Oh YES! It’s the holidays!
But wait … while there is a beauty in the air; there is a tactile falseness too. The falsity that the overindulgence of food, booze, gifts and purchases will make us happy.
For me it’s about authentic connection.
Imagine how odd it must seem to most people that I am Gluten-Free, Sugar Alternative and Vegan! My choices are slim, and restaurant choices are even slimmer – ESPECIALLY since I’m such an advocate for real ORGANIC food.
Sometimes I just have to quit the holiday shenanigans! I do my own thing, hang out with who I want, go to the parties I want to and skip the ones I don’t. The best ways I’ve found to stay satisfied and not feel like a super weirdo at parties is to bring my own. My gig is to make A LOT of food that I know I can eat and will enjoy. To bring enough variety that I don’t start searing over to what I know I’m going to regret. If I know that going to a certain party is going to have me face first in the fudge, stoned on whip cream, pumpkin pie, cinnamon rolls, cookies and then fumble towards the coffee just to keep myself awake enough to drive home later…then I’m better off staying home with kitty. So, I’ll make a lovely dessert, such as a gluten-free, sugar alternative pumpkin pie or chocolate cake. I’ll use gluten-free flours, maple syrup instead of sugar; I make my own crust with nuts, seeds, gluten-free oats and sunflower seed oil. And for that have to have whip cream on top… cashew cream… yup cashew cream… yummmm. I also make simple and delicious almond cookies. Grind up the almonds, a little maple syrup, a splash of water, dash of pumpkin spice, 300 degrees, yummy and nice after 15 minutes! People love my almond cookies. Yes, even ‘regular’, ‘eat whatever they want’ people love ‘em.
I know this might not resonate with everyone, as the holidays have a TON of expectation around them.
I am fascinated by how many people do what they don’t want to do over the holidays because it’s the holidays and that’s what we are ‘supposed to do’. SUPPOSED TO DO??? Whose life is this?
For a long time I got dragged along the with the ‘have to’ sled, because I had no option as a child, but as an adult, I have every choice. Thanksgiving is about gratitude and giving thanks for what we do have. This year I fully intend to spend it with people who I connect with. Go to parties and gatherings where I know there will be healthy food, so I can continue to feel healthier in my body. People who try to hold others down, or guilt someone into doing something they don’t want to do may be blind to the fact that they themselves have not lived out their desires, and unknowingly keep passing that along. We are actually less selfish when we are truly authentic! How about that!
When going to parties, in addition to bringing my own food, I sometimes follow the 90/10 rule. Be as healthful as possible 90% of the time, and then, when in Rome … We need to take our health into our own hands and eat as healthfully as possible, drink the cleanest water possible (I usually bring my own water…weird… I know), breathe the freshest air and be surrounded by love and support. I believe it is better to be a joyful person who occasionally eats whatever I want and enjoy it, versus an orthonorexia freaking out about non-organic lettuce… So my goal is to make food pleasurable.
A few times a year I test the water to see if I really am going to wake up with a food hangover. Yep, bummer, it happens to me every time, as my system has no tolerance for wheat, sugar or processed foods.
“Insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results”
Here are 8 ways to making this holiday season the Healthiest, Happiest and most Authentic ever!!!
- Identify What You Really Want to Do this Holiday Season. Which parties, family gatherings, and events do you WANT to go to and which ones do you really want to skip? (This is an exercise, it doesn’t mean that you miss your first Christmas and have Grandma heaving on the guilt train for the rest of the year, it just means that you start getting clear on what you do and don’t want.)
- Connect with what you LOVE about the holidays.
- Admit what you dislike about the holidays.
- Now figure out, how the holidays could be more Fun, Exciting, Healthy and Nurturing for YOU. What do YOU need? – Do you need to bring your own food? Only stay for part of the party? Attach yourself to a buddy who understands and drags you away from the desert table? Show up late, drop off gifts and then get the heck out of dodge? Call in sick (because the food will make you sick?)??
- Before going to those holiday parties, decide what would make them optimal for you. Having more veggies and healthful foods? How can you make that possible?
- Think of creative ways to encourage healthy habits in your office and home. What about collaborating with the office to have a new kind of ‘Who can be the healthiest and bring in the healthiest and yummiest dishes’ competition?
- Enjoy what you do eat. How about when giving into grandma’s cookies, you sit down, put it on the prettiest plate you can find, light a candle and enjoy every freakin’ bite and crumb of it! Go ahead, lick the plate. Knowing that it will assimilate better and you’ll be less likely to spin into a binge if you allow yourself the GOODness. Know that it was made with love and that it will be digested with love.
- Give your digestive system some extra love. How about some digestive enzymes to help wash it down.
By writing it all down, clarity will manifest! Once you are clear about your intentions, you are more likely to live them out.
Are you putting yourself first? If not, why not? Who do you spend most of your time with… YOU! Sometimes being authentic pisses other people off, but out of that eventually comes respect. Respect for being who we really are, our authentic selves.
If we don’t hear what others say about us, we are only left with ourselves. Are we saying to ourselves that we have to or that so and so will be disappointed in us? Do we run on guilt? Do we know for sure that they would be disappointed in us if we took care of ourselves??? Is guilt the meaning of the holidays? NO!
Generosity and self-less service are the meaning of the holidays, but to give is to feel GOOD about it. And it feels good when it’s authentic. If we give out of ‘supposed-to’s and expectations, then it’s not authentic. An authentic card can have more meaning than the most beautiful gift given out of guilt or expectancy. Everything we do carries energy to it. So get that crowded family out of your bed, out of your head and live your authentic life. Someone WILL recognize your strength, even if it’s 10 holidays from now.
If everyone took one little step towards their own authenticity – they would have more joy in their lives. For some that might look like taking just 15 min, or 1 hour out of their day, everyday to nurture themselves. My favorite quote…
“A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step” – Lao-tzu.
So follow your senses! What does your ideal holiday LOOK like? How does it TASTE? What does it FEEL like?
I’m eager to hear how you can take one little step closer to your own authentic holidays. What is something positive you can do for yourself to make this holiday season healthy and authentic?
Please post your response below and feel free to forward this article along.
With love, respect and gratitude. Wishing you a Happy Authentic Holiday Season!!!
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