HAVE A LOVELY, CARING, NOURISHING HOLIDAY.
This picture is in loving memory of Bailey and Satya. It is from our first Holiday after Bailey entered our family. He was quite the character. He was patient, curious and easy-going. And he won over, not only our hearts, but also the heart of Satya, who was a very lovely, but also a not-everyone-got-her-love, kind of girl. That is, they did, but sometimes they had to work for it a bit. And she made Bailey work for it at first, and then… then they were the best pair of love nuggets we could ever imagine. They loved the holidays because they loved visitors coming over to share a good meal and the cosiness of the lights, candles and the fire, the evening that got dark early with a desire to snuggle up. And they both loved to unwrap gifts… They were not that interested once they were opened up, it was the process of unwrapping. But to be honest, that may have been my own feelings, I think they loved all days. Dogs are such wonderful teachers because they teach us to cherish the moment.
This Holiday is our first without either one of them. And even though we miss them a bunch, we are also grateful that they were in our lives. Dogs give more love and time than they take, and even if they seem to need us, they figure out a way to make it nourishing for us to take care of them.
FIRST THEY NEED YOU, THEN YOU NEED THEM.
Dogs forgive and forget, every single rescue dog I have met has been one super grateful being. We have had great experience with rescuing dogs and sometimes they need more attention than others yes; reassurance that they belong and are safe, but most of the time you have an amazing companion in life.
If you are considering a pet – please adopt and rescue one that is in need of a home. There are also a lot of pure breeds in need of rescue if you feel only a certain breed speaks to you.
You can find a pet that fits your personality, your lifestyle and your hearts desire by researching breeds. They all have character that you can learn more about.
HOW TO NAVIGATE HOLIDAY TRIGGERS AND CRAVINGS
Whether your holiday craving is pumpkin pie, sugar cookies or butter-filled mashed potatoes, people, gifts, lights or cheers, we all know that there is both joy and triggers waiting for us at the table. And it’s possible to master them so you ring in the New Year feeling like 2017 is a fresh new perspective on feeling empowered. Here are some tips and tools you can use as to make conscious, healthy choices at your holiday event.
DRINK A LOT OF WATER
-throughout the day and at the event. I know it seems simple, but water can really help you navigate your cravings. Dehydration causes false hunger, sleepiness, brain fog and sugar cravings. Plus, drinking water often has the effect of making you feel “clean” inside, so unhealthy choices at the dinner table aren’t as appealing. Water also helps you feel better in general. Impatience and other emotional triggers are more “on the surface” when you are dehydrated, because that is how the body feels under pressure (survival mode).
WATCH THE SALT.
Too much salt can cause you to crave more sugar. The body seeks balance, so when you eat foods that are too salty, you end up craving sugary foods to counter. Often you crave more salt if you drink alcohol, so simply be mindful and drink more water too.
ADD MORE VEGETABLES TO YOUR PLATE.
Piling up your plate with vegetables helps you balance proportions and makes meals feel lighter and easier to digest. Over-eating actually causes sugar cravings and will make it harder for you not to overdo it for dessert. A handy trick is to see if you can fill at least half your plate with vegetables so there isn’t as much space for not-as-healthy food options.
DON’T SKIP MEALS.
I know it’s tempting to starve yourself all day in anticipation of parties or big meals at night, but that’ll just lead to making unhealthy choices when you’re ravenous at dinner. Instead, have a light breakfast with complex carbs in the morning and a balanced meal of vegetables, plant-based protein and fats for lunch. You’ll be better able to balance the proportion of carbs once the holiday meal is in front of you, which tends to be the “killer” of all your good intentions.
BE MINDFUL OF THE SMALL HABITS.
I know there is a lot of yummy stuff around and it’s easy to mindlessly grab a few candies here and a couple of crackers there. But before you know it, you’ve eaten enough for a full meal in the form of snacks! If you feel the need to snack, make sure you’re snacking smarter: no grazing, think ahead and choose whole, real foods.
Also, always sit down to eat. Think of it as a snack break. Don’t double task… I know it is tempting, but it does get you in trouble 🙂
Enjoy your meals more by chewing, tasting and looking at your food.
BE KIND WITH YOUR THOUGHTS.
Our thoughts and beliefs have a big impact on the food choices we make because they make us feel better or worse about ourselves. This is especially true during the holidays, when there are triggers everywhere. To practice self-compassion (an essential component of nourishment), acknowledge how you feel when you feel it. Simply notice, nothing to do or fix, but notice. With a gentle self-reflection wonder WHY you eat. Of course it could be because you are hungry, but notice if you’re eating for reasons like being uncomfortable or anxious. Or simply wanting to bond. Practice self-compassion by not judging yourself for how you feel. Being triggered is completely normal; it doesn’t mean there’s anything wrong with you.
EMBRACE YOURSELF AND WHAT YOU NEED.
It’s absolutely possible to take part in holiday celebrations and practice self-nourishment. It’s a balancing act of healthy boundaries that come when you take loving care of yourself. You can say no with love if it comes from a place of taking care of yourself rather than rejecting what’s in front of you.
Food means love and sharing is a big part of holiday meals, so keep it simple and enjoy food by slowing down and pausing to enjoy. But also, leave the dieting mentality at home and enjoy the delight of food shared.
Happy Happy Happy Holidays and all the best of nourishment.
Don’t forget … You can take charge of your health in 2017 with the personal online Nourishment course:
Learn how to be mindful and navigate your choices at any moment is what Path for Life teaches you. Consider joining the online program for a fresh start on the new year without the going into dieting mode for sustainable health and weight-loss.