November 21, 2017

How I navigate the holiday dinner table

Today I’m sharing the tools I teach my one-on-one clients (and what I practice myself) to keep from feeling crazy (or going WAY overboard) around holiday meals. Most of these you can practice no matter where you’re dining, whether you have a say over the menu or not.

Psst… in case you missed it, last week I shared my favorite holiday foods + recipes. You can read that post here.

Tips for Feeling Great in Your Body…Even on Thanksgiving

In the Morning

  • Sip hot water with ginger and lemon as a natural detoxifier and digestive tonic. It will really help get your digestive juices flowing and ready for what’s to come!
  • Get your body moving! It doesn’t have to be a full-blown workout, but a walk, body weight exercises like some planks, or a short online workout like LEKfit would be perfect.
  • Eat a real breakfast. Skipping breakfast (or lunch, depending on when your holiday feast is!) usually just leads to overeating even more later. I always recommend having a substantial breakfast (something with quality fat and protein) so that you’re not going into your meal starving.

During the Big Meal

  • Holiday MealsLoad up on veggies first. Fill your plate up with more straightforward veggies (roasted root veggies, salad, sauteed string beans) and then add everything else like turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, casseroles, etc.
  • Don’t eat anything that you just like, only what you LOVE! Just because there are 4 different types of potatoes, doesn’t mean you have to eat them all. Eat the foods you like and enjoy them.
  • Chew your food! Not only will chewing your food completely until liquid will naturally have you eating a little less, your belly will be much happier (ie less bloated) because it’s doing less work.
  • Enjoy the meal outside of food. Sure, the food is a big focus at Thanksgiving, but the real spirit of the holiday is family, connection and giving thanks for the good in our lives. If you find yourself plowing through your plate and immediately wanting more, slow down. Take a deep breath. What else about the meal can you enjoy? Talk to someone, or just listen to the conversation going on around you.

After the Meal

  • End the meal. I like to make a cup of tea to signal the end of the meal and keep myself from grazing on bits and bites of dessert throughout the rest of the evening.
  • Support your gut with supplements. A digestive enzyme can help your body properly break down all the food you just ate and activated charcoal can help your body flush out anything toxic that you might have ingested.
  • Rest and digest. This is a great time to watch a movie or take a nap – give your body plenty of time to rest and really digest your meal. You can also try laying on your left side to support your digestive flow.

Do you have a favorite tool or practice that helps you through the holiday meals? Share with us all by leaving a comment below!

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