HEALTHIER HOLIDAY EATING

December 11, 2014
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You don’t have to throw out all the progress you made during the year from your better lifestyle choices and supplementation on fitness, weight loss, weight management, fighting infections and optimizing your hormones. It’s easier than you think to have a healthier and still happy holiday season! All you need is a game plan and an understanding of what is important to you. This will allow you some wiggle room, knowing that you are making some compromises but not throwing out the baby with the bath water and negating all the good progress you’ve made in your health.

Our biggest challenge is holiday parties where all those tempting and “unhealthy” foods scream your name. Here is how you can have a simple game plan to attend those functions guilt free.

First, determine what your biggest temptation or indulgence is. If you didn’t have it you would feel that you had missed out on the holiday festivities? Is it wine, hard liquor, or desserts, or extra helpings of stuffing, potatoes, turkey, ham or roast beef?
Whatever your key indulgence is, keep it! Set your mind to enjoy it, savor it, and determine now, how much of it you will have.
Second, determine what indulgences you can go without that won’t make you feel deprived if you skipped over them? Add these items to your “I will skip over these” list.

Third, have a game plan of how you are going to approach these foods or indulgences. Here are some guidelines:
Do not attend a party hungry. When your blood sugar is low because you have starved yourself thinking that you are going to indulge so you will skip meals during the day you are setting yourself up for trouble. Low blood sugar means your ability to make wise choices will go out the window as your blood sugar screams at you to eat. Your body will tell you to just eat! Now you have low blood sugar competing with your level headed game plan and a brain on low blood sugar can’t think.
Instead, eat your regular meals but do the following:

1.   Cut down on the volume of food eaten. Eat smaller portions instead.

2.  Cut down or eliminate the carbohydrates in your meals before the party.

3.  Increase your fiber and vegetable portions during the day.

4.  Eat a salad or protein snack before your party so that you do not attend a function hungry. This will also help minimize the damage to one’s digestive tract from ingesting alcohol (which is absorbed through the lining of your digestive tract) by slowing its absorption, reducing alcohol sugar spikes and thus fending off yeast, candida and fungal blooms after your festivities are over. This is especially good to do when you know the food at a function is something you’d rather not eat but don’t want to have an empty plate while others chow down.

5.  Make a conscious effort to drink MORE alkaline water (ph of 7 or higher) during the day. This helps you take in much needed minerals to buffer the acidity that develops from eating too much carbohydrates and alcohol, increasing your risk of contracting colds, flu and candida and yeast blooms. In addition, coffees and alcohol dehydrate you, so going to a function as hydrated as you can, will help minimize the damage to your digestive tract, liver detox pathways, and cell membranes. Your energy will be better during and after your party.
Fourth, if you can bring a holiday dish or beverage, bring a healthier version of it. If you don’t think people will enjoy that think again! Here’s an example.

I love hearty salads, and I make a great tasting kale salad with shredded raw brussel sprouts, fennel and other “exotic” organic vegetables. Yearly, I attend a gathering of friends and the salad brought is always the same, an iceberg salad with mandarin oranges and candied walnuts. I suggested to my friends that I bring my kale salad. They all crinkled their noses. I could tell that they had never had such a nutrient rich salad before and so when they said no thank you I brought the designated dish they wanted me to bring (but my healthier version of it) and I also brought my kale salad! My thinking was, I wanted a hearty salad. If no one but me ate it, I was ok with that.
At the part the salad dish was passed around and the only person skipping my kale salad was the person who brought the traditional salad. Everyone took a taste of it. What happened next surprised me. People started asking for seconds, saying “where is that kale salad, I want more”!
So you see, your healthy food choices can in fact rub off on others who were either afraid to try something new at home or don’t know how to make the dish. People started asking me how to make it and couldn’t wait to try making it at home. Therefore, the next time you think others won’t enjoy your “healthy meal” expose them to your better lifestyle choices and you may be pleasantly surprised and you will be able to enjoy your own healthy meal without compromise.
Fifth, if you are concerned about overindulging, here is how you can minimize that concern.
If overindulging in alcohol is a concern do the following:

1.  Drink plenty of water during the day to get hydrated (half your weight in ounces, meaning 100lb person drinks 50 oz. spring water, rich in minerals.

