Overindulging or Undernourished?
By identifying our own self-limiting patterns we can glide through the holidays in a healthy, happy way. Not only will knowing these limits help us to better get along with our (sometimes difficult) families but it can also aid us to act as a positive influence for others.
While it’s nice to focus on those around us, this can come at the expense of our own well-being. Many of us tend to focus too heavily on pleasing family and friends during the Thanksgiving season, and as a result, our own wellness takes a backseat.
This leads us to wonder if it’s possible that we allow ourselves to become undernourished or overindulgent in this way? Or, even perhaps, a combination of both?
We’ve been very introspective at Poppy + Seed this year. We’ve explored how we may be spiritually bypassing in our lives on our quest to become our healthiest selves, and we’ve fostered lifestyles that help us take risks. In doing so, we’ve manifested from our higher selves. Despite this awesome self-cultivation, the holidays can be a tricky time for us to fall into old behaviors. And, suddenly our chill, meditating selves show up as cranky, tired, overexcited and scattered as we allow ourselves to get sucked into the chaos. It affects us all in some way, but when we arm ourselves with the appropriate tools we can better stay in the flow.
We’ve all worked so hard together this year, so let’s show ourselves some gratitude by keeping it in check with our Holiday toolkit.
1 | Blood sugar balance. If you tend to fall into the trap we discussed above where you starve yourself to get everything done and then overindulge, the first place to prepare is by keeping your blood sugar in mind. Eat too little, and you’re on your way to not only undernourishment, but headaches and a lack of vital nutrients. Eat too much on the other hand, and you risk flooding your cells with too much sugar that will hamper your metabolic process. Either way you’ll feel out of sorts and your focus will be shot. Focus on filling up on the following:
- Essential and whole fats
- Ethical fish, pasture-raised eggs
- Ghee, raw butter, extra virgin olive oil and olives
- Avocado and coconut
2 | Nutritive beverages. Getting jacked up on five coffees a day is not the stuff balanced nutrition is made of. Nutritive beverages contain vitamins, minerals and essential fats to help you focus and feel satisfied throughout the day. As a bonus, they help blood sugar balance as well.
- Go for alternative “lattes” such as turmeric, matcha and saffron.
- Opt for an adaptogenic tea– mushroom teas, maca and ashwagandha are awesome alternatives to coffee and can help keep you sustained throughout the day. I love the earthy taste of these ingredients so mix them directly into hot water throughout the day.
3 | Keep nutraceuticals on hand. If you sense you’re burning the candle at both ends, an adaptogenic formula could help get you through the season while helping protect immunity.
- Anima Mundi’s Adaptogenic is formulated so all people experiencing non-specific environmental stress can benefit.
- Bitters, hydrosols and enzymes are good for when we’re on the run. When we don’t feed ourselves properly we cut our digestive processes short and potentially disrupt our ability to absorb nutrients. Keep a bottle of bitters in your bag to take before meals to help. Urban Moonshine makes a handy spray, or you can make your own herbal hydrosol with herbs such as oregano, thyme, basil and marjoram.
- Tip– try my DIY for herbal hydrosols here. And, while you’re at it, make extra to give out as gifts throughout the entire holiday season!
- Enzymes– while a myriad of digestive enzymes exist and your integrative health practitioner can help you choose if they’re a good option for you, lipase is a great enzyme to have on hand. Lipase helps metabolize fats. This means the enzyme will help you break down fats so you’ll be able to absorb what is nutritionally valuable while helping you to eliminate the waste products more efficiently. *Again, ask your practitioner about this option.
4 | Give to yourself while giving to others. One Wednesday a month I head down to the beach to volunteer at the Pacific Beach family dinner and free clinic I worked in while I was in grad school years ago. On Wednesdays, local Buddhist monks come to prepare a divinely nutritive vegetarian feast for anyone in the community who might need a little extra help. I love being a part of this because it aligns with helping others while enriching my own spirituality and emotional wellness. During the upcoming Thanksgiving holiday consider finding a way to help that aligns with your family, and make it a part of your regular lifestyle.
As we move closer to the holiday season, remember to acknowledge your personal limits and strengths… and most importantly, be as good to yourself as you are to others.
Christine has dedicated her career to helping others understand the science of happiness and its powerful effects on everyday human health by harnessing the power of the epigenetic landscape. She is available for both private and professional consultations. Please contact her here.