While the holidays can be a magical time of connection sharing and love, they can also be a time where we throw caution to the wind with our eating habits, causing weight gain, mood swings, digestive issues and an overall imbalance in our health. Celebratory treats like alcohol, sugar, caffeine and rich meals are everywhere this time of year. Many of us eat out more often and attend countless parties. So what can we do to enjoy all the fun and beauty of the season without taxing our health?
You can start by following my four easy tips for eating out during the holidays.
1: Have a glass of room temperature water with lemon before your meal arrives. The water will hydrate you so you don’t mistake excess thirst for hunger. The lemon will alkalize your system ensuring less probability for heartburn. The room temperature water will pass through you quicker than cold water, which impedes digestion.
2: Choose protein-based appetizers/hors d'oeuvres. This can be anything from chicken satay or shrimp cocktail, to a piece of cheese, edamame or nuts. The protein will satisfy you so you do not start the carbohydrate craving cycle that happens when we begin our meals with bread.
3. If you are drinking alcohol, drink it with food. By waiting until you eat to drink alcohol, your blood sugar will not spike as high, and thus you are less likely to fall prey to the carbohydrate/dessert craving.
4: Follow our Whole Journey 80/20 rule. This means that what you eat 80% of the time makes up your health and you can be lenient with the other 20%. Consider all of the following as sugar: alcohol, bread, starch (white potatoes/white rice), and dessert. Choose only one of those when you are dining out as your ‘sugar’ for the night.
The food that we eat is very important for health and balance, but what really feeds us—a full and fulfilling life—doesn’t come on a plate. These are things like honest and open relationships, creative outlets, exercise and spirituality. I encourage you also to feed yourself an abundance of these throughout the holidays to ensure you stay balanced and get the most out of the season.
Making gifts for your friends and family is a great creative outlet. I love giving healthy homemade sweet treats. Try our no sugar (but full taste!) recipe for raw chocolate truffles in the recipes section.