In fact I saw on Facebook a picture of a turkey standing on a scale with the caption reading, set your scales back 10 pounds. So how do we maneuver through this time of the year?
Healthy holiday tips
1. Share your feelings. For those that are dealing with broken relationships, depression, etc., find someone you trust and share your feelings. While this may not change your status, it helps to have support to at least eliminate the feeling of being all alone.
2. Reach out. If you don't have family reach out to friends and/or your church or close neighbors. I would also say for those that know you have people that are feeling alone or who don't have good relationships with their families, invite them to dinner. The Mayo Clinic gives others tips for dealing with depression during the holidays.
3. Look for the simple things. One reason people get depressed around the holidays is because of the lack of resources to accomplish their idea of the "perfect holiday." Some get depresses because they are not able to buy presents or present the expected holiday meals. One thing that I have started to do with my family is let each child/family member create the dish that want for the holidays. We don't have a turkey or ham, sometimes we just can't afford it. But the goal is to have a meal together as a family. We try to keep the focus on family, not the food. One way to make the meal feel special is to have your family set the table. If you don't have china, that's okay, just make it feel as special as you want. Let your family be involved in the process. Health online gives additional tips on having a healthy holiday.
3.Enjoy your meal, but don't lose your mind. It is so easy to look at all the food on the table and pile your plate full of these wonderful treats to only feel guilty after overeating. So what do you do? Huffpost gives some suggestions. One suggestion is to stay away from the high glycemic, likes breads and pasta. If that's possible do so. However, that's not always possible. So instead what I have done for my family is change our normal holiday recipes and made them as healthy as possible. For example the mac and cheese has been alter slightly by choosing healthier cheeses and cutting some of the fat. My breading has been alter in the same way. I start with a homemade bread we make and I add veggies to the mix. Since we are having dressing we won't have any additional bread. Instead of a turkey or ham, I will bake an organic chicken. Now my family wanted ribs, so I purchased some from Trader Joe for them. We will also make sure we have something raw, a salad to accompany the dinner. Instead of the abundance of desserts, we will have only one. The key is we will enjoy the meal, but we won't set ourselves up to over eat.
4. Get in a workout. One way to help keep your focus as well as to help you with the holiday stresses, is to get in a workout. Do something that gets your moving. Burn some extra calories. In fact, instead of making your time from Thanksgiving to Christmas one hectic run from store to store. Try setting up sometimes for your family and/or friends to do fun things together. In fact, I need to ask my daughter about the indoor rock climbing location she mentioned. That would be something great we can do as a family.
5. Take some rest. This really aligns itself with the last one. If your family is like mine, you can easily find yourself busy with non-stop activities. We go from school, to work, to ministry events. Our only day we don't run (as much) is Saturdays. And truthfully the last few Saturdays have found my husband driving from one event to another all day long. So we look forward to the holidays as a family. In fact, we started a few years ago making December our vacation time from outside events. We go to the ones we choose as a family, otherwise we don't take ministry or business assignments that require evening commitments. We simply try to slow down and get some rest.
6. Get back up if you mess up. While I am not saying get completely off your healthy eating plan, I am saying if you find yourself overeating during this time, don't waste time beating yourself up. Instead get up! Get back on track and keep moving forward.
7. Accountability. While you enjoy your holidays remember to hold yourself accountable for your actions. If you know you will have a difficulty being around a lot of sweets, then don't bring them in your house. Yes, if you want one treat, bring in the one treat. For example, I find that I really like red velvet cake. However I don't try to buy the entire cake. I will either purchase one slice or the mini cupcakes with four in them and share them with my family. In other words don't set yourself up for failure.
Whatever you do look for ways to enjoy the holiday. If it normally brings disappointment or loneliness, look for ways to have fun with friends, co-workers or those that have become family to you. Don't try to ignore your feelings, deal with them honestly. Rest, relax and make this time about those you love and less about the foods, gifts, and slew of activities. Until next time, have a great Thanksgiving and continue to W.I.N. in health.