If we relied on a “quiet time” during the year to start our health programs we would never take action. During the year we are faced with many “special” occasions, from birthdays, weddings, religious celebrations, christmas in july, bachelor and bachelorette parties and the list goes on.
Instead of waiting for the light to go green or culling your health program why not implement some of these easy steps and have it all? Fun and fantastic health without the brain fog, bloated belly and tired soul.
Here are some of my tried and tested festive season hacks
1. Get clear and have gratitude
Write your health goals down and then be grateful for the end result as if you have already attained it. Those who express gratitude tend to be more energetic, hopeful and happier and grateful happy people are more motivated to perform, exercise more often and take care their health.
2. Self Talk
Before you go out, think about how much and what you would like to eat and drink at the party. For example I may tell myself I will only have one glass of red wine and the main meal tonight. I find that if I do not mentally prepare myself I consume food and alcohol mindlessly and in excess. Declare it out loud to yourself or to someone.
3. Food hacks
- Make and bring your own food – Impress your guests with healthy dips, desserts and salads. My favourites are Sticky date pudding, Roast zahini dip and Gut loving cabbage salad.
- The satisfying formula – Fill your plate with a palm portion of protein, two tablespoons of healthy fats such as olive oil, avocado and two cups of vegetables and salad. This formula will help you feel full and satisfied, thus less likely to overeat.
- Apple Cider Vinegar – Add some apple cider vinegar to your salad to support your blood sugar levels and satiety.
- An expensive glass of red wine – If dining out choose an expensive glass of red wine so that you are less likely to drink copious amounts. Organic or preservative free wherever possible. I aim for no more than one to two glasses.
- H20 – Drink two glasses of filtered water before you arrive and make sure your first beverage is water at the venue instead of alcohol. Why not bring a few bottles of sparkling natural mineral water and limes so that you can quench your thirst and deter well meaning friends from filling your glass up with alcohol.
- Have a substantial breakfast – Many people fast until they get to the party so that they can consume more indulgent food without the guilt. Please don’t? Breakfast helps to regulate your metabolism and blood sugar levels throughout the day. Missing breakfast leads to unbalanced cravings. Those who skip breakfast tend to consume more sugar and less vegetables during the day.
- A healthy “next day” – Even if you have no appetite for breakfast the day after the party, I suggest having a simple smoothie so that you do not make unhealthy food choices during the day because your blood sugar is erratic and you are ravenous. It also helps me avoid a flat mood, post celebration. As an added bonus you may even stop fearing indulgent celebrations moving forward because you have confidence in your ability to spring back and re-focus on your big goal… optimal health.
4. Get Talking
Make an effort to talk to people so that you forget you are surrounded by platters of treats, dips and bread. If it feels right let people know that you are on a health program. Say it confidently and with conviction. Many may try to corrupt you but remember that it is only you that can create change and get the results you desire.
If someone in your life continues to challenge your health goals then consider distancing yourself. It’s futile to compromise your health goals for others when the only thing you and everyone around you stand to gain is better health and a happier you. After all it is only YOU that has to mop the damage up and start again.
“Your choice of people to associate with both personally and business-wise is one of the most important choices you make. If you associate with turkeys, you will never fly with the eagles.” Brian Tracy
5. Get Moving
Whether you are the host or a guest at the party, get amongst physical activity. Move the body. Instigate a ball game, board game, a swim or paddle board. You get the picture. Occupy your time with things that move the body, the digestive system and engage the mind.
After the party, go for a walk around the block. Better still, recruit another person to come with you. Guaranteed there will be someone at the party, feeling rather full and dusty who would be super keen to take you up on it.
6. Be the host
Why not be the host, then you can create an environment which is conducive to your goals. For example host brunch or lunch at the beach or park with planned sporting activities, or plan a degustation with loads of healthy and delicious fodder:
An example of this may look like
- Entree – antipasto with olives, grass fed prosciutto, artichokes, marinated capsicum. Baba ghanoush, roasted tahini dip, gluten free seed crackers.
- Main – grass fed roast lamb (or beef) with roast vegetables and a green salad.
- Healthy dessert – sticky date pudding or chocolate pecan brownie
- Beverages – organic red wine, sparkling natural mineral water or filtered water with lemon.
7. Make fun plans for the following day
Organise an activity with friends or a loved one for the following morning so that you have something and someone to commit to and to be less dusty for. I like to schedule in an early morning yoga class with my partner and or friend followed by wholesome breakfast and then an ocean dip.
Now over to you. Do you have any solid strategies to help you avoid demolishing your health plans?