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  • Writer's pictureShelby O'Hagan

3 Tips for HEALTHIER Holidays&Celebrations

Updated: Nov 19, 2019

fall table setting

Boom, baby! We’re officially two weeks into Sober October!

Are you past the initial detox slump?

What positive changes are you noticing?

More energy? Better sleep? Looser clothing? Clearer eyes? Less hungry?

Don't worry if you said NO to all that... it’s possible that you haven’t noticed any changes quite yet, and that’s okay too. Everyone is different. Stick with it, and you will notice benefits -- I promise! 😊

Logan’s been craving a beer and claims he’s “learned his lesson” and won’t go overboard anymore in the future. Bahaha 😄 -- DISCLAIMER: Sober October isn’t about punishing yourself to learn a lesson!!

Of course this is all easy for me to say as I was in Canada over the weekend for Canadian Thanksgiving, so I’m actually on Day 2 all over again. 😉

It was really nice to spend time with the fam and to enjoy some amazing food (my aunt is literally THE BEST cook), and I decided to take the few days mindfully off from the challenge. Sure, I could have stuck with it and abstained from wine with my Papa (one of my favorite things) and slices of the pumpkin cheesecake my Granny made (which was BOMB!), but where’s the joy in that? I made sure not to go overboard and used my 3 tips (which you'll learn soon 😊) to keep myself feeling good. Overall, it was a great weekend, and I’m back feeling recharged. I absolutely love having two Thanksgivings each year -- I love the food, sharing the epic meal with family and/or friends, the changing leaves, and feeling grateful. Ahhh... it's the best.

Here are my 3 tips for healthier holidays and celebrations. They definitely helped me this weekend, and I've transitioned right back into Sober October unscathed. 😉

1. Ditch the RESTRICTION mindset!

I wrote last week about the benefit of empowering yourself with a CHOICE mindset. It’s been shown in studies on willpower that when people go into diets or situations like a holiday dinner with the mindset that they’re not allowed to have something, it becomes the focus of their attention and depletes their willpower. What’s more is that when willpower diminishes, blood sugar decreases, and you actually get hungry… especially for that little something which you’ve been denying yourself! Never fear, there are a number of actions you can take to avoid breaking.

Halloween sugar cookies
  • Load up on fat, protein, fiber, and greens! Rather than completely denying yourself and depleting your willpower, try planning ahead so you get your nutrients in early in the day. When you're at a holiday dinner, eat veggies first! Or if you’re headed to a gathering where there aren’t likely to be healthy options, have a small healthy snack before you go so you’re not as hungry.

  • Find a high protein/fat snack to munch on if you’re feeling overwhelmed by all the goodies you’re trying to avoid. Remember that blood sugar crash that happens when willpower is used up? If you can find something else to eat to keep your blood sugar stable, you’ll feel less inclined to eat all the cookies in the jar.

crunchy autumn leaves

2. Stay physically active!

Movement is so important for body, mind, and spirit. It’s been found that in the Blue Zones (hot spots all over the world where people live the longest) people are known to stay active well into old age. And this doesn’t mean intense workouts -- everything from work on a farm or in the yard to nightly walks can be enough! During the holidays you might find yourself tight on time or unable to get to the gym, so an after dinner walk might be all you can do. Don’t forget to invite your friends and/or family -- you may be surprised by how many are happy to partake in a bit of movement.

3. Enjoy yourself!

You’re not making a mistake when you enjoy a slice of pie your sister baked or meet with your friends for holiday drinks - that is part of being human and enjoying life. Allow yourself the freedom to enjoy yourself, knowing that you can still achieve your goals without alienating or completely restricting yourself. Plan ahead, try your best, and remember that the holidays are a time for gratitude and rejoicing.

Somehow I managed to skate through the weekend without any photos of the family or dinner -- argh!! Of course I did get photos of my parents' dogs, Woody and Larry. They're so cute. We spent a little time looking at old photo albums, and I thought these photos of my Nana and (great) Grandpa looking "candid" in the snow were hilarious. There's something very Wes Anderson about them. 😄 And then there was this guy (not sure who he is...) posing in a doorway looking too cool. Hoping I inherited some of the coolness in my genes 😉

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