2.  Decide in advance which alcohol beverage you will indulge in and how much.

3.  In between your alcohol beverage consume a glass of sparkling water. No one will know it’s not a hard liquor beverage as you mingle with glass in hand.

4.  Eat something before consuming alcohol so that you don’t consume alcohol on an empty stomach.

5.  When you get home, take your liver detox support supplement to give the liver what it needs to facilitate efficient processing of byproducts of digestion.

6.  Before bed take an activated charcoal tablet if you are concerned about a bloom of yeast, candida as well as a broad spectrum anti-microbial or the next two days such as berberine or caprylic acid.
If overindulging in desserts are a sinful temptation, especially gluten based products, do the following:

1.  Bring a gluten free dessert when possible that you will enjoy.

2. When it’s not possible to eat a gluten free product, make wiser choices by choosing a dessert that you can eat around, such as pie and not eat the crust, for example or indulge in a dark chocolate tasty as a better choice.

3. When eating more than one serving of the dessert is a temptation, make a conscious effort to eat more salad or vegetables to fill you up so that you feel full. You will be less inclined to eat a second serving when you are already feeling full.

4. If fungal, candida, food sensitivities, Lyme disease and other chronic inflammatory issues are a constant challenge, stick to low glycemic fruits such as blueberry and avoid fruits high in mold (strawberry, grapes, cantaloupe) and choose dark chocolate over milk chocolate.

5. Then before bed take your activated charcoal and your anti-fungal or anti-microbial for added measure. You may need to do this for a few days post-holiday to prevent pathogenic blooms. Just remember to alkalinize, as sugars make our body’s terrain acid, the perfect environment for pathogens to thrive.
You can still enjoy a dessert in this fashion, take in the festivities and not overindulge.
If overindulging in your meat and potatoes is an issue as it is for many men, do the following:

1. Don’t go to your event hungry. Remember what I said earlier about maintaining good blood sugar during the day by not skipping meals and making better food choices such as lowering your carbohydrate intake during the day to prepare for evening festivities.

2. Make sure you drink your water during the day! Dehydration masks itself as hunger and when we feel hungry we make bad food decisions.

3. Have your favorite protein and enjoy it, even if it means an extra portion.

4. Have a game plan in advance of what carbohydrates you will enjoy with it and stick to that. For example, if you love a certain sweet potato or family recipe of mashed potatoes, plan on enjoying it. However, make a conscious decision to skip the rolls, the stuffing, the desserts, the noodles, etc. other carbohydrates that don’t ring your bell but will be present to tempt you nonetheless.
The focus is to eat with deliberate intention to enjoy what and how much you put on your plate. Also, either take “taste portions” if the cooks will be offended if you don’t eat their cooking and if no one will be offended skip those carbohydrates that are not essential to your holiday bliss.

5. Lastly, make a conscious choice to eat more salad or vegetables to feel full. I have even had a salad at home before leaving for an event when I’ve felt hungry and especially when I know the event will not have any good salads or vegetable to my liking. By eating before or eating more healthy foods at your event, you can still indulge in your extra portion of roast beef and gravy, knowing you opted out on the rolls, skipped the sweet potatoes and had a thinner slice of pie.

Do holiday parties make you feel anxious or stressed? Anxiety from large gatherings to having to be in the presence of annoying people is a huge reason many people overindulge in food and drink. What can you do?
First of all, knowing that attending a mandatory holiday event will cause you to feel stressed or anxious is crucial.
If feeling stressed motivates you to numb your senses by overindulging in alcohol, you can do the following?

1. Make it a point to exercise before your event that day. Exercise releases positive endorphins that help you feel happy and also discharges and helps the body release stress. If you don’t exercise regularly, make it a point to go out for a walk at your lunch break for at least 20 minutes. Walking is a good stress reliever.

2. Try taking a stress busting homeopathic called “Rescue Remedy” commonly found in health food stores and at Whole Foods across the nation. This remedy helps calm the nervous system without making you drowsy or sleepy and it’s safe to take even if you plan on taking alcohol at a party. This remedy helps to buffer physical and/or emotional stress.

3. Try applying a dab of an essential oil such as lavender, lemon grass, or any essential oil you find pleasant right under your nose. These essential oils are easily purchased at health food stores and everyone should have a stress busting essential oil at their work desk, in their car and in the purse or briefcase to use when that anxious moment arises.

