7 Tips For Eating Clean During The Holidays
Eating healthy during the holidays doesn’t have to be hard, but if you’re new to the cleansing lifestyle, navigating the holiday season can feel daunting at first. You might feel pulled between traditional favorites and your commitment to eating clean — you might also worry about how to let your friends and family know that your habits have changed. If you’re spending the holidays at someone else’s house, or even if you just need some tips for navigating dinner parties, know that with a few simple strategies you can enjoy the holidays while still eating healthy.
Everyone’s a little different when it comes to the cleansing lifestyle and special occasions. Some seasoned detoxers leave less-than-clean foods totally behind, while others enjoy old family favorites in moderation with the support of detox tools. This is a very personal, individual decision, and you might find that your choices change over time — especially if you stick with the cleansing game long-term. The key is to find what feels right for you now. Your diet should be pleasurable while helping you feel better and better as you go. You should not feel like you are straining to keep up with your choices, while feeling deprived and frustrated in the process. If you do, back up a bit and see how you can meet your needs and wants in ways that don’t harm your body, or throw your digestion majorly out of whack. We promise that it’s totally doable, and the process should be inspiring and fun! Here are seven tips for enjoying the holidays while eating clean.
Communicate with your host if you’ve been invited to a holiday meal at someone else’s house. It’s best not to wait until the last minute, either — your host will appreciate the heads up in advance. Whether you avoid meat for health reasons, for instance, or you have a genuine food intolerance or allergy, make sure to tell your host so that they know how best to accomodate you. If your host is a close family member or friend, they may already know what your needs and choices are, but it’s still your job to communicate these clearly regardless.
Offering to bring your own dish to share can also be helpful when eating away from home, and can lessen stress for both you and your host. Also, by bringing your own food, you can make sure that you’ve got something clean and delicious to enjoy at dinner — just in case your host doesn’t totally understand your dietary needs. Saying something like, “I just wanted you to know that I don’t eat meat, but I’m more than happy to bring a dish to share,” can help take the stress of your host, while keeping your personal choices on track.
Load Up On Salad & Veggies
Loading up your plate with salad and non-starchy vegetables is a key way to enjoy holiday flavors while keeping things light. You can then decide if you want a well-combined, starch-based or protein-based accent to your meal. Stuffed acorn squash, baked sweet potatoes, whole grains, or wild fish are all delicious, cleanse-friendly options.
Listen To Your Body
The further you go along the cleansing path, the more you’ll notice your body’s cues when a food does — or doesn’t — work for you. Bloating, indigestion, headaches, skin breakouts, and mood swings can all be important indicators that something you’re eating isn’t quite gelling with your body. The more you listen to and honor your body’s signals, the more healing becomes possible over time.
Stay Present With Your Emotions
Nostalgia and emotional attachments to foods are real, and it’s important to stay present with any emotions that come up as you continue along the cleansing path. Emotional eating, or making unhealthy food choices when you feel stressed out, is something that many people deal with. It’s definitely important to enjoy your food, but if you’re making food choices from a place of emotional distress, find some stress-busting support. Yoga, exercise, meditation, and journaling are just a few ways to manage stress, so that you aren’t turning to harmful foods in order to take the edge off.
Try Healthier Substitutions For Old Favorites
One of the great joys of the cleansing path, in our opinion, is finding ways to enjoy all the flavors you love most, without compromising your health. Almond, coconut, and whole grain flours can help upgrade your holiday baking while creating new family traditions. Seasonal herbs, spices, and flavors can all complement a cleansing dish wonderfully well. Foods that you genuinely love, and that don’t harm your health, are a beautiful thing. Find a few whole foods bloggers who inspire you, or pick up a new healthy cookbook and get in the kitchen and play! You might be surprised to find that whole foods can be even more satisfying and enjoyable than their traditional counterparts. Experiment with a few new holiday recipes, and create some new classics for your family to enjoy. You can check out some fantastic, whole foods-centered and cleanse-friendly recipe sites here, here, and here.
Avoid Foods You’re Intolerant To
It goes without saying that if you have celiac disease, food allergies, or any food intolerances, it’s so important to let these foods go 100 percent. Compromising your health and safety just isn’t worth it, and there are so many delicious foods that will support your health — not undermine it.
Get Support Via Detox Tools
No matter how you choose to navigate the holiday dinner table and dessert tray, detox tools like gravity method colonics and infrared saunas are key to feeling amazing all year round.
However you decide to enjoy your holiday meals this year, keeping up with your green juicing, dry brushing, exercise, and regular colon cleansing, will help keep you healthy, strong, and happy this holiday season and beyond.