Ep. #59: 12 Days of Healthy Christmas

Happy Healthy Christmas!

As a really neat way of giving back, this month I’m featuring an amazing group called The Breasties. Some of you may know that my own mom passed away from breast cancer. While I was being tested for the BRCA gene (which I don’t have), I had to consider what action I would take if my results were positive. That process (along with watching my mom’s journey) really showed me why support & community is so vital! That’s why I was so excited to come across The Breasties. It’s also why I’m donating a portion of every sale in December to this organization. Let’s all try to have (and support) a healthy Christmas!

Thanks for supporting me AND this amazing group.

My first year in business (four years ago!), I created this fun spin on the 12 Days of Christmas song. I call it “12 Days of Healthy Christmas”.

Now, recently I haven’t been loving this word “healthy”. I find that many people use it to designate foods that are “good” or “bad”, and that isn’t helpful! In my opinion, “healthy” doesn’t have to refer to nutrient density. Something can be healthy for your heart, soul, mind, emotions, OR body, which means any food could be considered healthy. With that being said, I decided to keep the word “healthy” in the title.

And now, without further ado…

Welcome to the 12 Days of Healthy Christmas!

On the first day of healthy Christmas, my true love gave to me…

a partridge and a pear salad!

Make sure you’re eating this month! We all tend to get pretty busy during the holidays, and sometimes we push ourselves to keep going with no food. (Or we tell ourselves we can wait until some big meal later in the day.)

Think ahead and consider your schedule. If you know there are going to be some jam packed days, think about how you’ll eat well. Can you pack a lunch? I recommend trying something like a pear salad. (Recipe links at the end of the show notes!) You can make it once, and then have leftovers for a few days. When you take a bit of extra time to get the nutrients you need, you always feel better!

On the second day of healthy Christmas, my true love gave to me…

two loving turtle doves.

Turtle doves signify devoted love. During the holidays we’re often thinking of loving other people. And while that is wonderful, I’d recommend you don’t forget about yourself either. Try to take time to give yourself some true love.

How do you need to be cared for? How can you make sure those needs are met?

Remember to come back to yourself, check in, and be sure you’re meeting your own needs. A hot bath, an amazing candle, a gratitude practice, a movie in bed — do what you need to do to uncharge and unwind.

On the third day of healthy Christmas, my true love gave to me….

three tips from French hens.

Something I really admire in French culture is their overall ability to take pleasure in their food. In France, meals tend to be long and leisurely. There is a sense of true enjoyment while people are eating. It’s wonderful! As you enjoy holiday dinners, try to find moments to slow down savor. 

I read the book French Women Don’t Get Fat some time ago. Although I can’t endorse everything in it, there were some things I really enjoyed. The author pointed out that French women rarely go to the gym. Instead, they work movement in throughout the day. Try to take the stairs, walk around the block, or do some stretching. Take the moments that you can to fit in a bit of movement.

Work in nutrient dense food early in the day. This is especially helpful when you know you’ll be enjoying a large dinner or night out for the holidays. This isn’t about creating rules and restrictions! It’s a way of thinking about yourself and making sure you’re feeling your best.

On the fourth day of healthy Christmas, my true love gave to me….

four phone calls to friends.

Holidays can be really emotional. I know I have lots of emotions this time of year! It’s easy to want to turn to food for comfort during this season. And honestly, it tends to be a pretty easy choice! There seems to be an endless bounty of parties, get-togethers, and Christmas specials, and they all involve food. That can make it easy to do lots of extra eating, from a place of wanting to avoid our feelings. And although emotional eating can be perfectly fine, emotionally overeating can make you feel worse. 

Instead of snacking, who can you call? Pick a friend or two, and dial them up! Some of my favorite phone calls have been when someone randomly calls me during their commute home.

And often you’ll find that once you’ve had a chance to do some talking, you can actually enjoy eating (and savoring) your favorite holiday foods.

On the fifth day of healthy Christmas, my true love gave to me

five golden lemon rings in warm water.

First thing in the morning, I find it feels really good to drink some warm water. In addition, you can add in a few lemon slices. This can be really good for your stomach. It feels good, keeps you hydrated, and can even help improve digestion.

Have you been more active than usual? Eating richer foods than normal? Just generally been doing more?

