Thriving Through the Holidays!

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Well, it's that time of year again! The time when the calmest of us get stressed, our best laid plans to "be good" get tanked, and we're left grumbling about how THIS YEAR we had sworn it would be different.

But never fear! It's still salvageable! Ready? Follow these tips to not only survive, but possibly even THRIVE through this holiday season!

1. Life (and your family's food) is uncertain; eat first. Yes, I know you told them (twice!) that you weren't eating gluten, dairy and/or sugar, but it can be overwhelming for someone new to the program to actually cook it! Be safe. Eat first and bring a snack along.

2. Take a deep breath. It might keep you from responding...less than ideally! That intake of breath gives you the moment you need to collect your thoughts...before you respond!

3. Buddy up. When you go to an event, don't go alone to those events that get your teeth grinding. “Phone a friend” and get them to go with you so you're not alone! Tell them ahead of time whom they should intercept, intervene with or just plain head off on your behalf.

4. Move it! You definitely need to keep exercising this season! I know you're busy, and I don't really care about the excuses. You'll feel better, avoid packing on 10 pounds, and it may give you the brain space you need to take a deep breath before responding.

5. Food: Don't leave home without it. (also see point 1) Nothing will send you off the rails faster than being hungry. Make sure you have inspiring food with you at all times! Your health is NOT negotiable.

6. Practice saying no, sweetly. The point of the season is connection and good cheer, but it’s definitely possible to have too much of a good thing! Now is the time to look at your schedule and choose what does (and doesn't) work for you. You are not actually obligated to go to every party you're invited to! "Thank you so much for that invitation, it sounds lovely! Unfortunately, I'm not available that night, but hope you have a fantastic time!"

7. Borrow my best friend. His name is Amazon, and he sends me whatever I want in about 2 days. It's my favorite way to avoid the crowds, avoid food temptations/feeling left out, and do my shopping in a measured, calm fashion. Plus, if I have a shopping fail, it’s all returnable!

8. Be kind to yourself. Have you gone off your eating program, stopped exercising, been cranky with those you love, over eaten, gained weight, over-committed and gorged on all kinds of unspeakable sweets? I forgive you, and you can forgive yourself. See if there's anything to learn from it, and try to make 1 small improvement next time.

9. Come for a visit with your functional medicine team! We're here to inspire, empower and support you in your health and wellness goals. Don't go it alone!

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