2011 Holiday Survival Guide
The holidays can be a tricky time. On one hand, everything is fabulous – lights, decorations, time with friends and family. It also means parties. With lots of food. Bad Food. Like cookies and cakes and cream puffs, breads, cheese dip and….well, you get the idea! How on earth do we manage to stay healthy during the holidays?!
Don’t worry, I’ve got your back! Here are 5 easy tips to get you through the holiday season unscathed.
#1 Eat before you go
Have a green smoothie, a large salad, or some veggies and dip BEFORE you go to that holiday party or dinner. This way your appetite is satisfied before hand and you are getting in some much needed minerals and proper nutrition.
#2 Bring some to share
I’m always known to bring a dish to a party. It’s usually some kind of large veggie tray with yummy dipping sauces like hummus, guacamole, nut spread (see recipe below!), and/or salsa. It’s always a hit because who doesn’t like yummy dipping sauces? Plus, this way you are garaunteed to have a healthy option to snack on instead of being at the mercy of what’s provided at the party. I also like to bring a bar of 70% dark chocolate to have as dessert. This way I’m not tempted to indulge in all the crazy cakes, cookies, and sugary treats. You’d be amazed at how well dark chocolate will satisfy your sweet tooth (and without the guilt!).
#3 Be prepared
Holidays also typically mean lots of travel time. I always come prepared.
If I’m in the car, I’ll pack a soft cooler with ice packs and assorted veggies & dips as mentioned above, goat cheese slices, cherry tomatoes, Lara Bars, avocado with some sea salt (simply cut avo in half, sprinkle with a touch of sea salt and scoop out with a spoon – so easy and delicious!!), a green or chocolate smoothie, and some fruit. When you’re on the road there’s no telling what you’ll have access to, so it’s always better to be prepared!! If I know it’s going to be an all day trip then I’ll usually also bring a tupperware container with a homemade lunch like a baked sweet potato and salad or steamed veggies with marinara.
If I’m flying I always make sure to have my green juice or green smoothie BEFORE my flight. Then I’ll pack some Lara Bars, cherry tomatoes, dark chocolate, Mary’s Crackers or some fruit like an apple. Unless it’s a very long day of travelling, I usually just try to skip eating all together. Eating on the plane usually makes most people feel tired and bloated. The main focus should be on hydration since air travel is typically very dehydrating. Bring some herbal teas, you know you can always stop at a Starbucks to get hot water!!
#4 Get Centered
Although we don’t always realize it when it’s happening, the holidays, even with all their excitement can be very emotionally draining. There can be several factors like family dynamics, loneliness, financial issues, and just the pure intensity of it all can be very overwhelming. Take some time for yourself by lighting a candle and drawing yourself a nice warm bath or listen to a relaxation or meditation CD. Let yourself decompress. Maybe you even need to skip a few holiday parties if you feel like you are just too overwhelmed. It’s ok. We need to take care of ourselves first! By nurturing yourself and taking time to get centered, you’ll be able to steer clear of bad choices and emotional eating.
#5 Stay in your power
Don’t feel the need to change your dietary habits just because it’s easier for others. Sometimes it’s difficult to come into a situation with friends or family when you are making changes and trying to better yourself – especially when it comes to diet! Other people can often become offended or hurt that you no longer want to partake in the unhealthy habits of the past. Stay true to YOU. What is going to make YOU feel better? If you’ve been feeling awesome with your cleaner way of eating, don’t let someone else bring you down because they feel insecure or uncomfortable. Stay strong and do what you know is right for YOU. Calmly and sincerely explain to them that this way of life makes you FEEL SO MUCH BETTER. The people that love you will support you in your healthier decisions if they know it’s having a positive effect on your life.
I hope these tips help you to survive the holidays. Remember, every experience is an opportunity to learn. If you mess up here or there take it as a learning opportunity for next time. I didn’t get to where I am with my diet overnight; it took lots of mistakes to figure out how I could make it all work with my lifestyle. Do the best you can and most importantly, HAVE FUN!! This is an amazing time of year!!
Spicy Nut & Seed Spread
When I first started to get into raw foods about 6 years ago, this was one of my favorite recipes. I don’t eat a lot of nuts anymore so haven’t made this in about 3 years, but got a strange craving for it the other day. I am happy to report that it was just as good as I remembered 🙂
- 2 cups assorted nuts & seeds (I used a mix of what I had on hand) macadamias, hemp seeds, sunflower seeds and pumpkin seeds. I think cashews, brazil, and/or pine nuts would also taste great!
- 2 med sized tomatoes, roughly chopped
- 1 Tbs Tamari
- 2 tsps cayenne
- 1 Tbs Turmeric
- 4 Tbs lemon juice
- a little water (about 1/4 cup) if needed for blending
Simply add all ingredients to a high speed blended like a VitaMix (a regular blender will not work) and blend until smooth. If you don’t have a high speed blender you can use a food processor instead but just keep in mind, you won’t be able to achieve the smooth texture you see in the picture above. VitaMix is the best blender ON EARTH!! If you don’t have one, start saving, it will change your life!
You can make variations of this spread by substituting different herbs and spices for the cayenne, tamari and turmeric. For example, assorted nuts & seeds + sun-dried tomato, fresh basil, and sea salt would be divine!
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