Foreword to readers: this post is meant for those who have a sweet tooth and like to indulge but wish it came without the guilt. This is not for those who never slip up or who do not believe in straying from your healthy daily habits. If the latter applies to you, I applaud and support you, but you need not read todays post any further.
If you’re like me, perhaps you ate a few too many treats in the last couple of days. I may be a health coach, but this year I chose to indulge with my family in a few traditional holiday foods that I wouldn’t normally…
Ok so I really indulged. I went all out ate whatever I wanted, and it was a lot of fun. Today, of coarse, I’m not feeling at all on my usual game, but I will treat my body with some TLC until this feeling of lethargy passes.
My family all took notice of every cookie I put in my mouth, and had a good laugh about it too. Someone even jokingly asked if I was going to go home and blog about it, but I took the comment seriously and decided that would actually be a good thing for me to do. Besides, I like to keep it honest.
Part of what I counsel people about as a health coach is that the most important nutrition we get is from our primary food sources. What are primary foods you ask? Primary foods make up our life outside of real food, such as work, relationships, spirituality, and recreation.
These primary foods feed us mind body and soul as either super foods, healthy foods, or junk. Think about any time you might have been in an unhealthy relationship, how did you feel overall? How bout a time you were in a less than fulfilling position at work? Where did that leave you at the end of the day?
When we are under stress we could be eating super foods for breakfast, lunch, and dinner and we would not be well. The same principle applies to the flip side of the coin, too. If you are fulfilled spiritually and emotionally in all corners of your life, you can afford to eat some junk on occasion and still be healthier than the absolute food purist.
I am NOT telling you junk is healthy, I am merely illustrating the absolute importance of happiness. While healthy eating is absolutely essential to longevity and indeed the foundation for happier life, there might come some situations in life where happiness requires you to eat the cookie at a dinner party.
The thing for me is that, while I quote myself saying “I ate whatever I wanted and it was fun”, I do just that ever day. 90% of the time I eat extremely healthy because I want to. I do it purely because that is my desire, not because I’m sacrificing to reach someone else’s ideal of fitness or beauty. I do it because I enjoy this lifestyle and its benefits immensely. It just so happened that this holiday what I wanted was to eat the crud and enjoy it.
I will not punish myself with negative feelings and self-deprivation as I have in past post-holiday binges, which is usually more detrimental to my health then the actual act of indulgence itself. I made my choices based upon what I wanted, and theres nothing more to it than that.
Here are some tips you might find helpful and motivating as you move past the post-holiday blues you might experience:
* Meditate. High fructose corn syrup, refined sugar and the antibiotic/growth hormone ridden junk we ate quite possibly threw us out of a peaceable state of mind. Meditation for at least ten minutes every morning will help us to find mental clarity again.
* Exercise. Exercising will not only assist in burning off the extra calories and speed up detoxification processes, but will release endorphins in your brain which are essential for combatting any seasonal or food related blues.
* Drink extra water. Any water is better than no water, but when at all possible drink warm water ( not microwaved ) as this will help clear you lymphatic system. Also, cold water will shock your body and is especially not good for an already irritated gut.
* Juice leafy greens and colorful veggies. There is no better way to re-energize weakened cells and immune function.
* Try to avoid hard digesting foods for a week or so, such as red meat and of coarse anything processed. If you’re a weight lifter and need to eat meat, boil an organic turkey or chicken. This will make digestion much easier, and while sounds strange, is just as tasty when seasoned right.
* Avoid eating gluten for a while. Get your carbs from yams and other whole food sources.
* It can be easy and tempting to give in to the “just one more won’t hurt” feelings that we’re bound to experience now that junk is in our systems, but it’s very important to cut ourselves off until the next special occasion to eat more treats. Our cells replace themselves every 23 days or so using what we’ve eaten, so we do literally become what we eat. If we allow the junk cycle to continue all month, our cells will be made of crap and thus that is what they will crave.
* Enjoy the process. Make sure you are enjoying everything you’re doing, even detoxification. If theres a healthy habit or anything otherwise that you’re dreading, it might be time to do some re-evaluation to figure out why that is. Happiness is the key to your success in all areas of life, including your health.
I hope you found this helpful, and Merry Day-After-Christmas everybody! I wish you all health and happiness:)