It is fair to say that the holiday season really tests us and our ability to eat healthy. I know it certainly always tests me and as much as I want to follow my new lifestyle to feel well, it is inevitable that a few things sneak back in. Perhaps it is the fond memories of when we were children, that we naturally gravitate towards certain foods or perhaps it is wanting to feel “normal” and like we can fit in within social situations.
Whatever it is, it is hard to not give into something at some point during the holiday season and feel a little under the weather for a few days afterwards. For me, it is sugar. Sugar in chocolates and in desserts. I still managed to stay away from gluten as I know this one causes me huge, instant pain but sugar somehow crept back in and it seems to be a hard one to give up on.
So, here are some tricks and secrets I have used over the year to reset my routines and get back on the wellness wagon (so to say! LOL!)
1. Don’t punish yourself
It is easy to get into the “I am so terrible for not sticking to things” mindset. We beat ourselves up about not sticking to things, feel lousy for our “failure” and then need something to feel better, so we land up eating more of the very thing we are trying to avoid. Happened to you?
I used to do this all the time! “I am such a loser for not being able to give up chocolate!” A few days go past and I feel crappy about myself, so… what is the first thing I reach for? Yip! You guessed it… chocolate!
So, let’s accept what has happened is done and that we enjoyed the festive season and that we are not “bad” or “naughty” but rather that we simply wanted to be reminded of why we don’t want to eat those things. They don’t make our bodies feel well. We can close the door, start a new chapter and begin again.
2. Start eating heaps of salads
From a physical point of view, I noticed that my bloating came back and that I had those afternoon slumps again, where my body felt tired and out of balance. The irritability came back and I was just feeling less than healthy. I wanted to quit the sugar but somehow it was so much harder with all of that stuff going on. The first thing I craved when I was tired was sugar!
One of the quickest and easiest things I did to fix any bloating or digestive issues after eating so much sugar was to eat large amounts of salads. The more raw stuff in those salads, the better. I couldn’t believe the difference it made within a few short days! I felt instantly more energized and my digestion improved straight away. I strongly believe this is why I generally feel better in summer rather than winter—more roughage in my diet!
So, I encourage you to eat more salads, and the more variety of salads, the better. I am not talking about standard boring green lettuce with a few bits in it. I am talking about variety and fun salads! To get inspiration, get my recipe book Eat Endo Happy. It has heaps of delicious salad recipes in it!
If you are in the middle of winter when reading this, try to add some more raw vegetables into your day. Snack on carrots or celery sticks, or add some warm components into your salad to make it less cold to eat.
3. Still got cravings? Try these ideas!
I must say, for me sugar is the hardest to give up on, after it has snuck back in there. It just stimulates that feel good sensation in the brain and we just want more and more. I don’t know about you but gluten was never that hard, because I kinda forgot what it tastes like, and now I don’t miss it. But sugar gets in so easily!
So here are some little tricks to beat sugar cravings:
- Drink sweet teas like Pau D’Arco, liquorice or fruit teas.
- Eat dried fruits for a short while like dates, figs and prunes.
- Use a replacement sweetener like stevia.
- Have smoothies with overripe bananas. (really sweet)
We don’t want to eat too many of these on a permanent basis as they could be growing candida in our bodies, so only use these short term to help you get over the sugar cravings.
4. Plan out your meals
Depending on your work/study situation, it can be easy to fall into eating things we shouldn’t because we are hungry and there is nothing around that is healthy. We tend to make the worst decisions when we are hungry!
So, make sure you are prepared and have what you need to get through the day without feeling hungry. Some ideas:
- Make lunch and bring it with you.
- Pack snacks like goji berries or nuts.
- Drink plenty of teas throughout the day to invigorate your mind. Try peppermint or gotu kola!
- Instead of coffee, try a smoothie with superfood powders like spirulina.
5. Reset everything with a cleanse
Sometimes, no matter what our good intensions are and how many things we add back in, we simply feel like we need a good reset to start again. The really super brilliant way to do this is to do a cleanse. I have tried a few different cleanses over the years and most of them involved going to the toilet far too frequently! Not fun and certainly didn’t make me feel good!
The cleanse I recommend is a juice fast. You can pick how long you do it for and they really get amazing results. I also love that I can do them whenever I like and don’t feel completely crappy for 7 days—pun intended!
I created a juice fast guide, which gives you all the details on how long to do a juice fast, what juicer to buy and also gives you enough recipes to follow through with a 7-day juice fast. You can grab a copy of it here.
So, I hope these ideas help you get back on the wellness wagon (so to speak) and that you have some good tips to get you back to feeling better.
If you are new to all of this natural health stuff, then check out some other articles on eating healthy and what is recommended here:
I have a question for you: what foods have you struggled to keep out of your diet? What suggestions do you have for others to get it back out again? Got ideas on how to reduce sugar cravings?
Love hearing your comments…