top of page
  • Writer's picturePOC

Check yourself before you wreck yourself.

Happy Holidays, nutrition coach Kayla Dias Hunter here!

Let’s be real. The holiday season is one of my all-time favorite parts of the year; but it can be stressful! 

And when our to-do lists become overwhelming, it’s far too easy to fall out of the practice of staying intentional and making mindful decisions when it comes to our nutrition.

As a nutrition coach, I’ve had clients who become so stressed about maintaining their normal routine during the holidays, they miss out on enjoying quality time and shared eating experiences with family. I’ve also had clients who, previously, would throw caution to the wind from November to February (because YOLO) and then spend months following trying to “undo” the results.

My recommendation during the holidays is to position yourself somewhere in the middle of these two scenarios. Give yourself the space to enjoy what you love while remaining mindful of what makes YOU feel at your best.

I know, easier said than done! 

Here’s a quick “Mindset Check”, or journaling, exercise you can incorporate into your preparations for the holidays if you’re concerned about falling back into old habits or giving into the temptation to mindlessly indulge:

1. What’s been working for me?

Generally, the folks who get the most riled up about what to do during holiday celebrations are those who have established a routine that they don’t want to sacrifice, either because they enjoy it or it’s been getting them results.

If that’s you, rather than bringing pre-cooked meals to holiday dinner or worrying about “ruining” your tried and true daily routine, try to identify 2-3 things that have been working for you and can be maintained with minimal added stress. 

  • Is there a snack you love that might help deter you from picking mindlessly throughout the day?

  • Is there a specific water bottle you use to track your fluid intake?

  • Is there a certain drink you have every morning to get your day started? 

Bring these things with you! If you’re staying with family members who host for the holidays, there may be limited space in the fridge. But, coffee, tea, even your favorite sweetener or snacks can stay in your luggage or take up minimal space in the fridge and be readily available when you need them.

Do you usually have 4 meals per day? Or, do you typically have veggies with every meal?

These can be a little trickier to maintain, especially since holiday eating tends to revolve around just one large meal. My family has always skipped breakfast entirely, spent half the day cooking and gathered for one late afternoon meal. This is where coming prepared by bringing something to snack on during the day really comes in handy! You can make sure those snacks include vegetables and/or, when you make your plate, consider making sure you head to the veg first.

Remember the key here is to identify things that won’t cause you stress! Plan ahead to the extent that you can and work with what you’ve got.

2. What’s going to nourish me today?