Peace of Mind for a Healthier You
I am thrilled today to welcome a new contributor to our ranks! Please make Holistic Health Coach Paula Antonini welcome. More about Paula below.
Peace is a common theme this time of year, yet it can relate to many different things. For me, peace of mind is huge. I want to go to sleep on Christmas Eve knowing I thought of everything, that all my kids and grandchildren will smile when they open their gifts, while feeling confident I didn’t blow the budget.
Peace of mind around food is even bigger for me. I want to make sure there’s plenty to eat, that everyone gets to have some of their favorites, that everything I prepare is made with healthy ingredients, and that I no longer have to worry about gaining that annual five pounds as in years past.
There’s enough stress around the holidays without having to get all bent out of shape worrying about gaining weight or zapping your energy with poor food choices. Problem is, it’s much easier to say that than to make it reality. Everywhere you go, every time you turn around, someone is putting some sugary thing in front of you. It’s impossible not to think about food – decadent, fattening, unhealthy food – during the holidays. That makes it tough to have peace of mind about your weight, your health and your energy to be your best both at work and at home.
Or maybe not. As a matter of fact, I’d like to suggest it is possible to take charge and get a different result this year. What you really need is a strategy. A plan for dealing with holiday food. My Holiday Plan involves just three steps:
- Decide what you’ll eat tomorrow before going to sleep tonight
- Eat a good breakfast – no matter what
- Focus on green
You may have noticed there’s nothing in this Plan that feels restricted, no deprivation, no feeling guilty or shaming yourself for indulging. You see, I have found that focusing on what ‘to do’ instead of what ‘not to do’ gets a better result. So let’s look at my Holiday Plan in more detail:
Decide what you’ll eat tomorrow before going to sleep tonight
Instead of waiting until you’re hungry each day to start thinking about what you’ll eat, make it a rule that for the two weeks of December 15-30, you simply won’t turn off the light until you have planned your food for the next day. You’ll be amazed at the difference it makes – and the peace of mind you’ll have. You’ll sleep better and eat better.
Eat a good breakfast – no matter what
How many times have you rushed out the door, coffee mug in hand – telling yourself that if you skip breakfast it will be ok to indulge at the holiday office party?!? That strategy simply doesn’t work. Arm yourself with a veggie omelet or some oats with nuts and you’ll come out better at the end of the day. You’ll be less vulnerable when all that sugary food appears.
Focus on green
Greenery is everywhere during the holidays, the trees, the garlands… So take your cue from that, and eat some greens every single day for those two ‘killer’ weeks. Greens are the most missing food in the typical diet yet they offer the most benefit. One of the best benefits is lifting your spirits! Funny as it sounds, the more dark leafy green foods you eat, the less sugar appeals to you. Greens provide an uplifting energy plus loads of antioxidants, fiber and phytonutrients and they keep your immune system strong. So eat your greens for the holidays.
If peace of mind is on your wish list this year, try these three steps and then relax, enjoy the festive holiday season, and don’t worry about a few indulgences! I’d love to know your strategy for not letting holiday food get you down…
Baked Holiday Oatmeal
This is a great breakfast to serve when having guests as it can be put in the oven and you can visit while it’s cooking.
3 T melted butter or coconut oil
2 C old fashioned rolled oats
1/2 C chopped pecans
1 t. aluminum-free baking powder
1 1/2 t. cinnamon
1/2 t. sea salt
2 C almond milk (or similar)
1/3 C maple syrup plus a bit more for drizzle
1 large egg, slightly beaten
2 t. pure vanilla extract
2 barely ripe bosc pears, sliced
1 C fresh chopped cranberries
Preheat oven to 375°F (190°C). Butter an 8” (20cm) square baking dish
Combine oats, half the nuts, baking powder, cinnamon and salt in a bowl.
In another bowl, whisk the egg, milk, syrup, vanilla and half the melted butter.
Arrange pear slices in bottom of baking dish. Add layer of berries. Cover with oat mixture. Slowly drizzle milk mixture over oats, and tap dish on counter to distribute the liquid evenly. Scatter remaining nuts on top.
Bake for 35-40 minutes until top is nice and golden. Let cool slightly and drizzle remaining butter or coconut oil with a bit or maple syrup over the top and serve.
About Our (new!) Health Space Writer
As a Holistic Health Coach, Paula Antonini specializes in helping business and professional women step off the diet roller coaster, get their energy back and take charge of their health through 1:1 coaching and small group programs. To learn more and sign up for her newsletter, go to simplynutrition.org. For a Complimentary Consultation contact Paula at firstname.lastname@example.org. Her eCookbook, Simply Nutritious, Simply Delicious will be available after the New Year to support you on your journey toward feeling terrific!