My Top Tips for a Healthy (and Happy) Holiday Season
It's the most wonderful time of year! Enjoy this time even more with a few helpful tips for navigating the holiday season in a healthy + happy way.
We are so close to Christmas and I'm beyond excited. Max and I arrived in Texas late last night and feel so blessed to be able to spend the holidays with both families, and great friends.
As you may know, my family eats a predominantly organic and paleo based diet due to my two brothers with autism so thankfully, I don't need to worry about getting sick at all from food my body isn't used to. For some of you, I know this may not be the case and the holidays can seem pretty overwhelming. Trying to make healthy choices that will nourish our bodies can be a real challenge for people at this time of year, especially if your loved ones don't follow the same quality and values of dietary lifestyle as you do.
Here are my top tips for navigating this special time while staying as happy and healthy as possible:
- Bring the food YOU like to eat. Crowd out the junk with choices that you enjoy at home and you won’t want the other stuff. These can still be delicious and nourishing such as stuffed dates, a charcuterie board, veggie platter, fruit salad, and even these yummy Christmas cookies. When you are in control of the ingredients that go into your holiday dishes, you can make better choices for you and your family.
- Improve quality of ingredients. If your tradition is to have sweet potato casserole, make a healthier spin on the classic by replacing canned whipped potato, for real mashed yams. You can also swap the marshmallows for toasted pecans! Consider adding coconut oil or grass-fed butter, cinnamon and nutmeg too.
- Preparation is always a great idea. Don't feel the need to overthink this, but planning ahead can take stress out of the day itself. Discuss with whoever is hosting the food options that will be there so you know what to bring. Ask your host which food contains any allergens that may irritate you and visualize yourself at the meal, knowing which foods will make you sick, and which you will choose that will make you feel great.
- Mindset shift. Be gentle with yourself and make a conscious mindset shift. Rather than tell yourself you can't have something, know that you can have it but you are consciously choosing an alternate option. You always get to choose, remember that!
- Stay true to you. Often families may not understand your lifestyle and it's common for people to make comments, remarks, or jokes about the food you eat. This happens to me all the time. What I tell myself is that their comments reflect their stuff, not mine. Stay true to you and what you know you need to do to make yourself feel healthy and happy.
SOMETHING TO REMEMBER
At the end of the day, this holiday is not about the food, it's about JESUS, it's about LOVE, and it's about PEOPLE. Focus on spending time with loved ones and practicing gratefulness, rather than obsessing over food. Make the best choices you can so that you feel energized and can spend quality time with family (rather than laying on the couch feeling sick), but don't waste time over stressing about every single ingredient, calorie, and how many digestive enzymes you're going to have to take to feel half decent in the morning. Remember, it’s just one meal and you get to start again with the very next bite. Give yourself permission to be human and focus on the real reason we celebrate at this time of year.
I hope you all have a wonderful Christmas filled with Jesus, gratitude and love!
Beef Bulgogi Bowls
Makes 2 Large Bowls
1 lb. grass-fed rib eye or sirloin steak
2 tablespoons cooking oil of choice
2 tablespoons coconut aminos
2 tablespoons freshly minced garlic
1 tablespoon raw honey or sweetener of choice
2 stems of green onion, finely chopped
2 tablespoons toasted sesame seeds
4 cups dark leafy greens
2 cups roasted broccoli
3 large carrots, roasted
3 cups cauliflower rice
+ hot sauce (to taste)
= spicy mayo!
1) To make the roasted vegetables, throw frozen broccoli and carrots onto a baking sheet, drizzle in cooking oil of choice, salt and pepper, and roast in the oven at 375F for 30 minutes or so. Remove and set aside.
2) Place the steaks in a large bowl with coconut aminos, minced garlic, raw honey, salt and pepper. Let marinate for 10-30 minutes.
3) In a large skillet, add cooking oil and saute the steaks (along with sauce) over medium high heat or until the steak is medium-well done.
4) Set the beef aside and slice into thin pieces.
5) Using the same pan, heat up your cauliflower rice in the skillet until piping hot.
5) To each bowl, add 2 cups of greens. Top greens with 1-2 carrots, 1 cup roasted broccoli, 1 1/2 cups cauliflower rice, 1/2 lb of steak and chopped green onion. Add a dollop of spicy mayo on the side, sprinkle with sesame seeds and enjoy!
Isabella Grace is a Nutritional Therapy Practitioner focusing on toxin-free, natural living to its fullest extent. Her mission is to provide personalized integrative health solutions to create sustainable, lifelong change and enable you to live, love, and serve at your fullest health potential.
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