Nov. 20. 2017
Written By:
McKel (Hill) Kooienga
McKel Kooienga, MS, RDN, LDN

McKel Kooienga, MS, RDN, LDN

Founder of Nutrition Stripped® and the Mindful Nutrition Method™

Going to a holiday party this season? Here are five tips to keep in mind for healthy eating and navigating the holiday season. These tips will help you walk into any party, gathering with friends or family with mindfulness and confidence — most importantly, enjoy yourself!

The holiday season is known to be one of the most stressful times of the year, between work, school, travel, hosting, social gatherings, etc., it can be tempting to put your goals on the back burner. The holidays are also a wonderful time to focus on what really matters from spending time with loved ones, expressing gratitude, and being mindful of your actions. We’ve created an in-depth look at enjoying the holidays healthfully in the new Guide to Healthy Holidays, now available in the NS Shop. It’s a 13-page downloadable ebook to help guide you helpful tips on navigating the holiday scene from crowd-pleasing recipe ideas, mindfulness tools, and inspiration for holiday hosting. Click HERE to grab your copy today.

1. Practice Mindful Eating
Mindful eating is a practice that connects us more with the mind-body connection while eating or making food choices. A great way to practice mindful eating during holiday parties is to ask yourself what you’re really hungry for? Do you want the cocktail to feel less social anxiety or are you celebrating a beautiful evening with friends? Do you want the cookies because they’re available or are you truly hungry for them? We dive deeper into a 6-question strategy to access mindful eating and if you’re really hungry in The Guide To Healthy Holidays.

2. Just Be.
The more you focus on living in the present moment, the more you can show up for yourself in order to care for loved ones. Here’s a holiday party challenge: when you’re at a holiday party, hang out with your friends instead of hanging out at the dessert table. Holiday functions are not about the food, and once you can realize that, you’ll see a subtle shift in mindset that will give you the willpower to do what makes you feel good. Here’s a primer on how to be more present in everyday life. 

3. Ask Yourself, Am I Really Hungry?
It’s important to check in with yourself and gauge how hungry you actually are. Ask yourself what you’re truly hungry for — is it because you’re stressed? Anxious? Happy? Lonely? Excited? When you make the connection to your emotion and your food choice, you’ll be equipped with how to truly nourish your body.

4. Realize It’s Just a Day
I know it’s the holidays, but it’s really just a day or two of the actual holiday or holiday meal. If you want to treat yourself to your favorite casserole that your mom makes every year, enjoy it and be mindful of the context of the rest of your day.

5. Plan Ahead
We practice batch cooking at NS for good reason! It’s something I do each weekend to plan for the week ahead by making meal components — think baking sweet potatoes, making quinoa, hard boiled eggs, etc. Beyond batch cooking for your “normal” meals throughout the week, it’s also great to have healthy snacks on hand to eat before you go to holiday parties or social engagements!

If you’re looking for more tips on staying healthy and happy this holiday season, be sure to check out The Guide to Healthy Holidays.