Healthy Habits for the Holiday Season bring more joy and less stress.
The holiday season can be full of love, laughter and nutritious food. Except, of course, for the times it’s too stressful for any of that to be possible.
A strategy to cope it vital, whether you live alone, with roommates or your own unique version of family. It’s more important than ever to safeguard both your emotional and physical health, because this year, there’s so much unknown out there.
As a health coach, I often see how the season can unravel plans for peace and wellness. Here are some of my top tips to point you in the direction you’re longing to head into.
Building a Stress-Free Thanksgiving with Healthy Habits
- Start a Gratitude Practice….NOW
This shift in mindset can be POWERFUL. Find one time of day to regularly tune in to your gratitude. It could be during family dinner, or maybe when you first wake up, during you lunchtime walk, or just before you fall asleep.
Pick one thing to acknowledge gratitude for. Build up, over time, until finding 3-5 (non-materialistic things) is part of your daily routine.
If you have children, let them learn by example as you state non-materialistic things you are grateful for. Keep the conversation open and positive. Resist the urge to correct. They’ll get there.
- REALITY CHECK
Its 2020. There may be fewer guests at the table, or you may be staying home for the first time. Create new traditions. Play a game, cook a new dish together or have a family challenge. Plan ahead and have something meaningful and FUN up your sleeve. ?Realistic expectations from yourself and others will help avoid upset.
- DOWN TIME
There’s a lot going on right now. Having enough time/space to decompress, think things through and not feel rushed all the time is essential to feeling at peace. Adults and kids benefit from taking regular breaks. Schedule it on the calendar and make sure everyone knows when it is. Consider putting all phones and electronics in a basket as you enter the quiet zone.
- ASK FOR HELP
The joy of Thanksgiving is being together. Ask older kids to take on one recipe themselves. Schedule a day ahead to bake desserts that can be frozen with younger children. Assign someone to set the table and delegate any tasks that you can. Don’t forget to make clean up a group project….put on some music and have FUN with it!
- PACE YOURSELF
When it comes to preparing a holiday meal, make sure to set a realistic timeline for the day….so you can relax and enjoy your family. This means sticking to the menu you researched in advance. The goal is not be too exhausted to be present.
The holiday meal itself is just one day. What we do MOST OF THE TIME matters much more than what we do ONCE IN AWHILE. Make strides towards wellness EVERY DAY.
- MEAL PLAN/MEAL PREP
Breakfast, lunch, dinner….the week(s) leading up to the holiday….are still a happening thing. Make sure there are simple, healthy options…plan to prep when you DO have time, so when you’re in a time crunch, you don’t have to resort to less healthy take out options.
Trust me….having a plan is not restrictive at all…but rather liberating!
HEALTHY MEAL PREP
Some great make ahead breakfast recipes:
- Pumpkin muffins (these freeze well and would also be good to serve the morning of Thanksgiving).
- Grain-Free Granola Bars. Ah-mazing. I keep these in my freezer always.
- Vanilla Chia Pudding. A daily ritual for me!
- One bowl Chocolate Muffins
Simple lunch ideas:
Dinner Ideas that can be made in advance, or take less than 30 minutes.
- Veggie Burgers with Sweet potato fries
- Vegan Enchiladas
- Sesame soba noodles and veggies
- Chili + Cornbread
Don’t forget the SALAD! I chop whatever greens I have and some salad veggies (like radishes, celery, carrots, cabbage, snap peas….etc.) a couple times a week and place them in a large glass bowl in the fridge.
I store it with a paper towel in the bowl that has a tight fitting lid. This way, it’s at the ready so anyone can use it as a side salad or add some beans and nuts or grains and make it a meal. Prep a dressing or two and leave them in jars in the fridge.
GRAINS/LEGUMES: Prep some grains or beans or lentils and have them in covered glass dishes to throw into salads. I use my instant pot to make this task super quick and easy.
Salad Dressing that is easy to make and keep for the week: