I walked into Wal-mart today with 27 days left until Christmas! I know… I know. It’s not my typical place to shop but we needed MORE lights!! My inner Clark Griswald NEEDED more lights! You see my Sicilian grandma and grandpa LOVE Christmas. And their house looked EXACTLY like the Griswald house growing up. It was magical…and I want my kids to feel that same magic.
Anyway, I walked into Wal-mart and was greeted with a huge sign that said 27 days until Christmas! And instantly I thought wow… hmmm….that’s quite a bit of time! What IF for the next 27 days we eat well together? How would you feel, IF for the next 27 days you ate nourishing, whole foods? How would you feel waking up on Christmas morning IF you made the commitment to take care of yourself this holiday season? Yes, take care of yourself! What if your countdown to Christmas included taking the time to care for yourself, for your body?
While I am quite opposed to quick-fix challenges, a 27 day “challenge” to care for your body by eating nourishing foods FEELS very different to me. The only goal is to care for yourself and eat well. That’s it. So, let’s do this together. Commit. Today. Take Care of Yourself for the Next 27 Days. Do this with me!
I NEED this as much as YOU need this. The calendar is FULL. Holiday parties. Vacations. Christmas Programs. School events. I get it. I am with you. The stress from just trying to keep up can lead you to unhealthy food choices that make you feel even more tired and worn out. So with that in mind, don’t wait until January 1. Commit to taking care of yourself during the Holiday season. WOW! This FEELS revolutionary, right?!?! Taking care of yourself during the holidays! Here’s the plan.
27 Days Until Christmas- Your Plan to Eat Well during the holidays
- Eat Well- REAL, Whole, Unprocessed foods
- Eat QUALITY foods
- Eat Mindfully
- Practice self-care
- Limit stress
Here are The details
EAT Well- Real, Whole, Unprocessed Foods
To eat well means to enjoy whole foods that come straight from nature, typically in their original form.
Choose Real, Whole, Unprocessed Foods:
- Nutrient dense- that means they are loaded with nutrients- more protein, more fiber, more healthy fats, more vitamins and minerals, more antioxidants, more probiotics- MORE, MORE, MORE nutrients!
- Avoid added sugar, artificial sweeteners, preservatives, artificial flavors, color additives, emulsifiers, stabilizers, etc.
- Avoid processed cookies, cakes, chips, boxed side dishes (those aren’t real mashed potatoes!), frozen dinners (even Lean Cuisine!)… anything with ingredients you don’t cook with in your kitchen when making a home-cooked meal.
Eat QUALITy foods
Better food. Better Health. Better Life. It’s that simple. When we choose the highest-quality version of foods, we choose foods that are bursting with natural, vibrant flavor and are loaded with nutrients.
Quality foods are foods that are produced and harvested as naturally as possible and are fresh! When selecting quality foods to nourish your body, mind and spirit, this is what to look for.
- Fruits and vegetables- Organic when possible. If organic is not available, STILL eat your fruits and vegetables. Don’t let “organic was too expensive” get in the way of getting in those fruits and veggies. In fact, commit to eating LOADS of veggies. LOAD up your plate with as many veggies as you can!
- Meats and poultry- All-natural hormone and antibiotic free at minimum. Organic, grass-fed, free-range- whenever they are reasonably priced.
- Seafood- Wild-seafood when possible. When buying farm-raised, look for “natural” farm-raised; this means seafood is free of antibiotics and hormones.
- Dairy- rGBH free at minimum. Organic when possible.
- Eggs- Omega-3, organic eggs. There is so little difference in price… pay the extra bit!
- Grains and Beans- non-GMO and organic when possible
Avoid fast food. It’s only 27 days! You can do this. Avoid the food courts, drive-thru lines and restaurants that warm up pre-made foods. For healthy and convenient meals, grab a salad at your local grocery store or a sandwich at a restaurant committed to quality ingredients like Zoe’s Kitchen. Prepare meals in advance in the crock pot so you open the door to the glorious scents of slow-cooked meats and soups. You can do this!
