Making Merry: Tips for All that Eating and Drinking During the Holidays
Thanksgiving is just one week away. For Americans, like yours truly, this means the beginning of a six week long celebration with food and drinks that will roll through Christmas (and Hanukkah / Chrismukkah) and New Year's Eve―ending about January 1st, when many of us resolve to start another diet and quit drinking!
Below is a little Healthibella advice for keeping the partying damage to a minimum, so we can enjoy the merry spirit of the season, but also the spirits (if we should so choose!).
First, promise yourself that you will have the most enjoyable, celebratory holiday season with your nearest and dearest. There is nothing worse than feeling deprived (i.e. on a lame calorie counting diet!) while everyone is eating and drinking. That said, keeping a super healthy baseline diet will allow you to indulge and call them what they are―splurges!―ensuring you'll bounce back to your best form in no time.
Everything is sparkling and glowing this season and so why should we not? To feel your most gorgeous in your holiday dresses and gowns (or tuxes for you gents), start off with as clean a health slate as possible.
So until T-day, eat as fresh and clean as you can. Even better would be to eliminate your toxic triggers. Amping up on super nutritious food makes you feel fabulous and will not only rev up, but also stabilize your metabolism.
Better baseline nutrition. Better for partying. Better for recovering. This is common sense, but also filling up on super healthy nourishing food in between holiday events is a great way to give some love back to your body after overindulging.
LET'S DO THIS!
- Eat the rainbow! Consume heaps of colorful, antioxidant rich alkaline vegetables and fruits, and veggie-based green juices. We should be doing this daily anyway! See my post on eating colorful antioxidants each and every day!
- Start your day with warm water and lemon. It IS a great detoxifier, as well as a wonderful way to rehydrate after a night of sleep.
- Drink at least 2.5 litres of purified water daily, preferably still water at room temperature. Warm herbal teas also keep you hydrated and help flush out toxins. Drink at least one glass of water before meals, but only sip during meals to aid digestion. Add lemon or herbs to your plain water to jazz it up.
ELIMINATE (OR GREATLY REDUCE):
- alcohol (you’ll have enough at all the upcoming events to make up for it)
- sugars (all sugars in all forms and all fake sugar substitutes; but if fresh fruit isn’t satisfyingly sweet enough and you break down, go with raw honey or coconut nectar to combat cravings)
- meat (including grass fed, organic, etc...it's just one week, then you can have turkey and Christmas roast)
- non-organic poultry (stick to organic and eat small portions the size of your palm)
- gluten containing grains (wheat, rye, barley, spelt, kamut, oats)
- flour products (pasta, bread, cakes, etc., including gluten free flour products)
- heavily cooked foods (try to eat at least one fresh raw meal per day, but 2 raw and 1 cooked is better; opt for lightly steamed veggies or lightly cooked fresh vegetable soups)
If you have withdrawal symptoms, such as headaches or anxiety, try Natural Calm (Magnesium Citrate) to help calm your nerves, improve your night’s rest, and help facilitate digestive elimination. It's one of my favorite supplements.
Party on! Oh maybe, not so fast. First, have a super, sweaty, detoxifying, energy boosting workout before going out for a big night! Your workout will boost your metabolism to help you better metabolize the alcohol and rich foods to come. If you choose a solid workout with lots of strengthening and toning exercises, you’ll not only carry yourself taller, your muscles, especially abs, will feel more toned throughout the evening and you'll feel and look better in your clothes―even after eating and drinking.
EAT TO REFUEL AND PREP
After your workout, refuel! Even if you’re going out to dinner, eat a healthy mini-meal before you go out. I do this sometimes anyway because I don’t eat meat, so I plan ahead that I may not be able to eat everything a hostess has cooked. (So I don’t eat a whole basket of bread just to feel satiated.) Eating fresh nutritious food with protein, greens, and healthy fats before a night out is important to help stabilize your metabolism and lessen the later crash.
Try alternating throughout the night. The old trick of drinking a glass of water (doesn’t matter if it’s still or sparkling, but try avoid club soda) between every alcoholic one truly works! This automatically slows our alcohol consumption and hydrates us to boot! Because no matter how much we try to convince ourselves we’re drinking resveratrol and not red wine, alcohol is a diuretic―which means it dehydrates the body and thus taxes the organs. This doesn’t mean we have to abstain, it’s about pacing ourselves throughout the evening and night―but also pacing our intake throughout our life. Water is the miracle cure all!
It’s also about selecting cleaner options . . . I’m a bubbly fan, so I often sip champagne (or sparking wine, cava, prosecco) during the cocktail hour and throughout dinner to avoid mixing alcohol, but if I’m in the mood for something more festive, I’ll ask the bartender for a few raspberries (no, I don’t ask for organic ones). I only have a mixed cocktail if I’m really in the mood and I try to limit it to one. There is far too much sugar and additives in the faux juices and who knows what those cocktail mixers are made of!
Champagne may be the queen, but the king of wines is red―which is, at least, has some benefit from the antioxidant resveratrol (but you don’t need to drink wine for this, you can find it in, you guessed it, grapes! minus the alcohol and minus the potential headache!). For wines, if you really want the healthiest option, choose organic or NSA (no sulfites added). Ask the bartender or sommelier, but please don’t be a diva and ask your hostess! Otherwise, just enjoy your beautiful wine in great company and be grateful for a wonderful life.
If it’s not a wine kind of moment, it’s better to stick with the cleaner alcohols. I'm a fan of vodka. Some things never change—a high quality vodka martini with a twist is and has been my favorite cocktail since I was old enough to drink. It’s neat and simple and cleaner drinks are easier on our body, which means less of a hangover (unless we drink too many, than nothing can help us!). Adding extra lemon juice, fresh orange slices, or even lychees to a pure vodka drink gives us an extra bit of fruit, but also makes a nice, sophisticated drink. Or, simply dilute the alcohol with water, but avoid diluting with soda or faux juices.
And if you decide to not heed any advice about prepping and pacing—just dive into your wild night and enjoy your splurge. Eat, drink, and be merry all night if that’s really what you crave! We’ve (probably) all recovered from hangovers. They're painful, but they too shall pass! Comfort food the next day (I particularly love miso soup with thick udon noodles and lots of sea vegetables!), super-hydrating green juices, and lots of coconut water form my rescue team. Then, it's quickly back to super nourishing food and my regular yoga and workout routine to reset my body after the aftermath. Oh, and lots of catch up beauty sleep! Super important!
Wishing you a gorgeous, joyful holiday season!
P.S. What are your tips for holiday damage control? Share them with me!