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30+ Non Diet Dietitians give you their best advice - Download your FREE Ultimate Guide to Guilt Free Holiday Day

It’s the moooossst wonderful tiiimmmme of the year.


Or is it?   I get it.  Some of you might have experienced a little pit in your stomach when imagining all the turkey, and family, and pie, and parties and ALL that stuff that is coming up.  The subtle (or sometimes not so subtle) holiday food stress that seems to arise around this time can be extremely overwhelming.

Trust me, I know.  The amount of Halloween candy that entered my house was RIDICULOUS this year.

You create contingency plans for ensuring you don’t stuff yourself at Grandma’s.  You take a different route to your desk, so as to bypass Betty’s candy dish full of your favorite holiday chocolates.  You stress over trying cut the calories in the recipes you make (doesn’t matter that it taste like cardboard right? Long as there are less calories!)

Basically, we need to STOP.  We need to stop giving food SO MUCH negative power in our lives around this time of year. So many of us lament about how we can’t control ourselves around these foods, or that it’s inevitable that you will gain 5-10 simple AWFUL pounds.  Now, I am not saying that we should ignore our health in favor of eating #allthethings.

What I AM saying is there are things you can start implementing in your life now, before the big holidays hit, to help you stop defining the holidays in terms of “good foods” and “bad foods” or “holiday weight gain” or “no holiday weight gain”  It doesn’t have to be all about avoiding the cookies or exercising off that turkey.  In fact, we know from the research that this mentality violently backfires on us…leading us down a road of deprivation, starvation and a loss of control

I don’t know about you – but I’m getting older..and the older I get…the fewer energy stores I have. I certainly can’t be wasting that energy on worrying about whether or not my pie slices if an 1/8th of the pie…or 16th…or 1/3rd…

So as we we move forward into these holidays of 2017 – I wanted to extend you to PERMISSION to enjoy them, the KNOWLEDGE that food is not your enemy and the UNDERSTANDING that self care is a vital part of holiday season.  Below is a list of things I want you to to remember this year, along with some actionable items to start putting them into practice!

>> Focus on the Reason for the Season

Hahaha. How cliche did sound?  But in all honesty – things are cliche for a reason – because they are usually true. Again, maybe this comes with me getting a bit older and more appreciative of the shortness of life.  We will never, ever know if today is our last day.  That is why we need to stop, and take a moment to ask ourselves if holiday food stress is really how we want to demonstrate thankfulness.  Do we REALLY want to burn ourselves out on the fact that grandma’s pie has 20 grams of fat per slice…and miss out on the wonder of our children, or the changing colors, or the deep gratefullness you have for the things in your life?

Action step:

Come up with one new way you can show appreciation for the holiday this year…and DO IT.  Examples include: sending cards to people telling them how you are thankful for them, making Christmas cookies for the less fortunate, surprising a tired mom with a night of free babysitting, hugging someone who needs it.


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>> Be Mindful of What You Choose to Eat

Lets face it.  There are going to be a few times during the holidays where you are faced with giant tables or buffets full of food.  Now remember….you have permission to eat when you want!  However, this season, take a millisecond before you grab the spoon and ask yourself “Do I really want to eat this?  Is it something that is going to satisfy my palate, or am I just eating it because it’s there?”

Action Step

Keep this mantra in mind when it’s time to eat:  If it’s not amazing, consider leaving it off your plate!

Download the free Ultimate Guide to Guilt Free Holiday Eating on the blog today!
>> Pumpkin Pie is Available All Year Round

It is important to remember that the a vast majority of us have access to any food we want, at pretty much any time we want it.  Do you feel like one of the reasons you may eat past your comfort level, is because it’s a “once a year” thing?  The good news is….IT’S NOT!  That may seem obvious but it’s not.  We get caught up in the holiday specific foods because such an integral part of that holiday…we don’t tent to make them part of the rest of our year!

Action Step

If your trigger food is sweet potato pie….consider making that specific pie every 1-2 months as a dessert.  Enjoy it.  Savor it.  It doesn’t have to only happen in November!

>> How to Handle Food Pushers

Sometimes our well intended relatives can be a stressor.  They offer you food and don’t want to take no for an answer. “Oh, just one more.” or  “But your grandma slaved over it” or “You need a little meat on your bones.”   It can be frustrating!  You don’t want to eat…but you don’t want to be rude.  The result?  You forcing food in you otherwise wouldn’t have eaten.

Action Step

When someone pushes food on you, considering holding up a hand gently and say “Not right now – but maybe later.”  This takes the pressure away from your, but leaves it open to later consumption.  Sates both parties!

>> Remember – You Aren’t Bad If You Overeat 

Food is amoral.  Meaning, you aren’t good if you eat it.  You aren’t bad if you eat it.  You are just eating.  So I have been talking all about saying no, only eating what is really delicious etc.  These kinds of things will leave you much more comfortable at the end of dinner than you would have otherwise been.  But let’s say things don’t go this way – you snack mindlessly, or you have one more piece of pie because the company is good and it’s going around the table.


Intuitive, normal eaters experience times of excessive eating.  It happens.  I REPEAT: This happens!  So stop beating yourself up – it’s not a situation unique to you – EVERYONE has experienced this 🙂

Action Step

If overeating and discomfort occurs for you, and the angry and deprecating voices start going in your head, take a 5 minute self compassion break. Take a few moments to be non judgementally mindful of what happened {“I ate past comfort levels” vs {“I’m so weak, I just kept eating and eating! Ugh!”}  Remove judgement.  Say something kind to yourself.  Remember that you are not alone in this struggle.  Then move on.  Or…if you like quieting your mind – download this self compassion break meditation by clicking HERE


In summary … you have the RIGHT to enjoy the holidays and not be plagued with guilt, worry and anxiety over food.  The truth is this: You may gain some weight over the holidays.  You may not.  I promise you, friend…either way?  It’s not the end of the world

It’s not the end of the world.  You are just as worthy, beautiful and awesome now as you were before the holiday. 

So take the time, enjoy the food you want and put the food back that you don’t want.  Experience the love of your friends and family over a table full of deliciousness and be GRATEFUL for what is going on around you.

THAT my friend, is what the holiday is all about.

Raising a glass of holiday cheer to ya!


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