Do you struggle to honor the true meaning of the holidays because stress overcomes you!? Time to focus on things like connection, celebration, appreciation, and reflection? It’s easy to get caught up in what needs to happen for you to stay in a rhythm of self-care with all the travel plans, unscheduled eating opportunities, and perhaps family dynamics creating stress. What if you knew ways to help your body and mind cope with the potential stressors? This Thanksgiving I want to empower you with practical tips to reduce the inner cellular stress that can happen during the holidays so you can enjoy your Thanksgiving fully. In this two-part series, I’m going to share my top tips on how, what and when to eat so you use Thanksgiving to work for you – not against you. Today I’m going to share how to plan your eating schedule so you keep your blood sugar balanced and arrive at your holiday meal with a calm, and grounded presence.

This year you will not be a frazzled hot mess, confused about what to eat, or how much! 

 

 

Here’s your holiday survival kit:

This year, start your Thanksgiving day off with a breakfast that has plenty of fat, such as goat cheese and spinach scrambled eggs cooked in generous amounts of either ghee or my favorite, tea seed oil and serve with a side of avocado. The fat will provide your body with ample nutrients and stable energy, so that you’re not inclined to eat the entire Thanksgiving spread yourself.

Save your carbs for last. Not only would I recommend you eat the carbohydrates on your plate after you first enjoy the main sources of proteins and fats but also time your carbohydrate choices so you eat them later in the day to help regulate stress hormones. The stress hormone cortisol tends to naturally be lower in the evening and thus responds better to the boost in blood sugar after eating carbohydrates. Are you completely over the infamous holiday blood sugar roller coaster ride of feeling famished to stuffed in a matter of minutes? You can avoid these uncomfortable highs and lows and even help prepare your body for a better night’s sleep by including 1 – 2 portions of healthy carbohydrates with your evening meal.

Fat covers the trifecta of the top nutrition secrets that are going to make this year’s holiday a success! It’s satiating, it stabilizes the hormones responsible for controlling how much you eat and as a welcomed bonus, it contributes to that beautifully glowing holiday skin. The trick is to focus on getting the highest quality you can find. Do your best to select animal sources of fat from organic, local, and grass-fed sources and choose cold pressed and raw oils. Will full fat make you fat? No, I assure it won’t. It’s counter-intuitive but the fat in our food does not put fat on our hips. Please don’t short yourself success by choosing low-fat or worse – no fat! Choose the full-fat option in your recipes. For instance, if a recipe calls for low-fat milk, substitute 100% grass-fed cream instead. The carbohydrate in the milk spikes your insulin which makes you want 2nd, 3rd and 4th helpings. But the cream doesn’t contain any carbohydrate so it keeps your insulin levels stable. Low insulin helps curb the urge to overeat.

Probably the most influential factor in how well you maintain a grounded edge over the sultry spread of Thanksgiving indulgences is how well you sleep. Do your best to keep to your normal sleep rhythm and go to bed 20 minutes earlier than you normally do the night before your holiday event. Sleep is one of the best ways we repair cellular damage and inflammation, helping you to look and feel your best. Our sleep also regulates hormones like leptin, cck, and ghrelin which help us eat just the right amount, not too much and not too little. When these hormones are balanced, our body burns fat instead of storing it. It’s utterly amazing how powerful sleep is for our metabolisms and appetites. And as importantly, good sleep allows you to be resilient through any external stress that comes up.

Who is going to be sick this holiday season? Not you!
Stay tuned for the next installment of your holiday survival guide. I’m going to share what goes on in my kitchen the days leading up to Thanksgiving. You’ll also learn my favorite swaps to upgrade your meals with and the one ingredient that’s a must on my Thanksgiving plate. Please join me! May you have the happiest and healthiest holidays!

 

Naomi Whittel

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