Ask yourself: Am I really hungry? OR Do I just have the “munchies”? If you are genuinely hungry, EAT. If not, consider how you might be feeling. Tired? Sad? Frustrated? Happy? Bored? Food can’t fix emotions/feelings. Check out the self-care section!
- Slow down.
- Be present.
- Check in with yourself throughout the meal. How are you feeling?
- Eat slowly and savor the nuances of each food.
- Chew. Really chew!
- Stop when you are no longer hungry. BIG!! You should always leave the table feeling like you could have eaten more.
Take care of yourself BEFORE you feel run down. I know the holiday season is all about giving… but you can’t give from an empty cup. Take time for yourself. TAKE IT! Self-care is about choosing to do the things that fill you up, the things that feel energizing. Here are a few nourishing ideas to get you started.
- Breathe- oxygenate by taking three deep, visceral breaths (this helps when you are super overwhelmed with crispy children too!)
- Dance- put on your favorite music and just shake it 😉 Nobody’s watching…
- Stretching or yoga
- The gym… I know it’s the last place I like to be too, but working out gets blood flowing throughout your body and can relieve stress
- Give yourself a massage with lotion- hands and feet are easy to do and make a big difference
- Inhale energizing scents- essential oils are great. I use grapefruit.
- Laugh. Watch something “stupid funny” on YouTube and just laugh.
- Take a quick nap.
- Be still. Meditate for 5 minutes.
- Lay down- Seriously! Lay on the floor on your back. This helps regulate your nervous system. I started doing this and it is amazing!
- Splash water on your face.
- Drink water!
- Go for a walk outside. Breathe deeply and enjoy the scent of nature.
- Journal your feelings.
- Call a friend and chat.
- Read a book- even just one chapter.
- Make a cup of tea. Sip… slowly…
- Treat yourself to a manicure or pedicure
- Go to a movie without kiddos.
Limiting stress is ABSOLUTELY possible during the holidays. I come from a very long line of women who take on WAY too much. I am one of those who commits to making 3 dozen homemade cookies for the teacher’s luncheon tomorrow knowing I will have to be up until midnight to do it. Oy! It’s the American way, right? Do more. Be more. More, More, More!
Here’s a revolutionary idea… let’s simplify the holiday season and commit to doing less! By taking on less you will allow yourself to invest MORE of yourself in what is truly important. Give yourself permission to skip the things that you don’t truly care about AND the permission to fully and joyfully participate in events that truly matter to you.
You may find that by doing less and being more selective in your commitments, you will actually feel MORE joy, MORE peace, and feel MORE present. More, more, more! But in the good way. 😉 So before adding one more commitment to your already over-booked calendar, ask yourself 3 things:
- What are my current commitments?
- Will this bring me and/or my family joy?
- Do I really have the time? Really consider this one… If the answer is “I could squeeze it in.”, really consider if it’s worth it or if your previous commitments are worth it.
wow! This is a lot take in, right?!
This is about keeping it simple.
- Eat REAL, Whole, Unprocessed foods
- Eat QUALITY foods
- Eat Mindfully
- Practice self-care
- Limit stress
Need help staying on track?
I will be on the NourishYourLife.org facebook page for you throughout this entire “challenge”, through the holiday parties, the vacations, the school concerts, throughout it ALL. I will be there if you have any questions, have a sticky situation to navigate or just need some support. Also I will add MORE recipes. Easy recipes. Recipes that you can throw together in 30 minutes or less, crock pot recipes… healthy, clean recipes that will help you stay on track.
I am also officially on Instagram! Follow me for meal ideas and tips for Nourished Eating.
Always with you, Sarah
Comment below! I would love to hear from you throughout the 27 days of eating well during the holidays “challenge”. Let me know of your successes and challenges throughout the process. I would love to her from you!