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Food Wellness

10 Ways to Make The Holidays Healthier

November 21, 2017

Hi hey hello 🙂 Wow how is it even possible that Christmas lights are already going up! Ah, craziness. It kinda just dawned on me that Thanksgiving is only two days away. And I’m honestly feeling sad cause it’s my first Thanksgiving with food allergies!! I know there are lots of turkey-day classics that I am going to have to pass up on. Ah SUCH A BUMMER! But I’m excited to try some new Vegan & Gluten-Free recipes (like these ones here!!) that won’t make me sick or leave me feeling guilty for “cheating.”

I know how tough it can be to stay on track throughout the holidays, only to feel totally defeated and ready to begin again come January 1st.  So, with this week and the rest of the holidays in mind, I’ve rounded up 10 tips and tricks to make this season a little healthier, a little less stressful, and a lot more rewarding! Numbers 1 & 10 are my personal favorites and go to’s!

01 Listen to your body

I really do believe that food was created to be enjoyed. Treasure this time with your family, friends, and loved ones. It’s not always about following a diet or sticking to the script. With all the sweets and snacks, it can sometimes be hard to say no to each and every single little thing. Simply listen to your body. Stop eating when you are full. Drink more water if your head starts to hurt. Rest when you need to rest. If you’re anxious, breathe a little deeper (tip #8!!) or go out for a walk.

02 Move when you can

Something is better than nothing. You don’t have to have a structured one hour workout for it to be considered a workout. I like to use the word movement instead of working out simply because any type of movement (gardening, skipping through the grocery aisle, chasing your baby cousin through the house) can have positive effects on your body. Go for a walk, park a little bit further away when you drive places, add in a few stretches, the list goes on and on!

03 Set a goal

Literally anything! Once you think of a goal ask yourself this: on a scale of 1 (eh, not happening!) to 10 (100% I got this!), how likely are you to meet your goal? If your answer is anything less than an 8, rewrite your goal until you feel certain you could complete it every day! It doesn’t matter how small your goal is. Small changes add up big time when it comes to your health. And you’ll also feel really really satisfied to know that you followed through with a goal.

04 Offer to bring a meal! 

It’s a beautiful way to serve others. And! You’ll know there’s at least one yummy, health-conscious thing you can feel good about eating.

05 Talk it out

Share your thoughts and concerns about staying healthy over the holidays with the people you love the most. I guarantee you that someone in your bunch will be feeling the exact same way you do. At the very least, they will be able to connect with you on some level because we all can feel discouraged or so not enough when it comes to health & wellness. Talk about ways you can help each other feel confident and motivated to move throughout the holiday season. Things are always better and way more fun when you do them in the company of others.

06 Move together

Speaking of others! My family is an incredible example of this. We love watching movies and football and staying in for that food coma inducing nap that each meal seems to bring but we also love going on walks before or after dinner to connect with one another and to get our blood flowing. In light of the new year, we’ll talk about the things we are grateful for, replay the highs and lows of the year, and share our hopes for the new year. It sounds cheesy! But my favorite thing about movement is the way it allows people to open up beyond what you could ever imagine. Maybe it’s because you don’t have to look at someone directly in the face when you go for a walk or work out! Haha regardless! Find someone you would feel comfortable walking or moving with and ask questions you wouldn’t otherwise ask.

07 Host a gathering at your house

Okay this might be crazy overwhelming for lots of you (aka me!!) but it could also be a good way to eliminate the stress of going out to eat and feeling trapped into making poor food choices.

08 Breathe a little deeper

Remember that big changes don’t happen overnight. It can be easy to get discouraged about yourself, your weight, your goals and then feel crazy excited to begin again come January 1st. It’s awesome to start over again, but you can also start being who you want most to be tomorrow, today 🙂 How cool is that?

Something I like to practice: tune into your breath before you react to a situation. Listen to yourself inhale before you fill up your dessert plate. Align your actions with who you want to become. More thoughts on this will be coming soon in a new blog post!

09 Take a step back

I talk about this lots in my previous post! Sometimes we have to pause and take a step back before we can know how to move forward. Think about your past holiday decisions. How did you feel once the holidays were over? What worked for you? What left you feeling hopeless, insecure, or overwhelmed? You are not a failure for struggling to accomplish your goals. You are not too far gone. You are not a train wreck. You are growing, you are here, you are beautiful, you have accomplished incredible things already. Look back only to see how you can move forward.

10 Be rooted in gratitude

It is all too easy to let the business of the holidays dictate our schedules and rush our conversations with one another. With more and more commercials and ads flying fast around us, we can quickly begin to think about all the things we don’t have – whether it’s physical (a car, piece of technology, or that blogger curated closet), something we desire (the job someone else always seems to get, the boyfriend/girlfriend we’ll never be good enough for, the dream we’re always too busy to pursue), or something in our character we wish we had the strength to change…

The holidays can even be a time of immense heartbreak, as it is for my family. We lost my grandfather on Thanksgiving and my grandmother on Christmas day so the holiday season always brings lots of achy feels. But even in the midst of it all, I am reminded of how much I have been given, how much I currently have, and how much lies ahead of me.

When we choose to be grateful for where we currently are and for what we currently have, we give ourselves permission to be fully present in the here and now. I hope and pray your Thanksgiving is filled with lots of love (for others and for your own self!), lots of movement, and lots and lots of gratitude. I am grateful for you for reading this post and for your encouragement in creating this blog. I can’t even begin to tell you how inspired I am by your own depth and vulnerability in the conversations I’ve gotten to have with so many of you. Thank you.

Please feel free to comment below or shoot me an email to share your own thoughts!

With gratitude,
Madison

PS here’s a fun Christmas photo of my family last year!

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