8 Strategies for How To Improve Your Eating Habits During the Holidays [Episode #734]
This week’s topic is: 8 Strategies for How To Improve Your Eating Habits During the Holidays
We are right on the cusp of the holiday season, and things are really picking up. There’s probably more activity in your life. Get togethers and events, things with friends, things at your child’s school. They all seem to pile up and feel really busy this time of year.
There’s also the added ingredient of relatives coming in or being around family members that you aren’t always used to being around, which can be really exciting and wonderful, and can also create some stress. People always bring different energies and we want to really support ourselves from our Four Cornerstones, emotionally, physically and spiritually. And as it falls into our food Cornerstone today, we really want to support ourselves in how we are eating.
This form of nourishment coming into the body is very important during the holiday season. It can be a source of immunity and wonderful antioxidants and literally the physicality, the energy of the food, the fiber allowing us to stay grounded and healthy. However, we want to make sure that food isn’t an added stressor.
My goal with this show is that you walk away with at least one or a few takeaways and incorporate them into your life. To take what we know and feel to be the right action steps and to apply them into our life, into realization.
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Namaste loves, and welcome back to our Thursday Q&A podcast where our topic this week is 8 Strategies for How To Improve Your Eating Habits During the Holidays. So here we are again, right on the cusp of the holiday season, and things are really picking up. There’s probably more activity in your life. Get togethers and events, things with friends, things at your child’s school. Many different things just all seem to pile up and feel really busy this time of year. There’s also the added ingredient of relatives coming in or being around family members that you aren’t always used to being around, which can be really exciting and wonderful, but can also create some stress. People always bring different energies and different things, so we wanna really support ourselves from all standpoints, from our four cornerstones, emotionally, physically, We wanna support our bodies spiritually.
We wanna keep up with our practices like meditation, and as it falls into our food cornerstone today, we really want to support ourselves in how we are eating. This form of nourishment coming into the body is very important during the holiday season. It can be a source of immunity and wonderful antioxidants and literally the physicality, the energy of the food, the fiber allowing us to stay grounded and healthy. But also we want to make sure that food isn’t an added stressor and we’re not overeating or just eating. Its on more sugar or foods that our bodies aren’t used to. So then we start to feel bloated and sluggish and constipated, or we experience other forms of fatigue or ibs, and then we feel worse all around. So I’m very excited to get into our show today. It’s a very practical show. I’m gonna go through a bit of research and then boom, boom, boom.
And my goal with this show is that you walk away with at least one or a few, or maybe all of them resonate with you, but it’s important to take a few and incorporate them into your life. And this is how Paramahansa Yogananda, the great yoga yoga guru, taught us to take truth, to take what we know and feel to be the right action steps and to apply them into our life, into realization. So it’s not just good ideas, but we’re realizing it. We’re experiencing it in our own lives.
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Question around the topic of: 8 Strategies for How To Improve Your Eating Habits During the Holidays: Kimberly, I normally eat a fairly healthy diet throughout the year. But when the holiday’s come around I really struggle. What can I do to help me navigate eating healthy during the holidays?
So our question today comes from Julie who lives in Louisiana. Hello, Julie. Thank you so much for being part of our community, My love. Thank you so much for your question. You write, Kimberly, I normally eat a healthy diet throughout the year, but when the holidays come around, I really do struggle. What can I do to help me navigate eating healthy during the holidays? So Julie, right on time, I love this question. This is something a lot of us struggle with.
It is a lot coming at us at the holidays. As I mentioned, there’s busyness, there’s relatives and family members and extended members that we don’t always get to see, and maybe we don’t always choose to have to be around. There is preparation. There is more foods that are around, whether they’re they’re in your conference room or they’re at parties or people bring them to your house that we may not always want to have around their temptations and cravings and so many different things. So it’s really important that we really start to pay attention to our needs, to what is going on for us as whole beings, not just physically, but emotionally, spiritually. We’ll get into this in the show today, but we really just wanna keep coming back to this now moment and bring more mindfulness to this moment. A lot of times we may be feeling stressed or we just need to move, get out of the room for a minute and go for a quick walk.
