B.Y.O.W. – Bring Your Own Wellness


Holiday feast

Holidays are often an excuse for a season of over-indulging. So how does a wellness-conscious person take care of themselves while navigating through holiday parties that are fully stocked with alcohol, sugar, fatty foods and more fruit cake than anyone dares to admit? Here are a few tips from someone who doesn’t drink alcohol, is pre-diabetic and has food allergies. If I can do it, you can do it – and still enjoy the holidays at the same time.

You’re the only person who has control over you. It’s quite common in our culture to allow ourselves to feel like the world imposes control over our options and choices. But the truth is that you are the only person who has that kind of control. Don’t forget that, and you will be able to go to parties and other holiday events without feeling the pressure to eat, drink and be merry by someone else’s standards.

Everything in moderation. It’s long been said that one of the best approaches to eating – and to life – is to take everything in moderation. The real message here is that too much is too much, so don’t give yourself permission to eat a whole pecan pie when a small slice is actually much more satisfying. Unless you enjoy the cycle of doing something that’s not in alignment with your true wishes, beating yourself up about it and then punishing yourself by starting over again, taking everything (and I do mean everything) in moderation is a simple, sustainable and satisfying approach. If we’re truly honest with ourselves, we usually feel better by having goals or guidelines and sticking to them, whatever they may be. So decide what your limits are and stick to them – you’ll feel better in the morning, I promise.

Embrace the holiday spirit through generosity. Instead of being at the mercy of the food, drinks and activities that your host or hostess provides, plan ahead and bring some of those items with you. This choice allows you to take control over your own environment while generously sharing with others. For instance, my husband and I don’t drink, and I have severe food allergies. But rather than go to a party and not allowing ourselves to enjoy “breaking bread” with others, we always bring a non-alcoholic beverage and at least one side dish or dessert to share with everyone. By doing that we are guaranteed drinks and food we can and want to eat, and we include ourselves in the festivities rather than excluding or isolating ourselves.

What are your tips for bringing your own wellness to holiday festivities?

By Catherine Mason



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