Holiday Party Strategies
So you survived Thanksgiving or did you? No worries you have another 5 weeks of celebrating to practice mindful eating habits. We sometimes forget our healthy habits or wait until the new year to get back on track. Here are some strategies to try before, during and after all your holiday functions to keep feeling at your best this season.
I’m sure you have at least one of these coming up, Company Christmas Party, Holiday Happy Hour, Holiday Bunch, Christmas Dinner, Hanukkah Dinner, New Year’s Eve Party, White Elephant Gift Exchange…
The holidays are all about celebrating but when we overindulge we can end up feeling sick and guilty. Best way to celebrate and feel your best is to do a little pre-planning.
Gear-up all day for the night ahead. Don’t starve yourself or cut back on your portions ahead of time to save room for the big meal. This is a BIG no-no. Skipping meals always backfires because you are more likely to overeat and not feel well. Plan on eating well balanced normal meals during the day. Load up on veggies, protein, and healthy fats. These foods will fill you up and give you the energy needed for your busy evening.
Don’t arrive starving. If your last real meal was more than 4 hours ago, plan on a snack before you head out. A good snack is a deli veggie roll-up or two. Start with your favorite nitrate free organic deli meat, spread a little mustard and avocado oil based mayo, then layer with spinach, red pepper and a slice of avocado. Roll-up and enjoy.
Plan of attack during the celebration
Be Mindful Scope out the menu or buffet before you dive in. Think about what dishes are available. Which do you love or could do without? Skip over the ones that you could do without. If feelings are at stake, make sure to serve yourself a small amount of the dish that way you have a little and keep the cook happy.
Eat Slowly This will give your stomach and mind time to register feeling of fullness and satiety. Wait at least 15 minutes before going in for seconds. If you’re no longer hungry, but feel like you still want more food, get a to-go box for leftovers,
Alcohol Before you go, tell yourself what your limit is. And stick with it. The more we drink the more we eat and the worse we feel in the morning. Also, make sure you drink water during your event. Aim for 2 – 3 glasses for every one alcoholic beverage. Avoid drinks with mixers and stick with wine or vodka soda.
Focus on what these get-togethers have to offer besides drinking and overeating. It a time to enjoy who you are with or at least set aside your differences for a couple of hours.
Practice Forgiveness. It is not a crime to overindulge. We have all been there and doing it once in awhile will not do much long-term damage. Don’t beat yourself up and stop dwelling on the indulgence. This just leads to you a more negative path making it harder to move forward. So accept it and move on.
Don’t starve yourself. Don’t deprive your yourself just because you overate the day before. Start your day with a balanced meal of protein, fiber, and fat. An easy breakfast is 1 cup each of water, old-fashion oats, full-fat coconut milk, 2 tablespoons of chia seeds, 1 – 2 tablespoons of maple syrup, 1 – 2 teaspoons of cinnamon or pumpkin pie spice and 1 teaspoon of vanilla. I cook it all in my Instant Pot on manual for 7 minutes. Makes 2 - 3 servings. Serve with blueberries and walnuts. Oatmeal can be a little easier on the stomach than eggs. Make sure to have balanced meals during the day and aim to make half your plate veggies.
Hydrate. Drinking plain water will help to speed up your digestion and decrease the bloating that is caused by an overload of salt, sugar, processed carbs, and alcohol. Do your best to drink at least eight glasses throughout the day.
Move! Don’t hang out on the couch and binge watch football or cheesy Christmas shows. Get up and lace up your gym shoes. Light exercise like walking, yoga, or stretching helps to carry oxygen to your digestive track. That will help to move food along faster. It will also give you a boost of energy and lift your mood.
Hello! I'm Jori Zimmerman, a nutritionist and owner of Nutrition Savvy. I work with individuals that are looking to make dietary and lifestyle changes that will lead them to living a healthier and higher quality of life.