“Go inside and listen to your body, because your body will never lie to you. Your mind will play tricks, but the way you feel in your heart, in your guts, is the truth.” ~Miguel Ruiz
We are in the midst of the most wonderful time of the year. While this time (hopefully) brings lots of love, joy, warmth, family and friend time, and gratitude, it also brings stress surrounding food and health choices. You may put off your workout routine because you’re super relaxed and content with your family, and you may allow yourself more leniency with food choices. There are a lot of blogs and articles this time of year that give you helpful hints to make it through the holiday season without the additional five pounds, or how to stay on track during holiday parties. I am here to tell you to relax, let yourself enjoy the Christmas cookies and your grandpa’s special eggnog. While the holidays are about the people you’re with, they’re also about the food and the happy memories you feel when you eat!
The one idea I will suggest is to make sure you consume five servings (or more!) of fruits and vegetables per day, to make sure you’re getting enough nutrients and fiber. This can be in the form of a smoothie or juice, or a nice big salad, or raw snacks throughout the day. This is something I recommend for every single day, not just for the holiday time – since fruits and veggies are the most nutrient-dense and vitamin/mineral/antioxidant rich foods there are. Find ways that make them taste great to you.
I will not tell you to remove any of the treats you look forward to from your December diet. Many people may worry that once they allow themselves vacation time like this, they will not be able to get back on track with their healthier choices. But, this is how I see it – if you have a positive, healthy relationship with your body, you can trust yourself to go back to what is your “normal routine.” Your body knows what is best for you, and like the above quote mentions, it is the mind, the media, and the mental gymnastics that force you to reconsider that trust. So during this time of holiday joy, be gentle with yourself. If it’s a norm for you to feel guilty or beat yourself up after eating a richer meal, try talking to yourself as if you were a friend. Would you tell a friend that she is _______ (insert negative adjectives you may say to yourself, such as dumb, fat, lack of willpower, useless, etc.)? Most likely not! So practice self-compassion, and allow yourself to enjoy all the gifts that this holiday season may bring you, including tasty treats. Know that you can trust your body to move forward and pick up where you were before after this season. XOXO