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Food and the Holidays!

Whenever I hear people talk about their health goals, food is usually the main concern, and rightly so! Food can be our medicine, but it could also be our poison! The holiday seasons often make it especially hard for us to stay on track. So here I would like to share a few tips with you on how to make the best of the holidays when it comes to food!

Knowing what to eat and what not to eat is such a huge and important topic and there is soooo much we could potentially talk about, so I will definitely come back to the topic of food and nutrition many, many times in the near future. My goal is to bring you bite-size pieces of information for you to chew on. No pun intended! LOL!

There is so much that is interesting about food and diet. We all want to know what is good to eat and what to avoid. But because we are all unique and biologically different, there really isn’t a one-size-fits all diet. Though, having said this, there are some foods that are clearly harmful to our bodies. And these foods tend to show up much more during the holiday season!

So today, I want to give you some tips on how we can find balance during the holiday season. =)

Now depending on where you are on the globe, your situation may be different. I know my folks in Queensland, Australia have more of a ‘normal’ life than those of us in the US. I’m currently in California, and right now, rules are pretty strict here about sheltering in place and social distancing. So for those of us who are keeping our Christmases small this year, one upside is that we are not tempted by the mountainous volume of food and indulgent foods that we are normally faced with in a large social gathering. You might be able to have more control over what you and your family eats.

Regardless of what your situation may be this year, I have a few general tips that I think we could all benefit from.

1. When you make up your plate this year, try to have at least one healthy item on your plate. If possible, try to fill up at least half of the plate with vegetables - the more colours the better - eat the rainbow!

2. Stay hydrated throughout the day. Drink good quality, clean water, but between meals! Try not to drink a lot of fluid during the meal, especially ice cold beverages - which hinder digestion. Limit or avoid excessive alcoholic drinks and high-sugary drinks. They add empty calories, deplete precious nutrients in our bodies, and impair our judgement regarding our food choices.

3. Savour the food that you eat. Take time to chew your food! Put your utensils down between bites. Meal times together is a wonderful time for the family to bond, don’t rush. Enjoy the food and each other’s company. This will tremendously improve your digestion. And isn’t it priceless to be with family and be totally present for each other?

4. Move. Gentle, healthy movements are wonderful for digestion. If weather permits, you may take a stroll after dinner as a family activity. It is a great time of the year to enjoy the Xmas lights and decorations in your neighbourhood!

5. No guilt! If you are going to indulge, then enjoy the food with joy and pleasure. Bring all your senses into the experience - take a moment to appreciate the beautiful treat with your eyes, smell it, touch it, and then taste it! Know that healthy, sustainable eating means eating in moderation. Be mindful when you indulge - allow your whole body-mind to participate and enjoy the treat food. Don’t feel guilty about it. Know that you will get back on track in your next meal.

Below, I have created an infographic with the 5 tips for holiday eating just for you. =)

I wish you and your family a joyful Christmas and a hopeful & fresh New Year!

Take care everyone!

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