As the Holiday Season is upon us, I would like to share with you my 10 Top Tips for surviving the Holiday Party Circuit.
How to Survive the Holiday Party Season Without Busting your Pants or Losing your Mind
Don’t go Hungry: The biggest mistake people make is to starve themselves all day before a big party or a dinner in an effort to offset the extra calories. This will only set you up for disaster and you will arrive at the party famished and with unstable blood sugar which will lead to overeating! Also if you are silly enough to have a cocktail on an empty stomach, I can pretty much guarantee your decision making process will quickly head south and end in some seriously regrettable behavior. So don't be an amateur, be a party pro. Have a high-fat, high-protein snack an hour or two before the event. Hardboiled eggs, raw nuts or nut butter, some cashew cheese with veggies, or a lettuce cup with avocado and chicken are all great options.
Water is Your Friend: Always, always, always make your first drink water. This will make sure you start the party hydrated and will allow you to start socializing and feeling out the vibe of the party without the crutch of booze. If you do choose to drink alcohol (I personally party and live sober but everyone is different) alternate your alcoholic drink with a glass of water.
Bring Something Good: If you are concerned that there will be no healthy options at the party, it always nice to bring a healthy dish of your own. Your host will appreciate the gesture and you will have a guarantee that you there will be something clean to eat. Some of my favorite take-along dishes are cashew cheese with veggie sticks, napa cabbage spring rolls, or collard wraps with a thai dipping sauce.
Have a Gameplan: It is always wise to decide what you are going to eat and drink beforehand…create a gameplan and stick to it! If you choose to drink alcohol at the party, decide how many drinks you are going to have, and do not go over that number…and lets be honest, nothing good ever happens after 3 drinks. Also, decide on a cut-off time, like 9 or 10pm, and set an alarm on your phone to remind you to stop drinking and switch to water.
Focus on What’s Important: If you find yourself midlesslessly guzzling rosé or cramming canapés in your mouth, take a moment to remind yourself of what is truly important at the party…not the food and libations, but making connections, sharing conversation with friends or family, and being present in the moment and savoring the warm atmosphere. If you are bored at a party, don't let the spread or the bar be an easy distraction. Instead, talk to someone you've never met before…it just may end up being the most interesting conversation of the night!
Stay Active: During Holiday Party Season schedule exercise into your daily routine and make it NON-NEGOTIABLE. Even if you have to get in a shorter workout, just make it happen. You can even do a quick HIIT routine at home if you can’t make it to the gym. Try this simple 20 minute circuit (no special equipment required!) that will have you fired up quickly with no downtime traveling to and from the gym. This is also a great option if you find yourself stuck in the house with kids home on Winter Break…they might even want to jump in and join you in the workout! Do one minute each of the following exercises, with 30 seconds rest in between: push ups, squat jumps, burpees, line jumps, side planks. Repeat 4 times through with one minute recovery between rounds.
Indulge Mindfully: If you do choose to indulge in something unhealthy, make it count! So don't just mindless eat crappy sugar cookies from Ralph’s just cause they happen to be to be on the dessert table in front of you. Only the other hand, if your dear friend made a homemade lemon coconut cheesecake with fresh meyer lemons picked from her garden and you are genuinely dying to try it, by all means, cut yourself a small piece and enjoy it to the fullest! And be sure to compliment your friend on her delicious desert skills and spread the love!
Cut Yourself Some Slack: If you do indulge and/or overindulge, don't beat yourself up about it. Nothing is worse for digestion than guilt! Its not the end of the world if you ate or drank more than you planned! Don't waste time feeling sorry for yourself…just pick yourself up and make the next day super clean and active.
Think Ahead: If you find yourself deviating from your gameplan or wavering in your decision making process ask yourself, “How am I going to feel about this TOMORROW MORNING?” Trust me, this works every time! Imagine how you will feel getting out of bed the next day….bloated, puffy, disgusted, and hungover? Step away from the buffet, get yourself a glass of water and go find someone fun to chat with to cap off the night.
Eat up Gratitude: Making real connections and lasting memories is much more nourishing and fulfilling than any slice of pie or christmas cookie will ever be. Fill up on love and gratitude first, and you won’t have room for the toxic junk! Write down three things that you are truly, madly, deeply grateful for on a piece of paper or on the notes of your phone. Whenever when you notice yourself looking to food or alcohol to fill emotional voids, look at your gratitude list and be reminded of how full and blessed you already are.
Use this list as a guideline to keep you healthy and sane this Holiday Season. Stay in the moment, savor the magic of the season, and cultivate love and kindness for yourself and others! Happy Holidays!
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