During the season of giving, we often forget to take care of ourselves. We forget to declare a time out when we need one, before a limit is reached, before you get irritated with your children, mother, or spouse.
You can still enjoy the season of giving, good food, and thankfulness and take care of yourself on a biochemical and hormonal level by doing these 6 steps:
1. Start the day with a nutrient-dense shake, such as the All-in-One Reset360 shake. It sets the metabolic tone for the day. On Thanksgiving, add more fat. This way your chance of splurging on food later is less likely. The standard green protein shake consists of 2 tablespoons of soaked chia seeds, a handful of macadamia nuts, 1 tablespoon of MCT (medium chain triglyceride oil), and 2 tablespoons of freshly ground flax seeds. less likely to be promiscuous with food later.
2. Implement Kitchen Time Outs. If things get too crazy or you are feeling too stressed, try mindful breathing in a quiet space away from the chaos. You can even try an app like Headspace to help you practice lung capacity breathing and guided visualization.
3. Plan your splurges. “Plan” is the operative word. Don’t eat an extra serving in a moment of weakness, followed by two pieces of pumpkin pie. Instead, allow for one splurge that you plan. A choice that you make, such as an extra serving of your favorite dish. During this splurge, it is important to enjoy it by savoring the aroma and the taste, but notice when you feel full, and stop.
4. Create a limit list. It is a common occurrence to have a massively long to-do list during the holiday season, especially around Thanksgiving. If your goal is to make giving during the holidays synonymous with self care, you should create a list of the things you won’t be doing this Thanksgiving. If you usually travel long distances for the holiday, maybe hosting this year will be less stressful. Perhaps the turkey is the main stressor in your life on thanksgiving and having your spouse take care of the turkey is a part of your limit list. Another example is to create a rule for the children where they don’t save the drama for mama, in order to preserve your sanity. There are many options here and the correct number of items on your limit list is unique to you, your life, and your goals for the holiday.
5. Nature Walks. This can be an important step, especially with family you don’t see often. Don’t be afraid to get lost in the conversation and walk longer than you intended. The science behind walking after eating promotes a quicker metabolism, which will help your body process the meal fast, cool air will limit the crash after the turkey, and you’ll be more likely to get through the day without your hormones and waistline taking a hit.
6. Yoga for the Holidays. It’s true. Your local yoga studio won’t be open on Thanksgiving. This doesn’t mean you can’t take 20 minutes (or more!) in the morning before cooking begins to stretch and practice your favorite yoga poses as preparation for a stress free Thanksgiving. Another consideration is to buy a pass at your local yoga studio for the holiday season. Not only will this get you out of the house several times a week for yoga and self care, but yoga can be a wonderful stress reliever if the holidays tend to wind you up instead of chill you out.
All that said, we don’t nourish ourselves by abstaining and denying, but by indulging in things that truly feed us. Instead of lamenting all the holiday foods you shouldn’t eat, focus on the delicacies you can enjoy that are truly nutritious. There are a surprising number of such foods, and they are more decadent than pumpkin pie!
Thanksgiving tends to be a holiday that is about food, at least superficially. It is important to keep things in perspective. It’s only one meal and a meal is not worth pulling your hair out over.
Remember what a holiday really means: a chance to relax, lower your cortisol, reset your sleep pattern, and bond with your loved ones for a healthy dose of oxytocin.
For more tips on how to have a hormonally balanced season, check out Dr. Sara Gottfried’s book, The Hormone Reset Diet.