Holiday Stress Getting You Down?

The holiday season is the most wonderful time of the year.   Unfortunately, the holiday season can also be the most stressful time of year..  As your December calender fills up with shopping, school concerts, holiday parties, cookie swaps, dinners and worry about budgets, it can be very stressful leading up to the final enjoyment of the holiday season.  With all the excitement and booked schedules, self care often takes a back seat.

Tips for Self Care this Holiday Season

1.  Be in the moment – Try not to think about the next thing you need to do and enjoy this moment right now!  

2.  Lists!  I am a big fan of lists.   Whenever I am feeling overwhelmed, I break out the paper and pen and make a list.  It helps me organize all my to do’s and nothing feels as good as checking each item off the list!

3.  Take the time to fuel well – Knowing this time of year includes many idulgences, does not mean you need to forget all about fueling yourself with nourishing foods.  Continue to eat balanced meals and snacks w/ protein, fiber, and healthy fats.  This will keep your energy level up and prevent overindulgences.  

4.  Take time for you – If you can’t fit in a full workout, then fit in a mini workout!  20 minutes of movement; walk, yoga, HITT, spinning, or running will help decrease stress, aid in digestion, and boost your mood.  I treat my self-care as a selfless act, because I know when I am taken care of,  I can take better care of those around me.

5.  Learn to say no – To maintain balance during the holiday season, you may need to say yes to some and no to others.  You will feel better to commit and show up versus canceling as you took on too much.  

Don’t let the stress get you down.  This should be the time of year to slow down and enjoy time with friends and family.  Prioritize your time, take time for you, practice gratitude.  Those who practice making time for themselves, have improved health, less anxiety, and are more optimistic.  This holiday season is the perfect opportunity to experience the joy of gratitude and self care!  

Wishing you a Very Happy Holiday and a Healthy New Year!

Building Better Nutrition 

Gingerbread Granola

Thanksgiving with an Eating Disorder

Thanksgiving, a time to give thanks for all you have and enjoy the day eating delious food with loved ones. Sounds good, right? This holiday can act as a huge trigger and bring alot of anxiety to those suffering with an eating disorder. The entire day is allegedly built upon the foundation of food. The expectation is to eat, A LOT! 

For the many struggling with eating disorders, this day can be very overwhelming; eating off schedule, eating risk foods, food prepared by others, worrying about what and how much they eat before the holiday even started.  Then add the stress of being “watched” by family members.  And of course there is always diet or weight talk by some relative!  “I’ve gained 20lb this year, starting new with my diet after the holidays”, “I’ve been eating so good all week so I can indulge today”, “I’m starting my 3 day cleanse tomorrow”, “You look so skinny have you been eating”?  There always seems to be some kind of conversation regarding weight, diet, and exercise.  I’ve heard it in my family as well, and I quickly give the evil eye and change the subject.  Nope, sorry, I will not allow this conversation in front of my chidren or be the topic of conversation on a day I am looking to relax and be thankful for all we have.  In fact, I will not engage in fat talk or the latest diet trends anytime!

Take the focus off the food, calories, and weight.  Enjoy being with family and friends and take pleasure in honoring your hunger with nourishing foods as you should any day of the year.  

Tips to Survive Thanksgiving for those with eating disorders or disordered eating:

1.  Steer Clear of  Negative Body Talk!  Don’t allow others to make comments about how bad or good they’re being, how they need to work off the food tomorrow, or how they worked out this am to stuff themselves.  When others start using negative body talk, shift the conversation!   Let’s talk about what we are grateful for.

2.  Don’t Restrict!  Restricting before a holiday meal is a sure way to lead to a binge.  Eat a balanced breakfast and premeal snack.  People talk about Thanksgiving dinner like it’s the last meal.  But, there are no rules stating you have to eat yourself to the brim.  Eat as if it is any other day.  

3. Honor Your Hunger and Fullness.  Allow yourself to eat when feeling hungry and listen to your body when it say’s you have had enough.  You do not need to eat it all today, as you can have some again tomorrow.

4.  Partner Up!  Have someone to lean on that truley understands what you are going through.  Either someone physically there or someone you can call or text.  Step away and use your coping strategies.

5.  Affirmations!  Put an end to the  negative thoughts and replace with positive affirmations, “Food is not the enemy, it is nuturing and healing”, “I am strong, fierce, and brave”, “I am worthy of love from myself”.

6.  Forget The All or Nothing Mindset.  Depriving yourself of special holiday foods or feeling guilty over a food choice is not helpful.  Listen and be in tune with what your body wants and needs.

7.  Remember the Reason for the Season.  Although it seems Thanksgiving is all about food, try to remember what it is really about.  Focus on what you are grateful for and honor your journey to recovery by eating foods you want, listening to your body’s cues, keeping your support system close by, and avoid engaging in “fat talk”. 

Remember, the food you eat and your size does NOT define you or your worth.  Enjoy the day and have a happy and healthy Thanksgiving!  – Suzanne Iovanni, Building Better Nutrition

10 Tips to Take the Fear Out of Halloween Treats this Year!

10 Tips to take the Fear Out of Halloween Treats this Year!

 

Halloween is  the start of the holiday season and is the most candy saturated holiday of them all!   Halloween can be a scary time of year if you find yourself trapped in an eat-regret-repeat cycle.  Often this can result in a full blown binge,  feelings of guilt for even wanting it and deprivation for not allowing it.

Let’s get rid of all the food rules that ultimately lead to guilt and binging.  Allow yourself to enjoy the candy if eating mindfully and intuitively.  It’s ok to treat yourself.  In fact, leaving room in your diet for some “treats” can help you stick to healthy eating habits and hone in on your hunger and satiety cues as you won’t feel deprived.

Try these 10 Tips this Halloween Season:

1.  PERMISION – Give yourself permission to enjoy some candy, if that is what you truly want.  Permission helps to end the power struggle with food.

2.  PAUSE – Take your time to decide what and if you really want something.  Let’s not give yourself permission to tear open candy wrapper without pausing.

3.  SILENCE – Quiet those critical diet thougthts, you know the ones that tell you, “well, I already blew it by eating a piece of candy, I’ll keep eating tonight and get back on track tomorrow” or “I’m so bad, why did I eat it”.

4.  SAVOR – If you decide you want to eat it, because you really like it, then eat it that way!  Taste each bite and eat mindfully without distractions.

5.  JUST RIGHT – The fun size treats are the perfect size for a few delightful bites.  Those first few bites are always the best, so eat mindfully, and pause and think before you dive in for more.

6.  NO GUILT – We all know that guilt leads to more eating, not less.  So let go of the guilt.  But that is not permission to let go of midfull eating.

7.  NO COMPENSATION – Don’t punish yourself by overexercising to “burn of the calories”.  Exercise for the health benefits and because it makes you feel good, but don’t use it as a form of punishment.

8.  BALANCED MEALS – Continue eating balanced meals throughout the day as this will help to keep your blood sugar and appetite hormones stable and lesson cravings and protect against overeating.

9.  HONE IN ON HUNGER – Listen to your body, what is it telling you?  Are you hungry, comfortable, or too full?  Remember you don’t need to eat it all now, as you can enjoy some tomorrow.

10.  HAVE FUN!  Don’t try to trick yourself into avoiding what you want, but also taste your food and eat it like you love it!  Set some candy aside to enjoy when you really want it.

It is possible to balance eating for nourishment with eating for enjoyment!  

 

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