by Michael Gill
The holidays are coming up. I’m sure it doesn’t feel real now, especially if you have a newborn or infant, but they’re on their way. This article will give you a few easy tips to help you make healthier choices through the season, while still feeling like you’re celebrating.
Holidays aside, celebration is something I like to explore with my clients. When nutrition plans are based on denial (as most are), it’s easy to feel like you’re missing out. At best, you feel like you’re trading something you want (health) for something else you want (celebration). At worst, you’ll hate that you can’t have those foods that you want. Either way, sustaining that lifestyle probably won’t happen.
Let’s look for some easier solutions. Here are the tips:
1) Let yourself celebrate the holidays in whatever way most feels like celebration to you. If that includes unhealthy foods, so be it. Celebration is an important part of health.
2) When you’re going to holiday parties, eat a meal beforehand. The food that’s there will be mostly regrettable. Try whatever you want to try, or whatever you need to make the host feel appreciated, but don’t arrive hungry.
3) If you’re making treats, use 2/3 or 3/4 of the sugar called for in the recipe. You probably won’t even know the difference. If you want to take it a step further, for every cup of white sugar called for, use 1/2 cup sugar and 1/4 cup xylitol. If it’s brown sugar, use 1/2 cup coconut sugar or maple syrup and 1/4 cup xylitol. Again, you probably won’t even notice the difference.
4) If you can, bring the kids into the kitchen when cooking. They’re learning about what it means to celebrate, just like you did when you were a kid. Making the celebration about cooking, instead of cookies, will help them make healthier decisions as adults.
If you want to go deeper on this, consider your ideas of what it means to celebrate. Look at how you choose to celebrate holidays and birthdays. Look at how you celebrate life’s little victories, for you and your kids. Ask yourself, “Where did I learn that this is how to celebrate?” and “Is this something I want to continue doing?” Ask yourself, “What other things do I love doing? What makes my soul sing?” Consider adding some of these to your holiday celebration.
There are no wrong answers. You may find that asking these questions makes no difference. You may find that it helps you celebrate in a way that is more enjoyable, better for your kids, and kinder to your body.
If you’d like to take things a step further, Michael is offering Bridgetown Baby readers a holiday special - between now and December 15, receive a free breakthrough phone consult and 40% off a coaching plan to create a healthier approach to the holiday season. Click here for more information.
Michael Gill is a Portland-area practitioner offering coaching around food and stress relief. He meshes nearly 20 years of studies and practical work in Health Sciences, Holistic Nutrition, massage therapy, herbalism, meditation and energetics with deep understanding of the realities of modern life, to help clients adopt healthy lifestyles that fit into busy lives.