This week came up fast. It has been a busy month at my house. Longer than usual work hours has meant less family time and more stress. That’s the way it happens. We don’t plan to get stressed out. We just find ourselves all of sudden overwhelmed. Then the holiday comes. We say that the holidays are stressful but sometimes its just life that is stressful in the first place, and the extra holiday activities are just icing on the cake.
Stress can make healthy eating decisions challenging in general, and this time of year we are often forced out of our comfortable routines and put into more situations that feel beyond our control. How do you handle the stress and the abundance of food without letting it derail you from your goals? A holiday wellness planning session is the place start! You can schedule your first one for free today. In the meantime, here’s how some of my clients and I are planning to stay well-balanced.
Jan* is traveling back home for Thanksgiving. She has been on a steady journey of changing the way she eats and drinks. She’s lost weight, feeling great and doesn’t want the momentum to stop. At her holiday wellness planning session, we discussed her favorite foods this time of year. She will thoroughly enjoy those foods that are special to her including pumpkin pie. At the same time, she will balance her plate with some vegetables and start her day with a healthy, balanced breakfast (a veggie-packed crustless quiche). She also intends to start a new tradition with her aunts and cousins to play Wii sports or have a little Wii dance party. Her plan allows room to enjoy those things that are unique and nostalgic while keeping her meals balanced and finding a fun way to build movement into her family time.
Keri* is on a mission to live well-balanced and lose weight in a healthy way. She gets a little stressed out over the abundance of food still left after her family’s big meal. One piece of advice I often hear is to not worry about one or two indulgent meals – it’s not enough to throw your progress off track. But when you have lots of sweet and starchy leftovers like mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes, cookies, and pies to eat for days and days, what are you supposed to do? At her holiday wellness planning session, we brainstormed some ways to get back to well-balanced eating even with an abundance of leftovers. One strategy was to use the freezer, using this advice on what freezes well and what doesn’t. And another idea is to be more mindful when planning the meal. Here’s a handy tool that helps you decide how much food to buy based on how many “big” and “small eaters” you will have at your celebration.
As for me, Thanksgiving meal is all about homemade mashed potatoes with gravy and rolls. This combo is the ultimate comfort food from my past. I will be adding turkey, a salad and mixed roasted vegetables to balance out my plate. I’ll also be journaling, drinking tea and meditating to help me get a handle on any stress that might pop up. Lastly, exercise brings me mental clarity, makes me stronger and keeps me energized, so I’m going to stick to my three days a week at Burn Boot Camp.
Food for Thought: What’s your holiday game plan?
Making a plan in your head is helpful but often does not equate to action. Talking it out with a Well Balanced dietitian will help you put your goals into action. Knowing you get to check back in to review your progress will keep you motivated to follow through. One client says, “I’ve received very practical, concrete solutions to my problems of craving sugar and feeling out of control around food. The monthly meeting keeps me accountable for my improved food choices and is helping me learn how to incorporate mindfulness into my daily eating habits. It’s one thing to know what a healthy food is. It’s quite another to actually change an eating behavior. The coaching I receive is invaluable to learning how to approach food with a balanced mindset.”
P.S. If you want to talk about your personal game plan, create action steps and follow up with Well Balanced dietitians, take advantage of our November special. A package valued at $220, on sale for $159 until Dec 1st. Your first call is always free and meetings are virtual so you can easily fit them into your schedule!
*Names have been changed to protect privacy.