The holidays are upon us, and treats and sweets surround us. I am not about to give you a “Keep it Paleo- Holiday Survival Guide”, but instead offer some options to maximize the enjoyment while not busting out of your skinny jeans. I personally believe that the holidays are a reason to splurge. I’m not saying to let yourself go all out in the bakery section, or indulge at every opportunity. But, I’m not going to encourage you to gut it out and restrict yourself to the almonds in your purse during a party, either. The following tips are to keep your bod in good condition, avoid developing unhealthy lifestyle habits, and get the most from the buffet.
1. Savor your splurge. When it comes to indulging, pick your poison. Try to limit yourself to a few splurges a week. Just because someone brought store-bought sugar cookies to the office, doesn’t mean you need to partake. Instead, save it for the scratch made treat or that festive cocktail at happy hour. To keep the novelty of the fun and avoid forming a bad habit, try not to have something everyday.
2. Extra miles for extra calories may not be the answer. What’s the best way to get injured or run-down? Amping up your workouts to accommodate the cookies. While you may have some extra energy from indulging, you may want to run a little harder, or add a few more reps to the work out. That’s fine. But, don’t start doing 2-a-days if your body is not accustomed to it. Don’t add in 5 rounds of the bear complex after your wod because you feel guilty about eating two cheat meals this week. Your body can probably use the extra calories right now. Talk to the coach who is doing your programming or writing the wods if you want to earn a little extra credit in the gym.
3. Keeping it clean at the buffet. See #1 above. If you are in a situation where you want to eat clean, there are options. Load up on fresh vegetables and good protein. If all they have is chicken wings and swedish meatballs as protein, go for it. It’s better than taking stacks of low-nutrient crackers or chips. Fill your plate with good fats: guacamole (use vegetables over tortilla chips for dipping), nuts, olives, etc. Give your brain a boost with good Omega fats in seafood: lox and sushi are great options if they are on the table. If you’re going to a pot luck, bring something that you want to eat and know will enjoy. That way, you know you can at least have something on your plate that won’t trash your gut.
4. Neutralize your pH. Got a little hangover and sour tummy from last night’s party? Don’t drown your aches in mimosas and pancakes for brunch. It will only spiral you into the insulin-roller coaster abyss. Instead, clean up the next few meals. Take a little extra HCl with your eggs and a kale smoothie for breakfast. It’ll help with digestion. Most holiday foods are acidic and will lower your body’s pH, leaving your more susceptible to getting the nasty crud going around (among other maladies). To bring your pH back to neutral, focus on more alkaline foods. Fresh squeezed lemon juice and a teaspoon of coconut oil in warm water is a simple and great alkaline drink. For ideas and examples from the AAA (Acid Alkaline Association) Diet click HERE.
5. Let it go and let flow. The most important tip of all is to relax and enjoy yourself. Stressing out about whether or not you can eat this or that, or trying to substitute vegetables for rice with your curry will drive you crazy. Yes, it is awesome to load up on vegetables in lieu of a starch or grain for most meals. But, on occasion letting go and just having that slice of pizza from Home Slice makes it all the more worthwhile. I mean, they send their bakers to New York to learn the “right” way to make pizza dough.
The holidays are for celebrating with family and friends. Enjoy the quality and pass on the quantity. If you feel that you need some help getting back on track in the New Year, book your appointment with me in my new office location in Westlake!
Wishing You Best in Health,