We’re excited to welcome back Starcity Venice’s Julia O Test for her latest installment to the Starcity blog. Get a taste of her newly launched wellness program, “Trust Your Gut,” with tips and tricks on how to stick to your wellness goals through the typically glutinous holiday season. We love seeing Starcity members launch new endeavours and are so excited to support Julia on this new journey! Her next “Trust Your Gut” Masterclass is on 12/3 at 6 pm and you can RSVP here!
So you’ve been eating healthier and you want to stay on track… but the holidays are coming up, and that means Aunt Helen with her world famous pumpkin pie over Thanksgiving, your mom’s turkey and marshmallow mashed potatoes on Christmas, and of course your friends with buttloads of booze on New Year’s.
What to do?
Well, there is a way to continue on your health journey, despite the many human and dietary obstacles.
Here’s my guide for how to eat healthy over the holidays:
Step 1: Plan your meals
The easiest way to stick to a plan is by actually having one! So call your family, find out what’s on the menu, and use it to plan out what fits with your wellness goals. If there aren’t a lot of options for you, bring a healthier version of your favorite seasonal dishes. You can even share the wealth of health with others! Like let’s say your goal is to eat vegan and stay sober, I recommend kombucha instead of alcohol, fruits to help fend off the usually dairy-filled desserts, and plant-based products instead of animal products. Or maybe you can even try one of Starcity’s vegan holiday recipes that you can find here!
Step 2: Make an accountability pact
Add external accountability by recruiting your friends to join you on your mission of eating cleaner during the holidays (there’s plenty of us that are trying to do the same thing). Together you can try writing out agreements with each other, telling each other your short and long-term goals, and starting a group chat where you can reach out for support. Ask them to check in on you to see how you’re doing or if you need a more aggressive nudge, agree to CAPITAL FONT YELL AT EACH OTHER in the group text so you keep working towards your future goals.
Step 3: Practice saying “no”
Remember, you are doing this for you! Don’t fall into any peer pressure and always know that it’s okay to say “no” to your loved ones. Set up a conversation prior to arriving to let them know about your dietary restrictions and clean eating journey. Maybe they will even hop on board! Your job is simply to say: no, thank you. You can be lighthearted and polite, and if they press on, you don’t owe anyone an explanation for your choices. Just simply say “I appreciate the offer, but no thanks.” Practicing ahead of time with someone who really goes all out will prepare you for any kind of pressure you might encounter during the real thing.
Step 4: Write a “reasons” list
Write out all of the reasons why you’re wanting to eat healthy over the holidays. Really spend some time on this and get deep. What are you trying to avoid? Why is eating healthy so important to you? Also write down your long-term goals for health and healthy eating. What are you trying to achieve with healthier choices? Why is this so important to you? Bring this list with you, and anytime you feel the peer pressure set in, pull out that list and remind yourself why you wanted to do this in the first place. In the moment, it’s natural for instant gratification to take over, but reminding yourself of all the reasons you want to eat healthy for the long-term will help keep you on track.
Step 5: Take it easy on the judgment
This is the most important step. No matter what happens, DON’T JUDGE YOURSELF. You are not a failure just because you ate that cookie, or got drunk even when you intended not to. We are social creatures, so ignoring social pressure is a difficult task. Giving in to social pressure is not failure, and it doesn’t mean you have to “start over” on your wellness journey, or that you might as well give up completely because you messed up. Give yourself some grace, and just keep moving forward as if nothing ever happened.
Bonus: Do like we’ve been doing all of 2020, and just blame it on COVID
Don’t want to go home this year? Blame it on COVID. (I don’t want to put you or myself at risk by traveling home, but I’d love to join the festivities via Zoom). Don’t want to eat what’s being offered? Blame it on COVID! (I’m not comfortable sharing food, so don’t worry, I’ll just bring my own). In whatever way you’re uncomfortable standing up for your needs and wants, this year’s blessing is that you can just blame it all on COVID, and it won’t be untrue.
Follow these steps, and you’ll be just fine. The important thing is not to be caught off-guard, so write out a plan, look at it when you start questioning your decisions, and don’t beat yourself up. And remember that you can still enjoy yourself thoroughly even if you aren’t eating all the sugar and drinking all the alcohol – the holidays are about sharing time with your loved ones, not what you do or don’t consume.
Happy upcoming Holidays, friends!