and one other thing that strikes your fancy that day. Then drink water. Water is your friend. Or tea or coffee is a good option too.
3. Eating out
When you meet friends or coworkers or family out for dinner during the holidays, it easy to get in the holiday spirit and overindulge. Pick the best scenario.
a. Eat all the bread and butter and order the heaviest thing on the menu. When someone suggests sharing the cheese dip, you say yes. When someone says "I can't eat dessert alone, please order something too", you say yes. You feel overly full and maybe a bit sick.
b. Order a pre-dinner cocktail, bottle of wine, post dinner cocktail and grab another drink at the bar down the street afterwards. Wait someone bought holiday shots for the whole bar? I can't be rude... You are super hung over the next day and your wallet considerably lighter.
c. Order a glass of wine, or your favorite winter drink. Eat a roll because it's hot and you love them. Order what looks good on the menu, not the most indulgent thing just because everyone else is or its the holidays. Have a bite or 3 of dessert if you there is something you really want and maybe another drink. You leave having spent a normal amount and wake up feeling good enough to go to yoga.
'C' is again the best answer here. You may have noticed that balance is the key here. You don't have to say no or yes to everything. Pick and choose what you like and what you don't. Listen to your body and inner voice to hear if you really want to drink or eat dessert or if it's habit or tradition. Be an advocate for you health. You deserve to be happy and healthy.
Happy Healthy Holidays!
Amber Rose Wiese is an Integrative Nutrition Health Coach, Yoga Instructor, and owner of Amber All Natural LLC.