One of the most common reasons people give for "falling off the wagon" is social pressure. And this social pressure is in overdrive during the holidays! However, this year you will be prepared. Follow these 5 simple steps to make sure you are armed and ready to face grandma's pumpkin pie and Uncle Joe's holiday ham.
1. BE PREPARED! I cannot stress the importance of this enough. There is no way that you are going to stick to your healthy plan if you don't have one. Planning ahead might include making something that you can bring with you or checking with the host to see what is on the menu so that you know if there will be something there you can eat. If there isn't something on the menu you want to eat, make a dish or two that you enjoy to bring with you. Make enough to share with your family, you might just influence someone else to eat a little healthier. And by the way, not eating during the gathering is NOT a good plan. Chances are, you will end up eating and it may not be something you wanted to eat.
2. Never Go Hungry. Always eat before you go to a gathering with food. There is almost no chance that you will pass up that holiday ham or cornbread dressing if you are hungry. Research done at Florida State University found that the lower your blood sugar, the lower your willpower. If you are hungry, that means your blood sugar is low and so is your willpower. You don't have to have huge meal beforehand, but make sure you are satisfied. A fruit smoothie including bananas or dates are my favorites.
3. Focus on Family and Friends. Think about your priorities, for most of us, the best part of the holidays is getting to see all of our family and friends, not the food. You can still have a great holiday without all the classic holiday foods. Plus, you won't have to collapse incoherently onto the couch after eating!
4. Be Willing to Share. It is much easier to stick with what we are doing if we are open about it. Become comfortable talking about your diet and lifestyle and sharing your food with others. Practice if you need to before you go. Always make extra food for sharing. People are very curious. If they see you looking good and feeling good they will want to know what you are doing and eating.
5. Smile and Go Easy on Yourself. :) Most of all have fun. Take joy in what you are doing because you know you will reap the benefits. If you know you can't stick EXACTLY to your healthy habits during the holidays make something that is better than the average fare even if it isn't something you want to include in your every day diet. If the day doesn't go exactly as planned, it's okay. Enjoy time spent with family and friends and get right back on track at the next meal.
If you are looking for some delicious raw dishes to bring to your holiday parties check out my FruitFully Raw Recipes Book in the 'shop' section. You can also find some of my recipes on my youtube channel, http://www.youtube.com/channel/UCZNZEYlD_vCNqfo1AC-V9WQ.
May you have a happy and healthy holiday season!