Often we have spent all year trying to achieve greater health, wellness and physical form. When it comes to the summer holiday season, with both Christmas and New Year celebrations (if we are honest with ourselves) most of us let go (often too much) and overindulge.
Usually the over indulgence is for all the wrong reasons hence we are often left with feelings of guilt which come the next New Year we feel like we must start all over again.
Sometimes people are left in this cycle for many consecutive years. The frustration of this continuous cycle alone would be enough to create greater emotional disharmony, therefore greater stress responses in the body. With which emotional disharmony is one of the biggest core issues that creates health/ wellness imbalances in our bodies today.
In this article I want to touch on three habits you can use over the holiday season to maintain as much balance as possible to the body and its functioning.
Enjoy your food. Allow yourself to participate, make empowered choices and forgiveness…release any guilt you feel towards eating certain foods.
Creating greater joy and happiness with eating is important for your mental/emotional wellbeing. If you are going to feel constantly guilty about the food you are eating then this is going to create greater imbalances in the digestive system.
This is due to the constant mental/emotional stress (although you may not identify it as such a big deal – your body is constantly taking on those stress messages). This could mean symptoms like malabsorption of nutrients/ bloating due to lack of food breakdown resulting in a lack of energy and vitality.
All of this will also have further negative feedback on your thoughts and emotions. Hence rather than being in the fear of eating certain foods and then feeling guilty for it, make empowered food choices and eating habits i.e. practising mindful eating on Christmas day while there is a variety of different foods on the table may be the difference between you truly enjoying the togetherness that the Christmas feast brings or being consumed by the guilt and not being present in the joy of the occasion.
More on the mindful eating. Often when we are presented with a buffet of Christmas food and lots of people are around, many of us have this fear of missing out on the food.
This may be linked to growing up in a large family or having the belief system of a lack in abundance i.e. food is rare or scarce to you. So even if you are full you will still eat because you don’t want to miss out. This is not an empowered way of eating either.
When you can practice eating mindfully and focusing in on your stomach and how you are feeling while you are eating then you are gauging what the body really needs and this builds greater strength and empowerment within you.
If there are dishes you really want to try – just put them on a separate plate or dish and save them for later or the next day. That way you don’t miss out on them but you don’t make yourself feel overly uncomfortable and pass out anyway from a food coma and miss the rest of Christmas.
As much as you have treats or alcoholic drinks in the holiday season – schedule in days in between celebrations where you nourish the body restoring balance before you continue on. By creating the rebalancing days you stop an accumulation of healing/restoring work you would have to do in the New Year e.g. you suddenly realised you had put on 5kgs over the break, are feeling unhealthy and lacking energy. By having the restoring nourishing days you will have more energy and vitality to really enjoy and make most of the summer holidays with friends and family, with the added bonus of not having to worry about another health related New Year’s resolution because you have managed to maintain a healthy LIFESTYLE, not a restrictive diet.
These tips are not about depriving you of your holiday season splurges, it is helping to provide you with information to help you to empower yourself, to arm you with knowledge so that you can make the appropriate nourishing choices for your body if you have enough self-love and respect to do so.
In season foods to include on your Christmas table to help fill your Christmas day with nutrient density.
Cherries: High in antioxidants like anthocyanins cherries are great for aiding the kidneys to flush properly. This is particularly great if you are drinking a lot of alcohol. Cherries are also high in a phytonutrient compound that aids greater bowel flows. This is particularly great if you have eaten too many processed foods and are feeling clogged up.
Fresh berries (blueberries, blackberries, boysenberries, raspberries and strawberries): by having a balance and variety of all the different fresh berries you will be gaining a variety of antioxidants and phytonutrients to aid cellular repair and functioning. Antioxidants help to mop up free radicals. Free radicals are created by toxins i.e. alcohol and processed food chemicals. Hence the more antioxidants you can fill up on in your restoring days the greater protection your cells will have hence the healthier your organs and whole body systems will be since all is made up of billions/trillions of cells. Please note that in general a variety of different coloured fruits and vegetables will give you all antioxidants and phytonutrients you will need to stay balanced.
Asparagus: High in a compound which is great for cleansing the kidneys – this is quite a potent compound as many of you are able to smell the asparagus odour in your urine quite soon after its consumption. Asparagus also contains compounds that work well with aiding the liver’s natural detoxification pathways. Again this is particularly good if you have consumed too much alcohol or fatty foods over the holiday period.
Beetroot: Great for stimulating the spleen compounds in the beetroot help aid greater red blood cell production and also circulation of the blood. This is great for absorption and circulation of iron and oxygen around the body. This is because red blood cells carry both iron and oxygen within their structures. With great oxygen floating around the body this creates greater repair, energy and nourishment. Greater iron absorption also does wonders for energy and mental vitality. Beetroot is also another fantastic food for aiding the detoxification pathways of the liver. It also aids the kidneys indirectly by creating easier blood flow around the body by opening up blood vessels and capillaries – since the kidneys control blood pressure this helps them make that job easier so they aren’t under as much stress.
Water: Don’t forget this. Aim for 3L a day, sometimes with some squeezed lemon in the mix to aid the digestive system, lymphatic system (helps to flush out toxins also) and liver.