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Tips to Enjoy Delicious Holiday Food and Stay In Balance

By December 4, 2021June 12th, 2024Nutrition Information, Winter

These strategies will help you stay slim and healthy during the holiday. You’ll be able to enjoy the holiday food, stay in balance and feel good.

I had a great Thanksgiving with my family and I hope you did too.  My son and his family moved back to New York and I’m thrilled I can spend more time with them. Avery, my grandson is incredibly precious. It opens my heart to be with him.  Here we are hiking at Minnewaska State Park Thanksgiving Day.


Even though Thanksgiving is over there’s still a lot of celebrating to do.

I love this time of year but the traditions, celebrations, gift giving, and seasonal indulgences have the potential to make us overindulge a bit!

With so many things on your never-ending to do list, family gatherings, and parties with rich foods, sugar, and wine, it can be tempting to put your health commitments on hold until next year.  You don’t have to.  You can stay balanced during the holiday season and still enjoy yourself.

With 4 weeks left until the ball drops on New Year’s Eve, here are a few strategies to help enjoy the holidays feeling energized and balanced so you can truly be in the moment with your family and friends.

These strategies will help you remain in alignment while fully enjoying the holiday festivities.

You’ll be able to appreciate the delicious holiday treats without the need to stuff yourself silly, feel deprived or guilty.

The truth is, I allow myself to gain a few pounds over the holiday, it’s natural. I’ll take it off in January when I do the Nourishing Foods Winter Cleanse.

Tips to Enjoy Delicious Holiday Food and Stay In Balance 

Indulge 1 Day – Eat Clean 2 Days

An easy way to stay balanced and prevent excess weight gain during the holiday season is to allow one indulgence day followed by 2 days of clean eating. On the day of clean eating you eat at least 80% clean.

I like this because it means I can eat whatever I want at a dinner or party as long as I follow it up with two days of clean eating.  By clean I mean a diet of 80% vegetables and 20% sweet potatoes or whole grains and clean animal protein.

The good thing about this system is that I don’t ever feel like I am depriving myself of delicious holiday foods. I don’t stress, I don’t overindulge and I don’t feel guilty. 

I like to make a soup full of cruciferous and alkaline vegetables with turmeric to detox my liver.  To give my body a chance to detoxify I have only soup dinner one or two days. It helps me stay slim and balanced.

Recipes: Cleansing Turmeric Vegetable Soup
                 Curried Cauliflower Soup with Spinach 

Eat A High Protein Breakfast  

Almond Cinnamon Chia Pudding
Eating protein for breakfast balances your hormones which has a direct effect on your hunger levels throughout the day. You’ll feel energized, less likely to binge on sugar. You’ll have less cravings after dinner.  Read more How Breakfast Affects Hormones and After Dinner Cravings.

Recipes: Lemon Green Smoothie Bowl
                   Almond Cinnamon Chia Pudding

Stay Hydrated 

Dehydration slows down your metabolism and makes you feel hungry. Often we think we are hungry but we are just dehydrated.

  • Start your day with 16 ounces of water with lemon juice. The water flushes out toxins and the lemon alkalizes your system reducing inflammation.
  • Drink 8 ounces of water 15-30 minutes before each meal to stimulate digestion.
  • Drink water before you have that glass of wine and then before bed. For every glass of alcohol have 2 glasses of water.  Alcohol dehydrates you.   Hydrating brings you back into balance more quickly.

Keep Soup on Hand 

Creamy Mushroom Soup
When you have a delicious soup available after a day of shopping and you’re starving, you’ll fill your body with nutritious food rather than quick snacks which can be high in fat, sugar and salt. I recommend making some simple blended soups to keep in your refrigerator or freezer. You can make blended soups in 20 minutes. They are delicious, easy to digest and very healing.

Recipes: Vegan Creamy Mushroom Soup
                    Healing Mushroom Cabbage Soup

Eat Raw Fermented Vegetables 

Sauerkraut helps digest your foods more completely and reduces the build up of toxins in your gut. They break down the proteins and fats and extract the vitamins and minerals from the food and you have more energy.  Have a few tablespoons with lunch and dinner.

When you eat sweets, pop a spoonful of cultured veggies into your mouth before or after. The fermented vegetables provide an alkalizing antidote to that sugar because the friendly bacteria will dine on the sugar and it is less likely to harm you. Click to read my newsletter on The Health Benefits of Fermented Vegetables and my favorite brands.