And so when we pay attention to these needs, we can call on a whole range of different tools and resources. We have this whole big palette, so to speak, like an artist palette of different colors, different tools that we can utilize if we’re not paying attention. If we’re not mindful though, a lot of that energy can start to build up in our bodies and then suddenly we start to really feel it like it’s about to explode. And so then we may end up overeating the cookies or over drinking the wine or whatever it is because we just sort of feel overwhelmed in that moment. And research does support this. This is from a March, 2018 report from current obesity that found that people who practice mindfulness not only lose weight, but the vast majority of them did not gain it back over time, as is the case with other weight loss methods.
So what this says to me is we’re not just doing a diet for a few days. We’re not just trying so hard to control things for a short time and then we go back to what we were doing, but rather we start to become aware of our sensations, of our feelings, of triggers, of what’s arising in us. And it starts with your body. Is your heart rate elevated? Are you starting to feel a tightness in your chest or your shoulders or your belly? Is your breath getting really shallow? What is going on inside of you? And then you can just start to be mindful of, what do I need right now? Maybe it’s a break. Maybe I need a moment. Maybe I need to get a glass of water. Maybe my body is crying out for more hydration. Maybe I need to just get outside, get some fresh air. I need to exercise a little bit. I need some better sleep. I need to create a healthy boundary with this person. Whatever it is, we can just start to be more aware of our needs in general.
So again, so much of our needs are projected onto foods because they’re easy to see and pick up and hold. There’s this physicality to foods, there’s an availability with foods. But one of the things that I want to get across before we get into our 10 practical points is that it really is important just to keep coming back to yourself and into this moment. There is, there’s a lot of other research around this. I’m, I’m gonna go into the tips now, but if you’re interested in reading more about mindfulness and now how this really relates and the science behind it, we will link to it in our show notes firstname.lastname@example.org. Right drum roll, here we go.
#1. Strategy for How To Improve Your Eating Habits During the Holidays: Practice your morning routine
Number one, practice your morning routine. So even in the holidays, spring, summer, fall, winter, we need a sense of normalcy. Even when things are changing outside.
It is true that we will shift to seasonal foods. It is true that we may eat and ideally would eat heavier foods, more fat, more stew type of foods in the winter. So our foods change. But what should remain consistent is our morning practice. This sets our bodies up for the day. This puts us into a state of flow. If we start the day disorganized and discombobulated and already off our schedule, it becomes much harder to get back on and also get togethers and holiday events and shopping. And all of that tends to happen a little bit later in the day. It’s not super early in the morning usually. So what we wanna do is we wanna wake up and ground our energy, ground our bodies, hot water with lemon things we talked about a million times. But they’re important. The important things are consistent.
So we teach them over time and time again to stay on track. Hot water with lemon sbo, probiotics, glowing green smoothie. Even if it’s wintertime, you can still drink this, just maybe not as icy and cold. I do not like my smoothies cold in the winter or really all year round. I don’t really drink things very cold. I let it warm up to room temperature. Morning meditation, the most important part of the routine, which I do before all others sit up right in bed. And I do it before my kids wake up, before hubby wakes up. And it really is the most elevated part of the morning. It aligns you to the true self. It takes you into your intuition, into peace. Remember, we have lots of free guided meditations for you email@example.com, our practical enlightenment meditations, which you can check out. And then also journaling.
I like to journal in the morning for even two minutes, five minutes and just sort of organize myself. Sometimes I write out what I’m grateful for. Sometimes I write what I need to release or I go through just some free flow writing, but I like that very much for my emotional balance in the day. So stick to your morning routine. This can be done in depending, meditation could be five minutes long, but taking this time, which could be 10 minutes, 20 minutes in the morning or a little bit more, it really does allow you to be in a better track for the rest of the day. No matter what parties are coming at your people or whatever, you will be in a better position.
