A Nutritionist’s Advice for a Healthy Holiday
‘Tis the season for dozens of holiday gatherings, all centered around food. Then there’s the added stress of the holidays and lack of sleep from all those fantastic parties. It can feel almost impossible to find a balance between enjoying the holidays and staying healthy. But do we have to choose one or the other?
As a Registered Nutritional Counsellor, I work hard to help my patient’s master simple ways to have a healthy holiday without feeling like they’re sitting on the side lines. Here is my best advice for enjoying a healthy holiday.
Focus on the Festivities
Choose to attend holiday events for the festivities and time with family and friends, not the food. This prevents creating emotional connections between food and fun, and keeps the cravings away in the long run.
Love It or Leave It?
Can’t resist those shortbread cookies? Go ahead, enjoy one. If you love it, eat it; if you like it, leave it (I’m looking at you, fruit cake!). And when you do choose to enjoy the treats you love, keep it to a few bites or one small item. Savour each bite!
Do Your Best, Forget the Rest!
Holiday stress can mess up your digestion, hormones, and emotions in one quick swoop. Messy house? Missed some holiday baking? Can’t get it all done before the big meal? That’s okay, the holidays will still go on. Relax and just enjoy the season.
Veg Out on Vegetables
Increase your vegetable intake to help with toxic elimination (fibre for the win!) and to help alkalize the body. Sugar, alcohol, etc. are all toxic, and the acid forming in the body makes it important to eliminate them in order to bring back homeostasis to the body.
Sleep and Repeat
During the holidays, we often let our sleep slide in order to fit everything in, but that is a dangerous slope for your health. A good night’s sleep, every night, will help you think clearer, stress less, and enjoy the holidays more.
Be Smart, Go Prepared!
By offering to bring food to share at your holiday events, you’re helping out the host while also providing a healthy option for you to consume. Be smart: go prepared!
Sharisse Dalby, RNC
Registered nutritional counselor; helps families and children beat their health struggles, focusing on digestive and emotional issues.