Get Enough Sleep

Lack of sleep leads to overeating and weight gain.  When you don’t sleep enough you’re hungry all day long because sleep deprivation increases levels of the ‘hunger hormone’ GHRELIN and decreases levels of the ‘satiety hormone’ LEPTIN. It’s easy to get caught up in the hustle and bustle of the holidays. Enjoy your holiday but be sure not to stay up too late or over book yourself. Here are 7 Natural Sleep Remedies for Your Body Mind and Spirit

Breathe To Reduce Stress

You might think it’s funny for me to say breathe but the truth is deep breathing is a huge de-stressor. When you’re stressed it is hard to digest food.  Stress turns off the digestive response. Stress causes inflammation.

  • Notice your breath while eating.
  • Breathe through your nose as much as possible.
  • Take a deep breath every few bites to improve digestion.  
  • Check in with your breath throughout the day.

Did you know every emotional state has a different breathing pattern?  That means you can change the way you feel by changing your breath.  When you’re anxious you breathe quick, shallow breaths.  Slow down your breath, breathe deeply into your belly and you’ll feel calmer immediately. Click to find out 7 Benefits of Nasal Breathing

Eat with Awareness

When you eat something delicious notice the beautiful colors and textures, smell the aroma and enjoy the taste as you chew.  When you eat this way your brain registers pleasure and you feel satisfied.  Pick the food you want, enjoy it fully, savoring every morsel.  With awareness you’ll eat less and enjoy more.  This leads me to the next strategy

Ditch the Guilt

Don’t eat guilt, eat food. Before you go to a party decide to give yourself the freedom to have what you want. Your inner child will be happy and you’re less likely to overindulge. Set your intention to eat with awareness. Notice your feelings while you’re eating. If you are panicked, distressed or shameful you can’t metabolize your food well. If you are loving and savoring the food you’re eating you’ll metabolize it better.  Use tapping to calm yourself. You’ll rebalance the next day.

How to Rebalance If You Overindulge

Eat lots of alkaline food

Even if you overindulge, 2 days of clean eating brings you back into balance.  Start your day with a green smoothie. Click here How to Make the Perfect Green Smoothie. Eat vegetables at every meal. Eat some of the soup that’s in your refrigerator.  Drink lots of water with lemon.  Alkalizing your body throughout the holiday season will prevent you from gaining excess weight or feeling achy and tired. Here are a few easy to make vegetable dishes.

Sauteed Spinach with Radicchio
Sauteed Kale with Carrots

Exercise (even a little) the next day 

Exercise cleans up sugars from your system to use in the repair process. It also stimulates the lymphatic system to excrete toxins and gets the blood flowing. Yoga’s really good, it gets the endorphins flowing.

Take B Vitamins

The B-complex vitamins have dramatic mood-elevating affects more than almost any other nutrient. The B vitamins are critical for efficient liver detoxification I like this brand  If you drink alcohol take the vitamins before you go to bed and let them work their magic while you sleep. If you forget, take them immediately upon arising. B-Vitamins are important in aiding the carbohydrate (alcohol) metabolizing process and in dilating blood vessels. B-vitamins will help restore your energy level.

Support your liver

The cruciferous vegetables (broccoli, cauliflower, kale, cabbage, Brussels sprouts) contain enzymes that support liver detox, so eat lots of them.

Recipe: Coconut Curried Broccoli and Carrots
                 Garlic and Rosemary Cabbage Steaks 
Shredded Brussels Sprouts with Lemon 

Drink teas to regain balance

Forgive Yourself

Sometimes we wind up eating or drinking too much and beat ourselves up.  But do you know being mad at yourself only makes you eat or drink more the next time. If this happens, the best thing you can do is forgive yourself. How do you do that?

If you find you’re beating yourself up for overindulging, one really powerful strategy is to use the Hawaiian forgiveness mantra Ho’oponopono, I love you, I’m sorry, please forgive me, thank you. Repeat this mantra to yourself until you feel better. You can say the phrases in any order that feels right for you. It really works.  Read How to Practice Ho’oponopono in Four Simple Steps or watch this video from Joe Vitale.

Use these tips throughout the holiday season to feel good and have fun.  Love your amazing body, appreciate your friends and family. Joy is one of the keys to great health.

And if you do overindulge, don’t beat yourself up, let it go and rebalance the next 2 days  Be kind and gentle to yourself as the Buddha says…

“You yourself, as much as anybody in the entire universe, deserve your love and affection”  Buddha


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