Written by A Wild Dove | Photographed by Caitlin Mitchell
Between Thanksgiving and New Year’s, our lives are basically a cluster-you-know-what of holiday events - with what feels like 20 different dinners, lunches, brunches and drinks in a given week. We know that holiday dining (and drinking) every day and night wreaks havoc on our skin, body and mood. And it’s even more intense for our kids, whose stockings become stuffed with cookies, chocolates and treats. So we checked in with life coach Jamie Graber, who shares her tips on how to survive the most festive time of year and avoid falling into a destructive cycle that will have you feeling like holiday roadkill come January 1. Her advice below...
1. Jamie, please help us! How can we keep the holidays healthy for kids and parents alike?
One thing I advise for most people and myself is the “crowding out” theory. We don’t have to tell ourselves that we won’t have this or that. But we should make sure we’re filling up with healthy things, like vegetables and salad. So by the time the dessert rolls around, which is often a place where destruction can happen, we’re already full. So when you do have dessert, it’s small but that’s enough. Some people will fast until the big meal and then you get ravenous and you end up eating all the stuff. Eat throughout the day. Crowd in all the healthy food. It sets you up to have a taste. And you should have a taste! Enjoy it. It’s a holiday. It’s a beautiful time to be with family and enjoying connection. You don’t want to be in place where you’re saying no and associating food with the bad. So allow for it and allow for it mildly. And drink water. So again you’re filling up.
2. Totally makes total sense. Can you share any hacks to avoid falling victim to every treat that crosses our path?
Water and filling up with healthy stuff. I also highly recommend meditating and working out over the holidays. The mindset to how you start the day snowballs and builds momentum. The better you care for your body, the less likely you’ll be to throw trash in it. Your body is a temple. Be more connected and have more understanding of what enjoyment feels without shaming it. Eat something if it will make you feel good. And move your body or meditate. There is something about taking care of the physical body in the mind and starting the day off in a good way.
3. Let’s talk post-holiday. What are some tips you can impart on getting back into normal habits and routines after the holiday, for mamas AND kids?
Often what happens is these habits snowball. They say the largest amount of weight gain happens from Thanksgiving to New Year’s. And it doesn’t have to be like that. There are ways to recognize. So if I go heavier today, I’ll go lighter tomorrow. For example, today was Thanksgiving and I had all the things and I enjoyed them. Tomorrow I will be a bit cleaner. Personally, I’ll do liquids for the next day until dinner so I don’t start the rollercoaster. If I can catch myself quickly, I won’t go down the rabbit hole. So the day after Thanksgiving or Christmas, I’ll make sure I do all liquids until dinner and stay plant-based for that day. So you’re helping your body as much as possible. Your body is tired from digesting. So give your body more energy. Drink smoothies, enjoy some soups, and be plant-based at night. And go back to your normal ways the next day.
4. Talk to us about boozing during the holiday. Any hard and fast rules for managing intake?
As long as you have a healthy relationship with alcohol, by all means enjoy! Clear liquids and mixers are best. Part of what happens is that sugar makes a hangover worse. Any clear is better. Have vodka with lemon juice or sparkling soda. Wine is clean and simple too. Just be mindful. Have a glass and then a glass of water. Pace yourself. Or add sparkling water to make wine lighter. So one drink is split into two drinks. And before bed, drink tons of water. Also add minerals to your water when you go to bed and make sure you’re taking probiotics, especially during the holidays. They will be your friend.
I live by Probiotics and Magnesium. They are important for healthy gut and digestion. They help to restore and regulate healthy bacteria in the gut. I love Prescript Assist because it is shelf stable and powerful. I take it every morning, on an empty stomach. Magnesium helps to calm the nervous system and it helps with sleep and digestion. For people who have problems with regularity, this is a great non-habit forming addition to the night time routines. It is calming for the body, and helps with allowing it to release.
5. Got it , these are already in our cart. Lastly, for those of us with packed schedules, how can we best treat food/alcohol/sugar hangovers when we have back-to-back events?
Do some meditation in the morning. It sets you up for success and a good day so you can feel good about yourself. When we feel good about ourselves, we’re not as inclined to make decisions to make us feel badly. Enjoy the cake. But don’t eat the entire cake. And all you need is three bites. The first bite is confusion. The second bite, your mind figures it out. By the third bite, you’re bored. Think of all the things went into making it - the farmers, the cooks. Everyone. Enjoy it and savor it. If you do have a bad one night, go liquid the next day until dinner. Have smoothies and savory soups. There is great oil and fat in them. Get back in the body. It’s not about a six day cleanse because that starts to cycle into binge and restriction. It’s about letting the body rest and digest.
Check out the recipe for Jamie’s favorite evening healing tonic that you can sip on after a long day-to-night holiday hustle...
A great adaptogen tonic for relaxation
- 10-12 oz of warm water
- 1/2 teaspoon Reishi
- 1/2 teaspoon Ashwagandha
- 1/2 - 1 teaspoon Love Butter
- 1/2 teaspoon of Cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon of Coconut Butter (or swap for Coconut Oil or Ghee)
- 1/2 teaspoon Manuka Honey (optional)
Put the warm liquid in first. It should be tea temperature. Warm to the touch, not scolding. Blend.