I think it's safe to say that it's not easy to eat healthily during the holidays. Like, really not easy. So do me a favor and please give yourself a little break. I'm not telling you to go eat the whole pecan pie or drink a bottle of wine to yourself, but do enjoy the season, the amazing food and parties with friends and family. But, how do you do this without jumping off the deep end into baked good la la land? CROWD OUT.
Crowd Out ::
Crowding out really flips your traditional approach to a diet on its head. Rather than focus on the stuff that you can't or shouldn't eat during the holidays, it makes you focus on what you CAN eat. Don't tell yourself that you can't have cookies, or shouldn't take that extra helping of mashed potatoes, instead simply focus on doing your best to add more of the good stuff into your diet. When you add in more veggies, healthy fats and lean proteins you will naturally diminish your cravings for sugary, carb laden foods. For example, at a holiday dinner, focus on adding more salad, root veggies and lean proteins to your plate and eat those first. Then, if you still want the mashed potatoes or pecan pie, go for it! When you focus on crowding out, many times there just isn't any room left for the bad stuff because your body is already nourished with great food.
One way that I personally practice this method during the holidays, is by eating a small, filling snack before I head to a dinner or cocktail party. This snack is normally something like a half an avocado, a bulletproof tea, a spoonful of almond butter or a kombucha. These light snacks fill me up with some nutrients that my body needs so that I'm not nearly as tempted by all of the unhealthy foods being served. Then, if I find that I really do want that piece of pie or sweet potato casserole with marshmallows on top, then I have it.
What I really love about the crowding out method is that it builds a positive framework that lets you focus on what you CAN eat, rather than what you can't eat. Normal diets involve a lot of negativity towards food. "Don't eat this, you can't eat that" can make us crazy - especially during the holidays. So, I'm challenging you to look at food and health in a new light. Focus on the gorgeous, filling, nutritious and wonderful foods that you can eat. Think about how they are nourishing your body, giving you energy and healing you from the inside out. Then, if you still feel the urge to indulge, do it, and don't have an ounce of guilt. You've already given your body the nutrients that it needs so a little dessert here and there isn't going to hurt you.
Have a happy, healthy filled holiday season and enjoy your darn food!