Rhian's Foolproof Guide To Holiday Eating

Rhian's Foolproof Guide To Holiday Eating

There are a lot of reasons to love the holidays and, between work, family and friends, December rapidly gets filled with places to be and people to see. 

Integral to these festivities is the plethora of holiday-inspired food and drink that we love, but that can sometimes feel (and taste) a bit overwhelming, especially if you are trying to stay on your a-game and make it to the New Year feeling and looking your best.

So, when the verdicts out on whether cranberry sauce is friend or foe, or you already know that you're going to want to save room for some homemade mince pies, I suggest having a plan of action in your back pocket - so that you feel equipped to navigate the holiday cheer and come out swinging in 2023. Enter my foolproof guide to holiday eating.

1. Be picky with your treats. 

Chocolates, candies and cookies are everywhere for weeks before and after Christmas, so it’s easy to get into the habit of mindlessly eating far more than we’d like. Choose a handful of times you’d really like to treat yourself, and just enjoy it. A great way to stay present is to ask yourself: will this make me feel good? If it’s a resounding yes, then go for it. If you know it’s going to make you feel bad, it’s a hard pass. You’ll feel far better when it’s intentional.  

2. Whenever possible, up the quality.

One of the great things about the holidays is there’s lots of home cooking, meaning there’s lots of opportunity to swap out less nutritive ingredients for their higher fibre, higher quality counterparts. Try swapping standard white flour for buckwheat flour or a blend of almond and whole grain flour, and white sugar for maple syrup or dates. 

3. Get your veg in before noon.

When things really start to kick off, treat your breakfast and lunch as opportunities to pump up phytonutrients and fibre. Getting in all your veggies and fibre before you go out in the evening means that you’ll not only have nourished your microbiome and supported your metabolism with Phyto-essentials, but you’ll feel more satiated, full of nutrients, and less concerned with getting in your greens as you arrive to party. 

4. Support the liver.

Christmas is a time for parties, meaning it’s also a time to make sure your detoxification and elimination pathways are firing on all cylinders. Deep Detox is our go-to support for liver and bowel function and can be protective for the liver against alcohol and inflammation. 

5. Implement blood sugar walks.

Walking is a great way to dispose of excess blood sugar and prevent erratic energy, hunger and mood swings. If you are feeling like you’ve overdone it on the sugar front, try to go for a walk within 20 minutes of your dessert. It will help slow the rise of blood sugar and subsequently prevent a crash and will help the body deal with excess sugar with less stress. 

6. Veg + protein first.

Food timing can be surprisingly effective at helping to manage overeating by recruiting satiety signals rather than spiking hunger cues. We’re trained to eat the breadbasket first, but this way of eating spikes our appetite and inhibits satiety, even though we’re consuming calories. Eating protein early in the meal will trigger the release of gastric hormones that feedback to the brain to suppress hunger. Including fibrous vegetables early also helps slow the absorption of sugars, so even if you’re going to reach for an indulgent dessert, it won’t have the same effect. 

7. Stay consistent between indulgences.

When we feel guilt or shame after an indulgence, it often triggers panic, which in turn, leads to yo-yo patterns of restriction and even more indulgence, and a mindset of "I’ve blown it so I may as well." This is incredibly common, so if this sounds like you – it’s time to breathe and reboot. Our body can deal with a few indulgences, so it's important to remove the stress so you can truly enjoy the holidays. Staying consistent with your favourite go-to healthy meals throughout the holidays will be one of the best ways to keep a level head and ensure you enjoy the treats you choose.

8. Actively recover from hangovers.

Hangovers are hard to navigate and, unless you’re intentionally choosing the things your body needs the day after the night before, they can perpetuate erratic blood sugar, moods, and hunger. Electrolyte balance is one of the most impactful things to work on – so try Cellular Hydration in at least 500ml of water as soon as you wake up to three more times in the day as a pick me up. 

9. Have a plan.

We’re all about planning for success and feeling good as quickly as possible after the holiday celebrations are our top priority. It’s helpful to have a plan that is designed to boost energy, nourish the gut and promote the best mood possible. We love the 5-day Cleanse for a quick fix, or for something longer – our best-selling 28-Day Reset is still our go-to for a complete overhaul. Spoiler alert - if you’ve already done the 28-Day Reset, we have something new dropping for the New Year, so stay tuned for more information coming soon - sign up to our newsletter for first access!

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