The onslaught of rich, and often unhealthy, foods starts with Halloween and doesn’t seem to stop until the New Year. I don’t mean to be a spoilsport in terms of holidays. I enjoy them. It’s just that so many people ring in the New Year feeling bloated, overweight, sluggish, and frustrated by the extra pounds they put on, that I thought I’d offer a few tips on how to enjoy without the seemingly inevitable suffering.
Planning is one of the keys to success. When we go to a party hungry, we’ll eat everything in sight. By snacking on an apple and a few almonds or hummus and carrots beforehand, we can nibble (key word) and feel satisfied.
Another tip is to change things up a bit when it comes to the family feasts. Do you really need to stick with Aunt Sandy’s 1950s version of cranberry mold with all that sugar? Could you use fresh cranberries, orange and lemon zest, and some agave nectar instead?
Asking our family members what they feel they “can’t do without” versus what “they have never really liked either,” will ensure that everyone gets their favorite dish. Each member will feel special that their request has been honored and you can spread the responsibility as well as the joy around.
We also seem to exhaust ourselves between working and shopping and cleaning the house and preparing the food (sounds tiring just mentioning it). How can you make it simpler? For example, if all agree to buy just one gift instead of several, those January bills won’t seem so large. Gift bags save a lot of time as well. As a special gift to yourself, can you get help with the cleaning?
I have always loved decorating the tree at our house. I put on holiday music and fix some spiced cider, carefully plant each ornament on the tree and decorate until the room sparkles. What are your favorite traditions of the season? How can you make the routine seem special? What would you like to hand off to someone else this year?
Heading off fatigue is part of the trick to really enjoying the season. It means making choices about when to join in and when to say “no.” Sometimes, it means just stopping by, rather than feeling obligated to stay all evening at a gathering. When we gauge our energy and respect it, we can delight in the special moments that we might otherwise have missed.
By remembering that this is your time to enjoy the season in ways that are most fulfilling to you, you will be able to be more available to your loved ones. A wise woman once asked me what I thought my family would prefer–a harried, exhausted mother who has the dinner on, but isn’t able to carry on a decent conversation or a woman who took care of herself and was able to really engage in the special times with her family.
And if, despite your best efforts, you end up overdoing it a bit and find the scale inching upward, you can always contact a health and nutrition coach in January to get back on track. Happy Holidays!
For more information, visit http://www.yourhealthpotential.com