How are you feeling after Thanksgiving? Do you feel lousy? Or did you make it through feeling great? One thing I know from the holidays is that I have to eat other food not prepared by myself at home with the real/whole food ingredients I usually use and it leaves me a little off for a few days. How about you?
Why do we feel off and lousy after the holidays?
Most people use a lot of canned and processed food ingredients to prepare holiday meals.
How about the can marks on that “cranberry sauce” grandma puts out?
How about those frozen hash browns used in a casserole?
How about boxed stuffing?
We feel lousy from additives in those processed foods, lack of nutrients in those foods, high sodium in those types of foods.
Many people also still use vegetable and canola oil heavily to bread, fry and bake with. What about those pies made traditionally with shortening (hydrogenated oil), and vegetable oil. In addition, there are usually very sweet, sugar (white and white flour) filled desserts present.
All of these things create inflammation and blood sugar spikes, along with digestive upset and bloating.
What can we do about this to make it through?
1- Drink a lot of water. Water helps digestion. Water helps blood sugar. Water helps flush out toxins. As always a BASE (meaning no less) of water daily is your body weight cut in half in water oz. On an occasion like a holiday – you should be at least 24 oz over that to help aid in the day. This is plain water folks. If you plan to have a glass of wine with your dinner, or a cup of coffee, another 12 oz of water for each of those types of beverages in addition to your base is mandatory.
Don’t skip this no matter what, and all those “healthy waters” out there – generally ARE NOT. They have a lot of fillers and additional things that are not helpful and in some cases can cause digestive and other reactions. No swaps here stay with real water!
2- Bring a real food dish to share. No more boxes and bags. I have written about many common holiday staples made with real food in the past – here is this year’s. Knowing you have brought at least one real food item will make a difference in how you feel also. If you are the meal preparer keep in mind that a whole menu has been provided in that link above, so you can make it a real food meal yourself. You will feel better, and it tastes WAY better.
Ingredient Swaps on these Dishes
Crisco – real butter, coconut oil, ghee
Vegetable Oil – coconut oil
White flour – arrowroot, or cassava, or almond, or coconut
White Sugar – maple or honey
3- Make the best choices you can and know you do NOT have to eat ALL the items there. This means likely you have the worst response from white and processed breads, pies and boxed products. So knowing this you want to go whole food as much as possible. Choose a nice big serving of meat first. Choose a sauce of choice from the table. Choose the potatoes or other whole veggies on the table. Skip the stuffing. If you just can’t bring yourself to skip it, choose a smaller portion. Choose one or no dessert. If you look around and you can see that something was from a box or bag – just skip that item and move to the next. Make the most out of the whole foods you do see present at that table.
Ingredient or Food Swap
Anything from a can or box, skip and double up on the real food items instead.
That’s right – when you see that can mark on those “cranberries” – just add an extra heap of meat or green bean casserole (as long as that is fresh).
Stick with just meat and potatoes, with sides of veggies or a side salad. (Isn’t there always one person that brings a salad?)
Choose real olive oil, and vinegar vs. a bottle of dressing
What about COOKIE SEASON NOW?
Cookie season is coming – guess what? You don’t need to use traditional white flours and sugars there either. Check out this site to look up delicious desserts that won’t leave you feeling lousy. Remember cookies are always treats, they aren’t meant to be a daily item.
Almond flour, coconut flour, arrowroot, cassava, coconut oil, maple and honey. These are staples to healthier baking.
Just by choosing to make real foods, and use real ingredients and skip the packages and boxes you will change how everyone feels this holiday season.
If you are feeling really lousy and you don’t know how you will make it through the next month with the issues you are having digestively or otherwise, it’s time we worked together. You can still enjoy the holidays and eat amazing food, but still feel better!