“Eat real for every meal” is the motto around here, but part of being real is admitting that this isn’t always practical — or even desired — 100 percent of the time. We all struggle to find balance sometimes, so we pinged our dietitian friends for a mini series that will explore real, sensible ways to maintain health (and sanity) during the whirlwind of deliciousness that awaits us in the coming holiday months. So here’s to balancing pumpkin pie with an extra yoga class, and loving every minute of both.
Today’s advice is from Starla Garcia, M.Ed, RDN, LD. You can find this plant-based dietitian running her favorite trails in Houston, doing strength training at the gym, and scouring the city for new green juice spots & healthy eats – all while sharing it on Insta & her blog, Sweat x Shine. Without further ado, here’s how Starla finds balance & keeps it real during the holidays.
I try to shoot for 7-8 hours of sleep.
I definitely listen to my body especially since it gets darker earlier now, and head to bed before 11.
Really, really try to drink my water.
Since it’s colder outside and I don’t get as hot or sweat as much, I tend to forget to drink water, so I make sure to keep a water bottle with me at all times. I also pay attention to how I am feeling. If I have a headache during the day and haven’t drank enough water, I know I am definitely dehydrated.
I don’t skip my meals, especially on days that I know there will be holiday foods and treats.
I still make sure to have a good meal that way I don’t end up overeating or overindulging on foods that may lead to big food comas.
I make sure to have protein and veggies on my plate at holiday parties.
Protein and veggies help me stay satisfied and help me to see if I am having too many sugary or starchy foods. Plus I like having more of the good stuff so I can have a bite of dessert!
Tossed in veggies I made over the weekend into tonight’s nourishing #buddhabowl LOVE when I meal prep foods for the week 🙌🏼 . before blogging I used to just scarf down my food as soon as it was done, sometimes I wouldn’t even sit down to eat it 🙃 🤦🏻♀️but now I take my time to set it up, add extra things, and make sure all the colors can be seen☺️ it really has made me appreciate food in a whole new way 🙏🏼 . ⭐️Nutrition tips ⭐️ -take time to serve yourself a portion of food -drink water with meals – sit down to eat meals -remove distractions before eating ( phone, TV, books, computer, or other work and devices) -while eating, chew your food and try to notice all the flavors and spices used in the meal -**if you have kids talk to them about the food and why we need it for our body
Not all desserts are created equal in my book, so I like surveying the dessert table before I choose which I want.
I normally choose the one that I haven’t had a in a while, that I really want, or that is seasonal (like anything pumpkin!). Mini desserts are also a favorite of mine, so if there are minis available I choose about 2 of them so that way I am still in portion control.
Make time for exercise.
Physical activity is a huge part of life, so I know that I need it to help me have good outlook for my week, stress relief, and to help me stay grounded. I am a fan of running especially in the colder months, but I also like cycling, weight training, and yoga.
What keeps you motivated? I like visualizing my goals becoming a reality. But it’s always the PROCESS I’m visualizing 🙏🏼It’s all the steps, and small victories that matter so much when it comes to reaching our goal. Each small step forward is motivation and always makes the goal-reaching so much more enjoyable. #happySunday #rainymornings #rituals
Limit my holiday cocktails.
I definitely take into account the amount of calories I will be drinking and the effects it will have on my blood sugar alongside other foods. So I weigh out my options: cocktail or dessert? Or if I want both, I go with a glass of red wine.
It’s happy hour somewhere right?? 🍹 as much as I like a nice cocktail, there’s days where I am just not really wanting an drink but still want to socialize and be around friends 💃🏻 does that keep me from hanging out? No! here’s a few tips to enjoy your non alcoholic dranks 💁🏻💁🏻+ try these out at your next outing/party💥 – drink sparkling water or plain water – ask for extra limes or lemons – drink club soda with herbs and lime – ask for a the same drink without the alcohol -request a splash of juice in your sparkling water – or if you have a drink, have water in between!&&& make sure to have a meal!
I don’t obsess over having perfect meals or my body during the holidays.
I try to really enjoy time with friends, family, and the good spirits that come with meals. I’m Mexican, so all of our holidays revolve around family and food! Experiences with loved ones, memories, and trying my grandmother’s tamales for a second helping are things that will always be remembered rather than how I looked after eating them.
We want to know what helps you stay balanced during the holidays — let us know in a comment!