Eat Healthy & Prevent Stress This Holiday Season

No-cost workshop Tues. 11/16, 6:30 p.m. Dr. Dan Smith’s San Rafael office Space limited - see flyer below to RSVP A pre-workshop Q&A with Certified Nutritionist Frances Holmes Why do the holidays sneak up on us? Even though they happen every year, somehow we’re never prepared. The holidays should be joyful, fun and happy. They should be spent appreciating one another and being grateful to be together. But when our expectations are too high, stress levels shoot up and we end up eating poorly. Do we really need the perfect holiday experience and piles of rich food?

Nobody wants to be stressed and out of control in November and December, then have to start the new year with a diet. I’m presenting this workshop for people who realize they’d like to do the holidays a little differently this year. I’ll offer some tips on how to better navigate the season while feeling healthier and happier. What about the overwhelming emotions? For one thing, we use the holidays to try to make up for what we didn’t do throughout the year. Amidst the stress, we load up our plates to extract some comfort. I recommend moving the focal point away from food and shifting the spotlight onto friends and family. What if we don’t want to give up our traditional holiday dishes? You can adapt many dishes to still be delicious yet better for us. What if instead of candied yams with brown sugar, orange juice and marshmallows we try them with spices and just a touch of butter and honey? I’ll share some healthy recipes that will please you and your family. What’s your party strategy? Eat before you go. Don’t show up famished or you’ll be hanging out all night at the food table. When you arrive, grab a glass of water right away. It fills you up and keeps your hand occupied. As you circulate and socialize, take a peek at the food table. Then fill your plate with the healthy items you like most and walk away from the table. With a glass of water in one hand and plate in the other it’s hard to overeat. Is it even possible to take care of ourselves during the holidays? The time can be so emotionally charged we definitely need to practice more self-care. Make it a priority to find some quiet downtime and unplug. Keep up with your exercise program. Even a 20-minute walk can get rid of some of that holiday anxiety. Know there will be challenges and try to anticipate them. Remember that when stressors do come, you’re not alone. Find a trusted friend to share with, so you don’t have to hold it in. What can we do about volatile family dynamics? The best thing you can do is change your mindset. Remind yourself that people are who they are, but you don’t have to react. Keep your blood sugar balanced and you’ll be better able to respond in a more kind and loving way. Is it really the happiest time of the year? It can be, when you remove the pressure to be perfect. It leaves you free to enjoy simpler pleasures and become less likely to eat emotionally.

Come join us next Tuesday evening and let us help you make the season light hearted and fun. See details, including RSVP info below.

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