How to Survive the Holiday Celebrations (and Not Totally Lose Your Mind!)

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Feeling like all you can eat at the holiday celebrations right now are sticks, rocks and snow??

Getting frustrated watching other people eat all the things that you are not able to?

Avoiding food that could set off allergic reactions, set off digestive upset (bloating, reflux, belching, gas that could be bottled and used as biological warfare…) and make you feel ridiculously tired, irritable and achy can be tricky at the best of times. During the holiday season where food that is laden with some of the biggest offenders that set us off, like sugar, gluten and dairy, things can get potentially more difficult for the best of us.

As the holistic nutritionist and former patient at The Living Proof Institute, I totally understand what it feels like! Here are some of my tips that you may not find anywhere else to help you survive the holiday celebrations and all the tempting food!

Tip 1:
Understand that it is a CHOICE for you to take care of your body. So much of our healing and maintaining our health is mindset. If you view not eating some food as punishment and deprivation, then you will have a much larger struggle and be resentful of not being able to eat some food. IF you view not eating the food as a huge example of taking care of your body, of being kind to yourself and thinking of the long-term goals of health, more energy, less pain, and more ability to do the things you love (e.g. be with your grandkids, travel, participate in the sports/activities that fill your heart up), then staying away from the food can be more manageable.

Tip 2:
KNOW that it is a temporary situation! Nothing lasts forever, things are always in a constant state of change. The holiday season will pass, the parties will die down and you won’t be around all the food forever. Think back to the times when you were able to stay away from the food and use whatever

Tip 3:
EAT the food! Yes, that is what I said. The nutritionist recommended you eat the food!
Chew it slowly
Savour it
Enjoy it
Feel the texture, maybe even close your eyes (unless the other people celebrating wonder what is going on, and then you can explain it to them if you like!)
That way, you digest the food better, and you don’t feel like you are depriving yourself and restricting (which can lead to rebound eating/binge eating).
If you are putting yourself down (“I should know better. I shouldn’t be eating this…”) while eating, your brain views that as pain and wants to feel better. So, it tells you to EAT MORE!
You can stop that cycle by letting go of the guilt, the shame, the fear, etc….deep breaths and ENJOY!

Tip 4:
Eat BEFORE you go to a celebration! Eat a meal that is super tasty and fills you up nicely. That way, less room for treats that might make you feel sick.

Tip 5:
Eat protein first! Protein takes longer to digest, and can fill you up, leaving less room for sugary/salty treats.

Tip 6:
Bring “contingency” snacks, food that you LIKE to eat (sometimes you can get away with bringing whole dishes!), that will fill you up and won’t have you feel like you are missing out. This can take some planning but it can be worth it if you don’t want your immune system to crash with all the sugar!

Wishing everyone a lovely Christmas and holiday season!