#2. Strategy for How To Improve Your Eating Habits During the Holidays:Sit to eat
All right, number two, sit down to eat. It’s easy to overeat when we’re floating around a party and just sort of jamming donut holes in our mouth.
And then we’re talking and then we sort of lose track of what’s going on. We wanna remember always, even though sometimes of course there’s fun and there’s casualness, but at the core, eating is sacred, Food is sacred, it’s energy, it comes from spirit. You’re putting it into your body and it’s integrating into your cells, into your being. So we wanna treat it respectfully. And ideally we would sit down because when we sit down to eat, it allows us to focus more on the food, to bring a set amount of food onto the plate and then over to where we are sitting instead of just grazing and eating. And then we don’t really know what we’re eating because we’re just tuned into different things and different conversations. So float around the party, mingle, do what you’re gonna do. But if you can at events and if you can through this season, keep this practice of sitting and enjoying your food.
#3. Strategy for How To Improve Your Eating Habits During the Holidays: Breathe deeply
Number three, breathe deeply. One of the reasons we overeat is because we’re too fast. We’re overeating, we’re excited about what we’re seeing. Maybe we had to drink a glass of wine, and so we just sort of get revved up and we’re bouncing around and all of this is okay. Or on the flip side, we can start to feel stressed. Oh my gosh, there’s a lot of presence. There’s a lot of money out to spend this holiday season. Oh, such and such. My auntie’s coming in. She always says mean things to me, or whatever it is. Remember that you can always be the anchor to yourself. You can always bring this anchor to whatever situation, whatever, what feels like darkness comes to you, stressful situations and so on. So we wanna maintain a nice deep breathing practice through the day. And I suggest taking three minutes, five minutes of trying the expanding the gaps practice, which is my favorite deep breathing practice.
It’s in the new book. Before you enter a party, before you go to a dinner with a lot of different relatives, Thanksgiving dinner, whatever it is, it’s really great to get into that flow. And if you start to feel like, Oh, parking is stressful, whatever it is, just go into your body and give yourself the gift of some deep breathing.
#4. Strategy for How To Improve Your Eating Habits During the Holidays: Stay hydrated
Number four, stay hydrated. It’s easy to, We did a show about this specifically a few weeks ago, but it’s easy to feel or to not pay attention to hydration in the winter because it’s not sunny and you’re not feeling like you’re sweating as much. But we can very much get dehydrated. And then we start to feel fatigue and low energy and then we reach for more foods. So really just start the day with that room temperature, water that hot water with lemon that we spoke about a moment ago, and then just keep drinking water in between meals at your desk and the car.
So you really give yourself that gift of hydration, which will just help everything function better, including detoxification and digestion and helping you, helping to prevent overeating.
#5. Strategy for How To Improve Your Eating Habits During the Holidays: Stick to a schedule
Number five, stick to a schedule. So we talked about morning routine, but beyond that, other self care practices. When are we gonna exercise? When are we gonna move our bodies? I know the sleep schedule can be off to an extent, but making sure we’re trying to wake up at the same time, which is a tip from Dr. Michael Brues who came on our show. An amazing Sleep expert. We wanna just make things as normal as we can for our bodies. And that could be the times that you meditate your meal times. And of course there’s gonna be some flexibility because of parties and because of work events and school events. But as much as possible, we wanna create that regularity, which helps to reduce things feeling so chaotic.
#6. Strategy for How To Improve Your Eating Habits During the Holidays: Practice self-stress management
Number six, we wanna practice self care. So beyond food, we wanna find ways to relieve our stress. So I mentioned exercise and our prior points, and that is really important that we are moving our bodies, our physical bodies can hold a lot of energy. And so movement keeps it going so it doesn’t build up. My favorite movement practice is walking. I see walk. I walk for an hour a day. I just got back from my walk actually, and Moss’s still napping. So I’m doing the show now. We fit it in when we can, but for me it’s self care. I walk, I’m in the sunshine or the fresh air, I breathe, I turn off my phone. It’s powerful and it’s healing. And it sort of like this break in the day for me. It allows me to process my morning and think about what’s gonna happen for the rest of the day.
