5 Ways to Stay #Balanced Over the Holidays!

by Rachel Stricklin

We teamed up with obé member Rachel Stricklin of the The Heartfelt Table (@theheartfelttable) on a 3 part holiday series all about navigating this hectic time of year in a mindful and balanced way.

Here are her tips on staying #balanced with your eats, over the next two weeks! 

Picture this scenario – your entire family gathered around your grandmother’s famous apple pie, bragging about all of its cinnamon-spiced goodness and you, sitting on the sidelines, skipping out on a piece. 

I’ve discovered there are often 2 types of people: those who deny themselves of all foods/schedules that do not stay within their guidelines and those who engage in one indulgence and spiral into weeks or even months of staying off-course. Both of these stances limit you from feeling your best, especially in mind and heart. Keeping a balanced approach is beneficial for your whole body, allowing for more freedom and less stress.

What we don’t want for the holidays is to feel severe strictness, isolation, or even fear around food. If you’re eating clean at home, being able to enjoy a serving of dessert or a bowl of pasta IS a totally reasonable way to exercise balance. The issue comes when the pendulum swings too far in one direction – causing us to lose our sense of balance and instead live in the extremes. We want to keep a healthy approach toward food and the holidays are a great to time to put this into practice!

Here are 5 simple tips to keep your eating balanced during the holidays:

Meal prep at home each week. I like to do this on Sunday. I chop veggies for dipping in hummus, cook up some eggs or meat, and will often even do a pot of quinoa to throw into salads or as a side dish. This does take a little extra time planning, but it ensures that you know what goes into the majority of your meals for that week. It also means when hunger strikes, you don’t run to the phone to order pizza because you already have options in your fridge ready to go. 

Put your food out on a plate in front of you. This one is tough for me! We are so used to grazing and mindlessly eating. When we place our portion in front of us, our mind understands how much we are eating. Satiation begins in the mind so this is HUGE for digestion, mindful eating, and experiencing the feeling of satisfaction.

Pack snacks and quick meals. My parents tend to skip breakfast and I do not function well if I skip a meal so I go to their house prepared. I will take a banana & almond butter, avocado, smoothie protein powders, clean breakfast bar, etc. When traveling, I carry my shelf-stable items I have from home so I’m not relying or depending on the schedule of others, but rather can provide my body the forms of nourishment it is used to (check out my recipe for homemade protein bars HERE). 

Release the fear. This one is HUGE. Enjoying a treat for the holidays, a rich meal, or a day where you go for a light walk with your family over a harder workout are completely fine. They will not throw you off-track. One small step in a different direction is just that – one step. You can step back onto the path very easily. It is when you go down a totally separate path altogether that it is harder to get back to the course. Releasing fear is essential to inner peace – we want our head space to feel nice and calm so that we can be fully present to savor that which is around us (there’s already enough chaos in the holiday season!).

Have the slice! The beauty of an 80/20 (or even a 90/10) balanced lifestyle is that you CAN indulge in a decadent dessert and there is plenty of room to do so! So often we use food as a way to gather and to share memories while forming new ones. It is good for our hearts to participate in such experiences. So serve up a slice of pie onto a plate and let your senses fully engage and you enjoy and savor every bite!

Balance is attainable and obé provides an amazing system of support and tools to help you exercise body and mind this holiday season. The accountability of a supportive community will carry you and keep you in a pattern of health-FULL living. 

So trust yourself. Trust that your efforts are worthy ones that will serve you well. Sit back, relax and enjoy the holidays with friends, family and the holiday dishes. Although eating healthy is important, focus on the season and being present for all of the memory & fun!

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