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Indulgent Holidays?

…so says the sign that hangs on the wall at my Grandpa’s house. As I read it I smell chocolate chip cookies baking, I see an iced oatmeal cake waiting to be sliced and there’s candy from the Easter Bunny in every corner. All this begs the question, how do indulgence and wellness fit together on a holiday?

In reality, the answer is in your hands – how indulgent do you want to be? Depending on where you are on your health journey, you may want to allow yourself fewer indulgences than someone else. The MOST important thing on special days is that you take the time to enjoy every minute with the people you love. If part of that enjoyment comes from eating delectable foods that evoke memories and make the day complete, then by all means do so.

Here’s a few things to keep in mind will help you enjoy the day even more:

  • Start your day with a nutritious breakfast. I’ve heard too many people say they skip breakfast to “save room/calories” for the big meal, but this is setting yourself up for an afternoon of grazing on snacks until the actual meal comes out. Fill up at breakfast with a protein food (eggs, yogurt, nuts), a whole grain food (oatmeal, whole grain bread) and fruit so you don’t spoil your appetite for the big show!
  • Research shows that you get the most enjoyment out of the first x bites of food. Serve yourself a small portion of delectable dishes and decide after enjoying a few bites if you really want more.
  • There’s no need to fit in a strenuous workout on a day that you could be spending time with friends and family, but why not suggest that the whole gang go for a stroll around the block to help digest your meal?

And, of course, don’t forget that a holiday lasts a day…not a week. Wake up tomorrow and put a little extra focus on wellness without one bit of guilt that you truly enjoyed today.