You can take a break at a party, go outside for some fresh air, enjoy the view of homes decorated for the holidays, the fallen snow, and then dab your essential oil on and take a deep breath. You will feel more relaxed and grounded when returning to your party and your oil might even strike up stimulating conversations with others at the party about using essential oils.

4. When you feel stressed, remember to alternate your liquor with a glass of sparkling mineral water at the party.

5. Make a plan to distract yourself from your stress or anxiety by engaging in a new activity. Try dancing more at the party, or bring a board game or try something new that others can become distracted to do also. You never know who also feels the way you do seeking relief from their stress and anxiety too.

6. Lastly, anxiety can also be managed at a party by getting your chews in. Chewing is a stress reliever and many overeat the wrong foods not understanding they are eating because they are satisfying their need to chew as opposed to feel full or satisfied from a particular food. Therefore, if you need those chews and find yourself the crunchy chewy type person, make sure you start your party crunching on those raw veggies avoiding the dip when possible. Then when food comes, focus on salad, lots of salad, then veggies to get your chews in. You will feel more satisfied and less likely to graze your way over high fat high calorie foods.

7. If your anxiety is lessened by comfort foods, know them in advance. Is it the soft cheesecake or trifle that comforts you? Is it the mashed potatoes and gravy? If you can’t imagine surviving the holiday event without your comfort food then acknowledge a game plan of what food you need to feel satisfied with and make a plan in advance to go without other equivalent high carb foods.

For example, if mashed potatoes are essential, skip the roll, the noodles, the rice, the dessert even and enjoy your one comfort food.

8. Think about your comfort food now and determine if other foods or beverages can also give you that same feeling. For example, someone that likes to relax after work with a glass of merlot and won’t feel relaxed without it, try to take that same wine glass, fill it with sparking mineral water, add a spritz of orange or crushed blueberries to add some flavor (add a drop of peppermint or orange essential oil), light a candle and add essential oil to the candle, sit back and relax.

Unless you find a replacement to that comfort food, you will overindulge in that food or beverage. So look for good substitutes. If its alcohol, enjoy your comfort glass then substitute your next helping with something you thought up that is complimentary.

If it’s a food, enjoy your portion of comfort food then substitute your next serving with a warm cup of tea, warm cider for example or even substitute with a non-food item, such as a dab of your essential oil, a breath of fresh air, a cozy sit by the fireplace, an after dinner walk down the block with a new holiday friend.
If chronic infection, susceptibility to infection, or colds and flu are a concern before your holiday event, you can do these things:

1. Use colloidal silver hand cream such as ASAP Health Max Gel on your hands before your holiday event. This will reduce your contact exposure to others who are carriers of colds and flu.

2. Reduce your carbohydrate intake at the party, especially the high sugar desserts and alcohol. Sugars and carbohydrates make the body acidic. Many will come down with colds and flu after a night of overindulging for this very reason.

3. Avoid cow dairy products such as the eggnog and cheesecake to reduce mucous if you are feeling slightly under the weather or may be coming down with a cold or flu before the party.

4. Remember your vitamins C, your trace mineral drops in your water, your zinc as precautions to keep your immune system and liver detox pathways running smoothly as possible.

5. Drink your water whether you are thirsty or not as mentioned above. Your body cannot flush toxins without adequate water. Your brain cannot think clearly when dehydrated. Your hunger will be reduced when not dehydrated.

6. Take a magnesium supplement when you plan on indulging in more animal protein or carbohydrates. Without sufficient amounts of magnesium we cannot effectively process and eliminate toxins from the body. We encounter restless leg and muscle aches and cramps and constipation after a night of overindulging because we have put our body into high magnesium need to process alcohol consumed and to alkalinize from high acid producing foods (sugars, carbs).
In summary, you can enjoy the holidays, indulge in your favorite foods and not wreck your health or take a giant step backwards in your weight when you go into the holidays with your own game plan. Try it and let us know how you did! Happy Holidays, May Your Health and Prosperity Grow!!!

 

Please note:
Information on this site is provided for informational purposes only and is not intended as a substitute for the advice provided by your physician or other healthcare professional. You should not use the information on this site for diagnosing or treating a health problem or disease, or prescribing any medication or other treatment.

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Anna Manayan

Anna Manayan