Over the holidays, it’s quite easy to indulge in too much of a good thing. Take my cousin Patty’s pecan pie, for example. I look forward to eating it the whole year — a moist, gooey yet crunchy, decadently-sweet recipe with a homemade flaky crust. This year, I planned carefully, leaving a little room in my tummy for a nice slice at the end of our meal. As we lingered over dessert and coffee, naturally, I went back for a second helping (or three?). Somehow I can’t remember… but I do remember relishing every last crumb!
That is, until I woke up the next morning feeling like a two-ton truck had driven over me.
During the holidays, this scenario occurs often. So, what do you do if you have a few bites too many? First, breathe a sigh of relief. Your body is a highly sophisticated machine that strives for balance and homeostasis — meaning it will always seek to come back to its normal state. Overeat one day, and the next day, your body will crave much less food, and simple, natural fare.
If I overindulge, I try to follow my body’s lead, listening to my appetite (or lack thereof), and choosing whole, natural foods like greens and root veggies, quinoa or brown rice, and fruit, if I need something sweet. Most of the time, I find it easier to detox with plant foods, but if you feel good with a little lean protein like fish or chicken, that works too.
I also have a secret weapon, which becomes my sanity broth during the holidays. I make a big pot of homemade veggie soup on Sundays, and have it for dinner a few times during the week. It’s filling enough for a cleansing meal. After a few nibbles at a holiday party, coming home to a nice bowl of soup hits the spot.
If you’re really pressed for time, try cleansing with a green juice from your local health food store or on-line from Organic Avenue.
Learn to Stress-Less
But how do you prevent pie-eating accidents from happening in the first place?
During the holidays, I combat craziness by being extra-kind to myself. I’m not going to be able to do it all, so a few things have to slip — whether it’s the dance class I did not wake up for this morning or the errand that will have to wait until next year.
Paying attention to myself also means taking a few minutes of me time before showing up to a holiday party or family event. Even doing something simple like closing my eyes and feeling my toes, reading a blog I like, or walking a few blocks lets me relax and ease my mind. If I’m kind to myself, I’m going to be able to be extra-kind to others, including any family members who tend to ruffle feathers.
That’s the holiday spirit to me — calling in the Sunday-best version of myself, savoring a few special treats in good measure, and knowing that in a couple of weeks I’ll look back on the laughter, the stories and the pies with a big smile in my heart.
Looking for some healthy dishes? Try these easy recipes: