Tip #1 Set Intentions - How do you want to feel?
Food is not just calories. What you eat impacts how you show up in this world.
When you fuel your body with low energy foods filled with refined grains/sugar, processed seed oils, or foods that may be causing you inflammation (gluten, dairy, soy, etc.) that plays a huge role in your mood, your ability to handle stress, your ability to connect with people, and what you attract into your life. Low energy attracts more low energy.
This holiday season, release the “I can’t Haves” or “I shouldn’t haves”, and just start asking yourself “how is this going to make me feel?”
Set your intentions and connect with them each day:
How do you want to feel this last month of 2020?
Ex: light, energized, present?
How do you want to show up with your family/friends/work?
Bloated, Tired, Stuffed? OR Energized, Fun, Connected?
Listen to your body and Choose foods that support those intentions (i.e. good quality protein, healthy fats, etc.) This year trade will power for mindfulness and consciously choose how you want to feel. Remind yourself that every moment is a new moment to choose again.
Tip 2: Mindful Indulgences and Worth It Foods
During the holidays there may be certain foods that you LOVE, but don’t make you feel great. THAT IS OK. There are certain foods that may be “worth it” to you.
It doesn’t mean if you eat them that the whole day is ruined and you might as well binge on all the things.
Release that “Cheat Day” or “I’ll start again Monday” mentality.
Decide beforehand what your specific worth it foods are and mindfully indulge.
Put them on a plate, Slow down, eat every bite with intention, gratitude, and tune into all of your senses. ENJOY IT WITHOUT GUILT.
Once you’re done, appreciate the experience and get right back to eating your high energy foods that support your goals. And if you feel physically bad after eating it, that’s just data. No need to beat yourself up. Now you know for next time that it may no longer be worth it.
Tip 3: Post-Indulgence Ritual - How to not go overboard
Not going overboard on the holidays can be challenging with so much temptation around. These hyperpalatable foods can set off huge dopamine hits, which keep us wanting more. Especially if you’re like me (a former sugar addict).
Try using a post indulgence ritual.
Give yourself something pleasurable to do immediately after eating said “foods with no brakes”
Ex: Plan to sip on your favorite hot tea after your last bite of pie, instead of impulsively going back for seconds or thirds and then feeling bloated and crappy afterwards.
Other Post Indulgence Ritual Examples:
Sparkling water, coffee, plan a walk outside, bike ride etc.
Tip 4: Simple Swaps
Staying healthy over the holidays doesn’t have to mean deprivation.
There are SO many ways to uplevel your favorite holiday staples that taste amazing and wont have you on a blood sugar roller coaster or feeling bloated and tired.
I like to tell my clients to think of foods on a spectrum vs “good or bad”
Ask yourself, “How can I uplevel this?” (When in doubt, eat real food!)
Use search terms like “paleo pumpkin pie”, dairy-free keto fudge”, “grain-free low carb stuffing”
**Each of us have unique nutritional needs and certain foods that we do and don’t tolerate, but these are generally good frameworks for lower inflammatory ingredients & better blood sugar balance.
Upleveled Ingredient Swap Examples
Swap Refined White flour or Wheat Flour for almond flour or coconut flour (almond flour pie crust!)
Swap Cane Sugar for Monk Fruit Sweetener, stevia, Erythritol, allulose (keto/diabetic friendly) or Coconut sugar, maple syrup, honey
Swap Soybean Oil, Vegetable Oil, Canola Oil, hydrogenated oil for Coconut oil, avocado oil, ghee
Swap Crisco shortening for Sustainably sourced Palm Shortening
Tip # 5: Managing Holiday Stress and Anxiety
Holidays can come with a lot of added stress, especially this year with Covid, which can lead to using food, alcohol, or other vices to numb out.
The first step is awareness to your triggers and finding non-edible forms of nourishment vs. running on autopilot and compulsively reaching for things to escape discomfort.
One of the most transformative tools when met with a strong emotion or feelings of unease is breathwork.
Here is a powerful technique called the 5-5-7 Breath
Inhale 5 seconds
Hold 5 seconds
Exhale 7 seconds
Repeat (ideally 10 times, or even just once.)
This breathwork gets us out of the fight or flight state (survival mode) and brings us back to our center, so we can consciously respond vs. impulsively react.
If a family member says something triggering to you that makes you want to defend yourself or say something hurtful back in retaliation, 5-5-7.
If you’re hit with anxiety and craving ice cream at 10PM, 5-5-7.
If you’re ruminating on some past event, 5-5-7.
Use the breath to bring yourself back to the present moment and to your higher self... Again and again.
Want more tips from Ellie?!
1. Join Ellie's Email Newsletter
2. Check out Ellie’s podcast Don’t Eat Your Feelings with Mindfulbellie
3. Connect Instagram @mindfulbellie (DM say Hi!)
If you’re looking for a reset to jumpstart your health goals after the holidays, Ellie is leading another Mindfulbellie 21 Day Reset Starting January 11, 2021.
More info check out Mindfulbellie.com/21dayreset
Online group coaching program
Transform your nutrition habits and relationship with food.
Nutrition + Fitness +Meditation + Supportive Community & Accountability