That headline is almost downright blasphemous, right? Who wants to eat healthy for the holidays? You look forward to this time of year, literally, all year long — not just for the food but for the memories and nostalgia, too. However, the food part is definitely a thing because a lot of what’s on the menu only comes around this season. So, it’s probably on your mind that you’ve got to make the most of it. Indulge. You know, really make every meal count.
And that’s okay.
When it comes to the holidays, everything is amped up to 11. Our schedules. Our stress levels. Our interactions with others. The last thing that any of us want to do is add more pressure to our plate by overthinking what’s actually on our dinner plate. That being said, we want you to enjoy yourself, as well as feel good in your gut.
So, here are some tips and tricks to help support your digestive system as you navigate all the wonderful holiday goodness this season:
- Before going to special holiday events, eat something small and good for you such as nuts or fiber rich fruit. This will help calm any hunger, allowing you to focus your attention on simply putting your favorites on your plate. Also, consider making smaller plates first and going back for more later if you still feel hungry. Eating until you’ve reached your max capacity will overload your gut and impact how you feel the rest of the day and/or evening. And you want to make sure you’re bringing your A-game for those board games afterward.
- Keep in mind your host is not patrolling everyone’s plate. So, don’t worry too much about upsetting them when making food selections. What and how much you put on your plate is your business. If you like all the options, then mix it up. Add a small variety of heavier foods with nice portions of healthier items.
- Pace yourself. We all get into the habit of counting down the days to special holiday meals with the idea of total indulgence. But it’s not a race or a competition. And chances are, there will be plenty of food to go around. Eat and enjoy at your own speed. Your gut will high-five you.
- Focus on those seasonal items that make the moment special. For instance, if you love stuffing, leave more room for stuffing by foregoing more common food items that you can (or do) enjoy routinely throughout the rest of the year. We’re looking at you, mashed potatoes.
- Introduce new seasonal traditions that are super gut friendly, like peppermint tea. Enjoying a cup of tea after meals can help relieve digestive symptoms such as gas and bloating and may even help ease the digestion process.
Well, there you have it. Hopefully, we made that headline less intimidating by giving you more liberty to just be yourself this holiday season. Cheers!