Staying in BALANCE this Holiday Season
Maintaining balance around the holidays can be challenging and frustrating. When I am back in Florida, I have limited healthy options around me, and I am lucky if I can make a yoga class. Some simple solutions I find helpful: research if there are farmers markets, organic grocery stores, butcher shops and fish markets ahead of time, and if availability is limited, ship it! You can order from a company like Thrive so you don’t have to compromise. When you do have to eat a whole basket of fried mushrooms, let it go, and enjoy doing something out of the ordinary. The guilt of eating “bad” food can cause the body to release cortisol and other harmful stress hormones, and it’s just not worth it.
If you are staying home and have family coming to you, ask them to bring their favorite ingredients, so they can collaborate in the kitchen with you and lessen the workload. It’s great to be flexible and easy going with your family, but you don’t have to change everything just to accommodate! It is a great gift to share with friends and family, as it might be new flavors or preparations they have never seen before!
I get so excited by delicious food, that once it hits my mouth, I automatically want to shovel the next bite in. It’s a euphoric experience where I lose control and end up with a stomach ache! A simple token or reminder at the dinner table can help to prompt a slowdown, like a rock from the beach or your favorite crystal. Chewing is the most important rule to follow and it is suggested to chew each bite 30 times. This process produces saliva which contains important enzymes for the stomach to break down food and allow for easier digestion. When food has not been broken down properly by chewing, digestion can be compromised and you can experience symptoms like gas, bloating, and cramps. Another helpful hint is to drink your beverage 30 mins before and after your meal. Extra liquids in the stomach can dilute the digestive enzymes. JUST CHEW IT!
Going Au Natural certainly won’t produce a buzz like effect, but you can feel the sensation of everything around you and try out new methods for similar results. Replacing the cocktail with a non-alcoholic antioxidant rich, subtly sweetened, and sophisticated drink is very enjoyable + hydrating! Not to mention a detox for your liver and a boost for your immune system! A balanced and well-rounded mocktail is very similar to a classic cocktail, and can be undetectable to your average aficionado! Less is more, as 1 or 2 of these might be all you need to feel satisfied. What a concept! Other benefits of an alcohol-free holiday are: less sugar, carbs, and heightened mental clarity which allow for a deeper connection and a balanced adrenal system. If social pressure arises, one can simply reply, “I am giving my liver a vacation!” Taking walks, spending quality time with animals + children, or skipping off to bed a bit early are all great ways to alleviate social anxiety. Being of service in the kitchen for cooking + clean-up is also a solid way to be helpful and stay busy!
Herbal Blends and essential oils are a great resource for deeper relaxation. Oils such as lavender, clove, rose geranium, cedar, + vetiver can be soothing and grounding. If you are having trouble sleeping or feeling anxious, herbal supplements such as kava kava, chamomile tea, valerian root, and good quality hemp extract can offer some comfort.
I wish all of my friends a wonderful holiday season. Please remember to shop local and support your farmers y’all! Please enjoy this festive and low glycemic mocktail and share with your friends!
Spiced Cranberry Collins
Yields 1 mocktail
Fill a highball or quart sized mason jar with ice
2 oz. Just Cranberry Juice
¾ oz Fresh Lemon juice
1 oz Orange cinnamon simple syrup
Top off with bubbles
Garnish with a Rosemary sprig
To make the citrus syrup combine the following in a heavy bottom pan:
3 cups fresh squeezed OJ
1 cup water
⅔ cup coconut sugar
1 cinnamon stick
1 t whole allspice
1 small piece ginger sliced
bring to a boil then lower to a simmer for 20 mins
strain and chill