If so, even little things like an extra glass of warm water in the mornings can make a difference in how you feel. It’s an easy way to keep yourself feeling good this season!

On the sixth day of healthy Christmas, my true love gave to me

six geese a’layin in bed.

Take the time to rest. When you have a chance, slip in a mediation, a nap, or an early bedtime. It’s so necessary to give our bodies a chance to recharge.

In addition, you’re less likely to overeat on sugary foods when you’re energized from sleep. It can be tempting to push ourselves to keep going, going, and going. And sometimes it may be necessary to push through. But whenever you have the chance, honor your need for rest.

On the seventh day of healthy Christmas, my true love gave to me

seven graceful swans swimming.

Swans are upright, graceful, and they appear to glide across the water. Imagine yourself as a swan. Stand up straight, and don’t hunch over. Glide through each gathering with your head held high. (That means putting your phone away too!)

Having upright posture increases your confidence. And the more you’re visiting, mingling, dancing, and feeling good about yourself – the less time you feel compelled to browse the buffet (when you know aren’t hungry) or head for the bar.

And that makes you feel good too!

On the eight day of healthy Christmas, my true love gave to me

eight maids of dairy free milking.

This can be quite a dairy consumption month! From rich desserts, creamy drinks & soups, cheese plates, and more, dairy abounds! I can always feel it when I eat lots of dairy products, and not in a good way. Even though I don’t restrict foods, I do consider how I can reduce dairy. After all, I know that I feel better when I don’t take in so much. And I value feeling good.

A lot of people I know also feel like it takes a toll on their system. Dairy just seems to slow everything down in some people’s systems. So if you have the choice between a broth soup and a cream soup – give the broth a try. See if you can have less dairy, in favor of other options. (This isn’t a rule! Just something to try.)

On the ninth day of healthy Christmas, my true love gave to me

9 ladies dancing.

Let loose! Have fun! The more you enjoy your life, the more flow you’ll have day to day.

Don’t let the holidays slip by as you’re busy running from place to place and stressing about making everything “perfect”.

On the tenth day of healthy Christmas, my true love gave to me

ten lords leaping of faith.

Trust yourself. Trust your instincts.

It’s one thing to plan to get back to normal once the holidays are over, and another to trust that it WILL happen. But it will. I know I might gain a few pounds this month, because I’m eating more than normal. That’s okay! As I get back to my normal routines, my body will naturally readjust.

Rather than stressing about it, enjoy your present moment. Know that this schedule (and these eating patterns) aren’t permanent. 

Also, sometimes when we start planning to “do better” we end up binging. After all, we know we won’t be “allowed” to eat sweets later! In the long run, it’s better to enjoy the holidays, with no big plans for how you’ll restrict your food intake later.

On the eleventh day of healthy Christmas, my true love gave to me

eleven pipers piping frosting on cookies.

Making cookies is such a fun holiday pastime. Have fun with it! Last weekend I took a holiday baking and decorating class, and it was so enjoyable. Getting to enjoy cookie baking is one of my favorite parts of Christmas! I hope diets and food restrictions don’t tempt you to skip fun traditions and holiday opportunities this year. 

Let yourself be present in the moment, and allow yourself to enjoy each day (and cookie).

On the twelfth day of healthy Christmas, my true love gave to me

twelve drummers drumming on your head.

Have you ever tried intuitively drinking alcohol?  

I suggest asking yourself why you want to drink, and what you actually want to drink. (If the point is to make a certain activity fun…maybe you could try a different activity!) In addition, you can consider how a drink makes you feel. Personally, I try to avoid sugary drinks because I never feel good when I drink them. Hydration helps too – take in lots of water whenever you’re enjoying alcohol.

I hope you try some of these out. And if you do? Come tell us all about it! We’d love to hear what you tried and how it worked over in the Facebook Community.

And if you’re ready for food freedom and body confidence, and you know you’re ready to dive in…do it now! Part of your investment will go straight to an amazing organization that benefits women.

Fill out this form to work with me (and part of the proceeds automatically go to a good cause).

PS – Interested in those pear recipes?


Slow Cooker Chai Spiced Poached Pears

Balsamic Chicken & Pear Salad 

Pear & Squash Quinoa Salad 

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