It’s that time of year…sugar and indulgences are everywhere, and they are here to stay for at least 2 more months. Instead of writing off our health for the next 60 days with the idea that we will “get it back together” in the new year, let’s stick to our goals as we navigate the most difficult-to-resist months of the year.
Accountability, creating a schedule, and staying on track
During the holiday season, there will be plenty of parties, family gatherings, and special outgoings that are guaranteed to have temptations. From sweet treats at a work party, hot chocolates at Christmas parades to extra slices of pie at Thanksgiving. Before all these events happen, take inventory of all the possible situations. Write them on the calendar. That way when the day comes, you’ll be reminded to pack healthy snacks in your lunch. Or possibly, carry a tea bag to drink instead of buying the hot chocolate. Bake your favorite Paleo or AIP friendly “sweet treat” for the work party. You will be able to participate in the fun activities while still eating healthy. Writing things down will keep you accountable. And if writing isn’t your thing, then maybe add a few reminders on your phone. An inspirational quote or a daily confidence booster.
Start new traditions and stay active
The holidays always end up being jammed packed with parties and events that seem to consume every weekend until the New Year. While the days fill up, seek out fun activities that the whole family will enjoy. Sign up for a 5k Turkey Trot on Thanksgiving that everyone can do. Or a Jingle Jog in December. It might become a new tradition for your Holiday season.
Your gym could be offering holiday workout classes. The 30-minute boot camp’s during lunch hour are a real killer, and so worth it! Add 30-45 minutes of physical activity to every day. Not only will it help keep those unwanted ‘holiday pounds’ off it will increase your mental clarity. A fantastic way to include this during the season is getting a brisk walk in. And yes, that includes Holiday shopping around the mall! Take the stairs instead of the elevator and park the car far from the entrance. Walk around
Saying No and not feeling bad about it
Saying no to someone is hard. There is no way around that. But it’s a good thing. It means your challenging yourself to stay true to what you believe in. And it is difficult to say No to someone during the holiday season. It’s a time when you want to participate in everything going on. But saying No can be the best thing for you. Just because everyone is eating doesn’t mean you have to eat also. And because everyone else grabbed a second slice of pie doesn’t mean you have to either. Choosing smaller portions shouldn’t offend a host. In some cases, it is O.K to decline all together. If you have a challenging time saying No because you don’t want to hurt anyone’s feelings, then try downsizing. Accept a small piece of pie, or a small spoonful of the gravy. Declining the offer in the moment can be challenging, but the few hours or days after will be rewarding. You will feel good about the commitments you set at the beginning of the season. We can’t all be super heroes during the holidays, and it really is O.K to say No to something.
Setting realistic goals and embracing the season
No one can expect to change a lifetime’s worth of habits overnight. Make a list of a few reasonable resolutions and create actions to achieve them. The smaller the list the better. That way you can really focus on each goal and work strategically to attain it. Long lists of resolutions can become overwhelming and we tend to give up on them. The Holidays will be less about will power and more about having a new mindset.
Embrace the season with open arms. Instead of focusing on potential road blocks that the Holidays can bring, try approaching it with a positive attitude. Too often, food takes center stage at our holiday gatherings. Instead, focus on family members, and the activities surrounding the holidays. New traditions can also be a great avenue.
Make healthy substitutions
Ok, so it’s your turn to host Thanksgiving dinner. Try out new healthy recipes. Before the big T-day arrives, try making these fun holiday meals. You can “test them out” on your husbands, wives, kids etc. We all know families are our biggest critics when it comes to cooking. In the weeks prior to Thanksgiving, maybe make a new side dish to go along with your weekday dinners. This is a wonderful way to perfect the recipes before you offer them to extended family. Try cooking with substitute oils, such a coconut or avocado oil. Use almond flour, or coconut flour in your baking recipes. Utilize YourHealthMadeSimple’s facebook page for fun Paleo and AIP holiday meals. We have some exciting things coming to you!
This holiday season, you can stay healthy and on track. It only takes a little confidence and perseverance!! We believe in you ?
Try out this Maple and Orange Cranberry Sauce! It’s a great addition to a week day meal with cauliflower rice and chicken!
Maple and orange cranberry sauce
(AIP and Paleo)
- 10 oz frozen cranberries
- 2 red apples, peeled and chopped
- 1 tsp fresh grated ginger
- Pinch of sea salt
- 1 tsp zest of an orange
- ¼ cup grade B maple syrup
- In a medium pot, over medium heat, combine all the ingredients. Cover and cook the ingredients for 20 minutes, stirring frequently.
- The cranberries should begin to break down, and the apples will become soft.
- Add in more maple syrup if it tastes too tarte.
- Serve fresh!