So another thing that I like to do a lot is take salt baths and EP some salt is a really great tool. There’s something about just sitting in hot water, and especially with minerals and salt, that just feels really soothing to me. So I recommend finding your practices that really help you feel like you’re dissipating stress and consistently practice them through this holiday season. And even if things feel really busy, we have to build that time in for ourselves.
#7. Strategy for How To Improve Your Eating Habits During the Holidays: Slowing down across your life
Number seven, slow down. So we wanna take the time to not feel this pressure, this rushed energy of like, I have to get to this thing and I have to run to this thing. That translates to fast talking. It translates to fast eating. And then we’re not chewing as well. We’re not assimilating the energy. We tend to overeat. There’s more quantities of food. So when we’re talking about slowing down, it’s across the board.
Everything is related. So just notice when you’re trying, it’s starting to speak faster and pack things in. And there’s a bit of anxiety. That energy is starting to build up in your body and in your mind. And then you really just, we just remind ourselves slow down, just like the deep breaths. I don’t have to rush. Everything has its normal pace and it’s gonna be okay. I’ll get it done. So this will also allow you to make chew. Well sit down. Some of these are really related and just enjoy, Enjoy.
#8. Strategy for How To Improve Your Eating Habits During the Holidays: Cut yourself some slack
And finally, number 8, cut yourself some slack. It is the holidays. We may drink a little bit more alcohol. Maybe you have a bit more sugar. The cakes are calling you that apple pie, whatever you love to eat and indulgent. I love pie. And I have to say if there’s one pie that I like to eat, a lot of it is apple pie.
For me. It is the pie that we always had at Thanksgiving growing up and it’s okay. Same thing with my kids. I was trying so hard with Bobby to just have this perfect diet and now I realize kids are gonna have sugar sometimes that it’s okay, we don’t have crazy amounts and he’s never had soda and we don’t drink juice or anything like that in the house. We don’t have sugary cereal, but he will have cookies, vegan cookies, plant-based ice cream sometimes. And again, we realize it’s really just about seeing the big picture indulging sometimes and seeing, Okay, I’m gonna do what I can here. So that’s powerful. I think about these practices that I mentioned to you. It’s not all or nothing. It’s not about being super strict or restriction, but it’s really setting ourselves up to be really resilient, to be mostly on track.
Our goal is usually 80%. It may dip down a bit in the holidays, but it’s okay. We come back. So cut yourself some slack and don’t get too stressed out about the eating because then we can cause ourselves to suffer more. We can actually create more disruption in our digestion in our GI tracks. So there you have it. Our tips here to improve your eating during the holidays. Number one, practice your morning routine. Number two, sit to eat. Number three, breathe deeply. Lean on your breath as your anchor, your inner anchor. Number four, stay hydrated. Number five, stick to a schedule as much as possible across your whole life, including exercise and sleep and meal times when you can. Number six, practice self care beyond your practice. Self care beyond food. So you wanna really practice self stress management. And next is slowing down across your life just to make sure that you are not rushing. This rushing energy is pushing things along and it will never really feel good to us in the end. And finally, we wanna cut ourselves some slack.
So see which ones really resonate with you. It is. There may be one or few that feel really good and we wanna just not try to do everything all at once, but maybe really deeply incorporate one or a few of these. So thank you so much for tuning in as always. And please remember that you can always keep the questions coming over at mysolluna.com. I love to hear how I can support you in a a deep way. So if you’re wondering about something, chances are others are as well. The show notes are over there on mysolluna.com as our other articles, podcasts. I think you would enjoy research and so on. Meditations recipes. I will be back here a Monday for our next interview podcast. So till then, take care and sending you so much love.