The holiday season is upon us, and with it comes a whirlwind of festivities, gatherings, and, of course, delicious treats. It’s a time for joy, connection, and celebration (and nourishing your gut of course ;). Before we all run off for the year your Gut Health Coach is here to be the party BOOSTER instead of pooper by reminding you how crucial it is to ensure that we prioritize both our well-being and the well-being of our gut.
Rather than succumbing to the typical holiday stress about indulgence and guilt, let’s shift our perspective. I made the switch a few years ago and I had such wonderful messages from sharing this sentiment last year. That’s how I knew we all need the reminder and for the beautiful community that has joined me throughout 2024 – this will be a necessary and welcome mindset shift. The shift is to focus on abundance rather than restriction, allowing ourselves to fully enjoy the festivities while nurturing our bodies and minds. Here are three ways you can savor the holiday season with mindful eating, presence, and nourishment.
If I close my eyes and let my mind wander to Christmas day I can almost taste my mom’s famous gammon. I can feel the heat of the crackling fire. Smell the cinnamon tea brewing and cookies baking. Memories are felt more than recounted. That means the magic of making memories lies in getting every sense involved. This looks like taking the time to notice the senses that are online when we’re at all our precious celebrations.
Here’s how that works. Start with the eyes and view the variety and colours of all the dishes. Consider the time, effort and thought the creator of each dish put into it (even if it was a bought dish, someone’s hands went to making that for you and your family.) When dishing up enjoy smelling your mindful choices. As you sit down to eat, don’t let etiquette get in the way of you using your hands to feel the texture of the foods on your plate. Finally, take a moment to savor each first bite of the different dishes truly. When you eat mindfully, you’re more likely to recognize when you’re satisfied, preventing that post-Christmas lunch overfull feeling.
Instead of rushing through your meals, create a mindful eating ritual. Chew slowly, put down your fork between bites, and engage in conversation. By being present with your food, you’ll not only enjoy it more but also foster a healthier relationship with eating over the festive season.
The holidays often bring with them a sense of perfectionism, whether it’s the perfect gift, the perfect decorations, or the perfect body. This year, let’s release the notion of perfection and focus on being present in each moment.
Whether you’re sharing a meal with loved ones or enjoying a quiet evening by the fire, be fully present. Put away the distractions, savor the conversations, and relish the joy of connection. When you’re in the moment, you’re less likely to turn to food for comfort or distraction, fostering a healthier relationship with both the season (which can be a triggering time for some) and your gut.
To practise that presence, I like to practise mindful eating with meditations like this one so that when I am eating with loved ones my “mindful muscle” is well developed.
More time for many means more time online. With all the holiday posting by influencers it’s easy to get caught up in calorie counting and food restrictions. This holiday season, shift your mindset to one of abundance. Choose foods that nourish your body and soul, focusing on the quality of what you eat rather than the quantity.
Start your day with a nourishing breakfast filled with wholesome ingredients. Prioritize nutrient-dense options that provide sustained energy. Use the magic plate technique we spoke about in the last blog post to balance your breakfasts. When it comes to festive gatherings, savor the indulgent treats without guilt, but also ensure you’re incorporating a variety of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains into your meals. (Happy gut happy life and your gut LOVES the fibre found in all plant foods but especially legumes and whole grains).
A Healthy Gut, Your Secret Ingredient for a Jolly Holiday
Amidst the holiday cheer, your gut health quietly plays a pivotal role in ensuring you have not just a good, but a great holiday. Picture this: you indulge in a festive feast, and instead of feeling bloated and uncomfortable, you feel light and nourished. A healthy gut means efficient digestion, without the discomfort of post-feast regret.
But the benefits extend beyond the physical. Believe it or not, your gut health has a direct line to your mood, energy levels, and even those persistent food cravings. A well-nourished gut can influence the production of neurotransmitters like serotonin, often dubbed the “happy hormone,” contributing to an uplifted and positive mood.
This holiday, let’s make it a season of true celebration—of connection, joy, and the abundance that fills our hearts and plates. I want to take this last moment to thank this beautiful community for coming along the ride. For choosing to show up for yourselves and prioritize gut health. If you’d like to gift yourself or a loved one with a life-changing opportunity, then be sure to apply for our signature Gut Health program with The Gut Health Agency. My team and I can’t think of a better way to say “I love you” than to work on adding years to your life and life into those years.
Cheers to a holiday season filled with mindful indulgence and the nourishment of both body and soul!
All my love
Chelsea interviews professionals to bring YOU today’s most updated knowledge on nutrition and wellness.