The holidays can be a joyous and stressful time of year. There are so many activities and parties to attend oftentimes around a lot of food. Here are a few tips to navigate this holiday season.
- Eat normally: It can be overwhelming to make food decisions around the holidays. I always recommend my clients to eat as normally as possible throughout the holiday season. Depriving yourself will always backfire. This means, aim to eat consistently throughout the day, avoid going long periods of time without eating and eat real, whole foods as much as possible. On the holiday itself, pretend it’s just like any other day. Start your morning with a normal satisfying breakfast and include snacks or meals throughout the day rather than waiting to eat until you are starving. The goal here is to go into theholiday meal at a normal level of hunger. When we wait to eat until we’re too hungry wetend to overeat until the point of discomfort. Instead, approach your holiday meal just like any other meal. Listen and honor your fullness cues. Sure, you might eat a little bit pastyour normal feeling of fullness, but it’s not an excuse to eat until you’re uncomfortablyfull.
- Don’t deprive yourself: Allow yourself to have treats in moderation and be picky. Don’tfill up your plate with items if you don’t really like them. Savor and enjoy what you’reeating, really taste it as we likely will only have these things a few times a year.
- Bring awareness to your eating patterns: It can be tempting to mindlessly eat candiesbut pause and think about how you’ll feel afterwards. Will this food nourish you and howwill you feel later? One or two cookies will feel a whole lot different than eating three or more. Bring awareness to your eating patterns and how you feel afterwards.
- Practice stress management: Too much stress can be harmful not to mention we oftentimes eat to cope with stress or other emotions. This may be even more prevalent around the holidays. Incorporate activities that will help lower stress and take care of yourself such as going for a walk, taking a yoga class, getting consistent sleep, reading, drawing, or doing another fun activity.
- Practice self-compassion: Avoid berating yourself over food choices. Instead, bring curiosity to your eating experience and ask yourself what was going on during that time or what were you eating in response to? Is there anything that you can do differently next time? Then let it go and move on.
- Practice gratitude and focus on the bigger meaning of the holidays. Enjoy time with loved ones.
Here are a few recipe ideas to bring to your holiday meals that are quick, contain real food ingredients and are delicious, enjoy!
- Brussels Sprout Slaw with Dried Cranberries & Pepitas.
Make this even easier by mixing a bag of shaved brussels sprout from Trader Joe’s andthrowing in dried cranberries, pumpkin seeds and any other toppings you desire!
- Slow Cooker Mashed Potatoes: It doesn’t get any easier than making mashed potatoes in your slow cooker. Bonus! They stay warm until serving time 😊
- Roasted Sweet Potatoes with Pecans and Spiced Maple Sauce. Make this side instead of a sweet potato casserole.
- Perfect Classic Stuffing (not in a box)! Make this classic stuffing with real ingredients in the same amount of time!
- Roasted Brussels sprouts, Cinnamon Butternut Squash, Pecans and Cranberries: Make this as a lovely side dish or roasted just the brussels sprouts
If you’d like assistance on your journey to well-being or feel that you would like to improve your relationship with food feel free to contact Erin at firstname.lastname@example.org.
For more information on services go to: https://recreation.ucsd.edu/wellness-services/nutrition/