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Holiday Eating: Tips to Beat the Post-Holiday Blues & Weight Gain

Monday, September 19th, 2016

As summer gives way to fall, the holiday season begins gleaming from just around the corner. Shelves are filled with holiday lights and trees, gifts and goodies. The holidays mean so much in so many different ways, family, togetherness, tradition, gratitude and giving – and let’s be honest – over-indulgence. From Thanksgiving to New Year’s, days are filled with holiday gift baskets and gift exchanges while nights ring with the toasting of cheers, coupled with decadent holiday treats.

Many people find that they end up suffering from post-holiday blues (and weight gain!), a sort of emotional drop after the celebratory craze of Thanksgiving, Hannukah, Christmas, and the like. What most people don’t consider is why they end up feeling this way. In fact, the post-holiday letdown seems to be offhandedly attributed to perceived social or cultural elements. What most fail to consider is that it is in fact the huge spike in indulgent eating and drinking from the end of November to the beginning of January.

High sugar, wheat, and alcohol, food coloring from red and green everything, and even more sugar – this is the true culprit for the post-holiday blues – and of course, weight gain.

Here are some tips to help you avoid, minimize, or at least bounce back from the holidays:

  • DO make moderation your friend. DON’T make November to January a free for all.
  • DO choose a few key days or events to allow yourself to indulge, i.e. actual holidays and holiday parties. Keep your in between eating extra healthy and SATIATING with grass-fed butter, meats, and eggs, organic greens, and fermented foods.
  • DO keep your gut health in check. Sugar, wheat, alcohol and processed foods wreak havoc on the gut, which in turn wreaks havoc on neurotransmitter functioning, which leads to cravings, brain fog, moodiness, irritability, and digestive complaints. Increase your intake of probiotic-rich foods like kombucha tea, grass-fed kefir, fermented sauerkraut and kimchi. Grass-fed bone broth is also highly beneficial to gut health and the digestive tract.
  • DO skip low-fat, high sugar, processed foods as much as possible – and opt for high quality fats such as grass-fed butter, pastured eggs, grass-fed meats and coconut oil. Not only will they keep you satiated but they will help manage potential blood sugar spikes from all the sugar and alcohol. Enjoy a bullet coffee or some grass-fed butter on butternut squash before heading out to your next holiday event. By going in with a high quality fat in your stomach you won’t be as tempted to high tail it to the dessert table – especially if your gut health is in check.
  • DO consume extra probiotics and omega 3 fatty acids after indulging. They will help repair some of the damage done and can help get you back on track so that one bad meal doesn’t turn into weeks of over-indulgence.
  • DO ask people to bring non-dessert items and/or non-traditional foods to holiday gatherings. Pinterest has so many cute, festive ideas using healthy foods. Enjoy a nice warm seasonal butternut squash soup or sweet potatoes with grass-fed butter. Make a holiday scene out of organic fruits and vegetables. Make a pumpkin yogurt dip using raw honey and grass-fed yogurt.

What tips or tricks do you use to get through the holidays without excess weight gain or post-holiday blues? Send us your suggestions!

Kick Sugar for Good – Tips & Tricks for a Healthy Life

Saturday, August 15th, 2015

Our last article explored the dangers of sugar. This week we are sharing some tips and tricks to help you cut sugar out of your diet and get healthy. By minimizing sugar, wheat and processed foods and not depriving yourself of healthy, grass-fed, and whole food sources, you should find that your weight naturally stabilizes. You may even find your overall health improve, including mood, focus/concentration, digestive health, inflammation, and even pain.

Tips to Cut Sugar:

Craving chocolate? Have some magnesium!

Nourish your gut flora with probiotics – grass-fed/pastured and fermented, unpasteurized food sources are best, including grass-fed kefir, pastured cheese, and sauerkraut, though high-quality probiotic supplements can help as well; improved gut health has also been associated with better mood and even increased feelings of willpower. If you can’t absorb and process the nutrients you are eating, than your body and brain can’t function properly. Gut health is strongly linked to neurotransmitter functioning, as well as absorption and processing of vital nutrients.

Increase healthy fats like coconut oil, avocado, grass-fed meats, pastured cheese, grass-fed butter  – they are nutrient rich and satiating – and contrary to popular belief, health fats don’t make you fat – but sugar and processed “foods” do!

Increase your grass-fed meats and pastured dairy products – they are much lower in saturated fat and significantly higher in vital nutrients including magnesium, omega 3’s, B vitamins, and conjugated linoleic acid which has been found to reduce cancer, diabetes, heart disease, and body fat.

Go cold turkey – because eating sugar, wheat and processed foods makes you crave more sugar, wheat, and processed foods. It also makes you hungrier.

Have a protein-rich breakfast.

Choose healthy carbohydrates and pair them with healthy fats and proteins. Enjoy a sweet potato with grass-fed butter and a delicious grass-fed steak.

Be prepared – pack healthy snacks, prep meals for work, plan out your menu for the week.

Eat when you’re hungry, and don’t get obsessive about calorie counting – instead, focus on eating foods that are real, whole, and natural. Get back in touch with your body’s natural hunger cues – and listen to them! Eating healthy fats and protein with healthy carbohydrates will naturally be more satiating – the worst thing you can do is starve yourself of nutrients, especially when trying to clean up your diet.

Rest and destress – try yoga, meditation, breathing exercises, acupuncture, massage, etc. to stave off stress-induced binges. Make sure you are getting adequate rest, as not sleeping enough can throw off leptin and ghrehlin levels which are responsible for appetite/satiation.

Don’t punish, guilt or shame yourself for making mistakes, just take a step towards getting back on track, and another step, and another. Before you know it you will be making progress towards a sustainable healthy lifestyle.

If you feel a craving and want to give in, wait it out. Sit with the feeling for 5 minutes, no judgment, just feel it. Just because a feeling arises doesn’t mean that you have to act on it, this too shall pass.