Your 2020 Holiday Sur-thrival Guide
Somehow — in the slowest, fastest turn of events — the holiday season is already here. And if you’re looking through your 2020 goggles, well, there’s a chance you’re just hoping to survive until 2021 and maybe, possibly, get there unscathed. But, what if we could collectively have a different perspective here? What if we threw the goal of simply “surviving” the holiday season out the window and we decided to shoot instead for thriving? Sounds like a game-changer to me. That being said, think of the 11 tips below as a guide for sur-thriving the holiday season and ending this chaotic year in control of at least one thing — your health and nutrition!
It’s likely that you will encounter at least one gathering during this holiday season as friends and family members elect to safety celebrate together. Check out the tips below for navigating any shindig, party or feast like freaking pro:
- Distance makes the heart stay healthy. We’ve all been there: you’re at a party, and while there are definitely plenty of places to stand and socialize that are not within arms reach of the spinach and artichoke dip… you somehow spend 35 minutes mindlessly snacking as you discuss work or school or your dating life with your great Aunt Kathy. The hottest take for prioritizing your healthy diet and hard-earned nutrition at holiday parties: simply don’t stand right next to all the food. Grab a tiny turkey-adorned plate, fill it with what you want and mingle away (no, literally) — only coming back for seconds if you’re actually hungry (not distracted).
- Pace yourself. It’s no surprise that alcohol is the sneakiest contributor of calories and sugar to any holiday celebration — especially festive mixed drinks and eggnog. If and when you choose to partake in holiday libations, pace yourself. Space out alcoholic drinks by consuming a glass of water in between each one, or take a night off and sip on sparkling waters. Most of the time at parties, our brains crave more the mouth- and hand-feel of having a drink, less the actual drink itself.
- Be a conscious contributor. If you want to make sure there is a healthy dish at your family holiday meal or work potluck, bring it yourself! Lean proteins, colorful veggies or nutrient dense side-dishes such as mashed sweet potatoes or this curried squash soup will still bring the warm fuzzy festive element to the table without having to sacrifice your nutrition goals.
- Don’t arrive on empty. Before setting out for a party, eat something so you don’t arrive famished. Excellent pre-party snacks combine complex carbohydrates with protein and unsaturated fat, like apple slices with peanut butter or a slice of turkey and cheese on whole-wheat pita bread.
- Slow your roll. Take your time; chew slowly, put down your utensils in between bites, and eat mindfully. Remember: it’s the people you’re interacting with, not the food on your plate, that matters most during this season. Being conscious of your hunger and fullness cues during this season will come in clutch, I’ll tell you that.
Cornucopia of Colors – When thinking about what foods to choose, make sure you’re creating a colorful plate! It’s easy to end up with a traditionally brown Thanksgiving plate — think turkey, stuffing, mac and cheese, mashed potatoes with gravy, rolls and pumpkin pie. While delicious and likely sentimental, balance those brown buddies out with bright salads, green veggies, orange yams, or those red apple slices from the kids table.
While some of us might be very much home for the holidays, travel might not be taking a back seat for everyone this holiday season. Here are a few tips for making those long car rides, flights, and days away from home a little more manageable:
- Have a movement plan. Whether you’re headed to a resort in Mexico or your in-laws house in Idaho, have a movement plan before you get there. How many times while you’re away do you want to intentionally move/exercise? Maybe there’s a local box nearby you can drop in to. Or, Renew has you covered with these at-home workouts that don’t require any equipment.
- Healthy snackin’. Being prepared when hunger strikes is half the battle when pursuing health on road trips/during long airport travel days. Stock up on RX bars, turkey jerky, sliced veggies and dried fruit before you head out of town. If you know your final destination isn’t likely to supply you with goal-oriented snacks and meals, don’t hesitate to pack some food for that too!
- Don’t be afraid to have hard convos. If you know that your family and friends might have a hard time with your food/movement decisions for some reason, talk to them before about the health and wellness goals you are pursuing. We know family dynamics can be complicated and that it might not be this simple at times but, when possible, these conversations can pay dividends.
Yes, the holiday season is full of wonderful food, traditions and parties! But in the end, it’s the people with whom you are celebrating that matter most. When the meat and cheese platter is taunting you from across the room for the sixth time that night, take a deep breath, fill your heart with gratitude instead of your stomach with gruyere and simply focus on the blessings all around you! It’s all about perspective, people.
If you need some extra accountability this holiday season — we’re here for you. Email me at [email protected] and we’ll get you set up on a plan to keep your health on track and your goals intact.
Happy Holiday Habitting,