We’re getting closer and closer the end of the year, which brings us the holiday season. The holiday season brings a whirlwind of celebrations, family gathering and many delicious treats. If you’re managing a GI or other chronic condition the holiday season can be stressful. But, celebrating the holiday season does not mean sacrificing your health.

Below you can find some of my favourite tips to help you embrace a healthy holiday season! 

Tips for a Healthy Holiday Season

Bring foods you enjoy To Gatherings 

The holiday season often comes with many potlucks and gettogethers. If you have IBS or other chronic conditions like diabetes and celiac disease, these gatherings can be overwhelming. Are the cookies glutenfree? Were the vegetables cooked with lots of garlic? You may spend more time worrying about whether the foods will trigger your symptoms than you do enjoying the gathering. 

One way to help reduce your anxiety around the food is by offering to bring a dish or two. Not only may your host appreciate the gesture, but it can also ensure there’s something for you to enjoy if your host is unaware of your dietary restrictions.

Don’t Skip Meals 

It may be really tempting to skip breakfast because you’re having a “big lunch” later in the day, but this can be counterintuitive. Eating regular meals is an important part of managing many chronic conditions. It also helps provide your body with the energy it needs to get you through the morning and prevent that hangry mood from setting in. 

Adjust Your Exercise Routine

Eating a little bit more than normal does not mean that you need to head straight to the gym to burn off extra calories. Every day you eat a different amount of calories. Some days it’s more, some days it’s less. But your weight doesn’t drastically change from day to day. That’s because your body’s metabolism is equipped to account for differences in calories. You don’t need to increase your time in the gym, or burn off “extra calories”.

If you’re using exercise to manage a condition and are worried about skipping a day, consider gentle exercises such as yoga, meditation or going for a stroll. You can learn more about the benefits of exercise for managing GI symptoms here

Stay Healthy This Holiday Season

Ready to boost your health with personalized nutrition recommendations? Book a FREE discovery call with a Registered Dietitian to get started!

Remember The Veggies 

There are tons of delicious treats available throughout the holiday season, but we shouldn’t forget the fruits and vegetables. Fruits and vegetables are rich in important vitamins and minerals that your body needs to stay healthy and fight off bugs that you might be exposed to during the holiday season. Additionally, vegetables are a great way to boost your fibre intake. Fibre supports a healthy gut and regular bowel movements throughout the busy holiday season.

Include Your Favourites 

Your favourite foods can be a part of a healthy holiday diet! Food is more than calories and nutrients. Many foods are also a source of comfort and memories. Eating foods we enjoy can have positive benefits for both your physical and mental health including providing you with energy and boosting your mood.

Listen To Your Hunger Signals 

Your hunger signals are how your body says it’s hungry, or full. Listening to your hunger signals can help prevent bloating or discomfort associated with overeating. But, it can be challenging to do. Particularly during the holiday season when your favourite foods are serving served. Giving yourself a few minutes between courses can help allow you tune into those hunger signals and prevent over eating. 

Practice SelfCare 

The holiday season can be busy with shopping, errands, and parties. This makes it even more important than ever to make time for yourself and recharge your batteries. Selfcare looks different for everyone. For some people it may include reading a good book or going for a long walk. But it can also including saying “no” to invitations and getting enough sleep. 

Hosting Tips for the Holiday Season

Hosting gatherings throughout the holiday is a great way to catch up with friends and family, and celebrate achievements. But hosting can come with some challenges, particularly around food. Below are 3 of my favourite tips for making holiday hosting a little easier. 

    • Ask your guests about food intolerances, allergies or restrictions ahead of time.
      Although this may feel odd at first, your guests will appreciate the thought and the inclusivity of your holiday meals. You can ask guests to recommend a recipe or bring a dish if you are not familiar with their dietary restrictions
    • Serve a variety of foods
      Not every dish on the table needs to be complicated. Some simple dishes, such as roasted vegetables, are a great addition to meals and don’t require a lot of extra time in the kitchen. 
    • Don’t forget the fun foods
      Fun foods can, and should, be part of a healthy diet. Including holiday favourites, such as gingerbread cookies, is a great way to incorporate the holiday spirit into your meals while satisfying your guests’ tastebuds. 

Stay Healthy This Holiday Season

Ready to boost your health with personalized nutrition recommendations? Book a FREE discovery call with a Registered Dietitian to get started!

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With a Bachelor of Science in Nutrition and Food Science, Rachel has over 15 years’ experience helping people address their health through nutrition.