Tips for Enjoying Your Favorite Holiday Treats

Hooray it’s holiday time and all the fun festivities are about to begin. This mean spending time with loved ones, eating our favorite comfort foods, enjoying the occasional celebratory drink and going to lots of end of year parties! For some people all this can be a little daunting… we all do our best to look after our health and eat right during the year, but then Thanks Giving, Christmas, work parties and New Years comes along all within a couple of months and our good habits seem to get kicked to the curb. The good news is it doesn’t have to be this way. We can enjoy all of these things and maintain optimum vitality with a few simple tips and tricks, here’s what you need to know:

Tips for enjoying your favorite holiday treats without expanding your waistline or sabotaging your health…

*Be smart while enjoying a festive drink. November and December is a time of celebration as we get together with special friends and loving family for Thanksgiving and Christmas. There may even be a work party on your calendar too. As your personal Health Coach, I am all for you enjoying a few drinks here and there, but I also want you to be mindful of hydrating with lots of water and making sure you eat something protein rich, such as some turkey, beforehand to help stabilize your blood sugar levels from the alcohol / sugar intake. This is a super trick to prevent you from unconsciously overindulging on holiday foods!

*Go in to mealtime with a game plan. Tell yourself before you sit down that you only need one plate of your favorite holiday foods and optionally a small piece of desert. If you eat your food slowly and mindfully, thoroughly chewing every bite, then you will feel more satisfied and be able to recognize when you are almost full. Stopping when you are around 2/3 full is a great guide for feeling comfortable and not expanding your waistline.

*Engage your senses. You will enjoy and get more satisfaction from your favorite festive foods if you take your time and engage your senses by smelling the food, looking at the beautiful colors on your plate and focus on the delicious flavors each bite brings to your taste buds. This is mindful eating and in practicing it you are less likely to stuff your face and battle the bulge. It also dramatically improves digestive function!

*Move your body. I’m not talking about “exercise”… The holidays are a great time to play games with the family especially if you have kids, nieces, nephews or grandkids. By doing physical activities that are fun such as kicking a ball around the backyard, playing twister, or dancing to your favorite holiday tunes… you will never know you are burning off your last meal!

*DON’T TAKE LIFE TOO SERIOUSLY. Life is about enjoying! You know intuitively what your body needs more than anyone else. Embrace the relaxed nature of the holidays and treat yourself a little to some of your festive food favorites. Listening to your body is key! It will tell you when you have had enough to eat if you use the tips I mention in this newsletter. Slow down and savor every bite. Eating mindfully means there is no need to feel guilty or battle the bulge after the holidays are over. Decide what you want, own that choice and enjoy! My philosophy is everything in moderation.

Not only is it a festive time of year, it is also extremely busy and therefore we can be prone to getting run down or catching the common cold. Here are some super ways to stay healthy during the upcoming cooler months:

*Be mindful of how much Vitamin D you are actually getting and note that you need adequate magnesium levels to make use of it properly. If you spend most of your time indoors during the colder months or living in a very overcast area, it may be wise to consider a high quality Vitamin D supplement. It is best taken with a food containing a good amount of healthy fats for proper absorption. The sun is generally too low in autumn and winter for us to get enough Vitamin D from its rays. To really boost your immune system taking a combination of Vitamin D, Vitamin A and Zinc is a great line of defense.

*Ditch consuming cold drinks and opt for herbal tea, soups, immune boosting bone broth and warm water with fresh lemon juice instead. Drink bone broth like you would tea, use it in homemade soups or use it to cook grains and legumes for added nutrients and flavor. Bone broth is my favorite health tonic and it is very healing, particularly for people with gastrointestinal issues such as leaky gut. Lemon water is a wiser choice than orange juice at keeping colds away. Excess sugar, such as that found in a glass of orange juice, can actually compromise the immune system. Lemon water is low in sugar, alkalizing and packed with Vitamin C. Hot tip: warm water is key as hot water destroys Vitamin C.

*Allow yourself to sleep longer and slow down energetically during the cooler months. Naturally we are like animals and go into a hibernation-like state. The days are shorter and before technology / electricity we would have gone to bed shortly after nightfall, rising again with the morning sun. Sleep is essential for overall wellbeing as it is when the body gets to repair and rejuvenate overnight so that we can function optimally during the day.

*Even though it’s cold outside doesn’t mean we need to keep all the windows shut and the central heating on. When you can, rug up and air out your home by opening up as many windows as possible to allow fresh, clean air in. This will support your health and the overall air quality in your home. *Note if you live in a busy city then it can be beneficial to purchase an air purifier and get some indoor plants.

*Rug up and don’t let exposed skin make you feel cold. Wear lots of layers when venturing outside by making good use of wooly socks, gloves, beanies and scarfs. A hot water bottle can be very comforting at home especially on your belly or behind your lower back. A great way to end the day is with a soothing warm salt bath.

*Eat seasonally the way nature intended! Some of my favorite fall / winter foods include winter squash, carrots, beets, turnips, broccoli, kale, cauliflower, green beans, cabbage, pomegranate, persimmons, apples, and brussel sprouts. There is so much to choose from so variety, as well as quality, is key to getting maximum nutrition. Sweet root vegetables such as yams and sweet potatoes are very grounding, perfect for this time of year and they are also very warming for the body. Using these naturally sweet vegetables in your meals is a great way to minimize sugar cravings during the holiday season.

*Don’t let the weather get your spirits down, just because the sky is grey doesn’t mean your mood has to be too. Read a good book, take a soothing bath, get a relaxing massage, watch one of your favorite movies, catch up for cups of tea with friends at a cozy café, enjoy a comforting home cooked meal with loved ones, or sign up for a new fitness class. Get creative and do what makes you feel good!

Stay tuned for our upcoming presentation in January 2015 at Thriving Life Wellness Center and discover simple ways to find balance and enjoy optimum health with a busy work life!

Join Sarah for a jumpstart session to get your nutrition and wellbeing back on track in time for the New Year. Sarah is offering all friends of Thriving Life Wellness Center $20 off their first personalized health coaching session. Visit for more information about Sarah and her services.








Advice and Tips


Subscribe to our Newsletter