8 AYURVEDIC STRATEGIES FOR SURVIVING THE HOLIDAY SEASON + HEALTHY HOLIDAY FOOD SWAPS

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Yay! Its time for festivities, We are celebrating American Thanksgiving this week. For someone like me who loves celebrations, the festivities don't seem to stop until the end of the year. 

Yes, my holiday schedule is something like this - Canadian Thanksgiving-Early Oct, Diwali- mid-Oct this year, American Thanksgiving - late Nov, my birthday (and my favorite personal Holiday ;) 28th Nov - Christmas parties that start right in Nov right till the end of December. For the first few years in Canada,  I personally struggled with the never-ending Holiday season, but now with simple strategies that I have learned to implement over the years, I am at the top of my game.

Winter Holidays are the most anticipated and also the most regretted time of the year. Most people rejoice at the thought of celebrating with family and friends, on the other hand, they regret at the very thought of indulging too much, as it is very common to gain a few pounds especially fat during this time of the year. 

Since the prevention is so much better than cure, preventing yourself from indulging in unhealthy foods is so much better than stressing over shedding those extra pounds gained. And to aid all the smart women and men too who plan to be at the top of their game I have designed this simple Holiday Survival Guide. 

Following these simple strategies prevent you fron gaining any excess fat and at the same time let yourejoice in the holiday spirit and share the love with their family, stress free. 

Here are 8 simple Ayurvedic strategies to survive Holiday season, no matter what special day celebrating.

1. AVOID SKIPPING MEALS 

This is the number one mistake that most people especially before 'the big family feast'. They skip either breakfast or lunch in anticipation so they can save some calories from the first two meals and splurge on the last meal or dinner. But hey, did you know that if you skip a meal, you are bound to overeat the next meal, which has been proven by research. Keep your first two meals light, but make sure not to skip it. Keeping the meals light ensures they are easily digested and also that you are less likely to be 'hangry; and end up eat everything in your sight.

2. SPICE TO UP YOUR FOOD:

Cooking with spices like ginger, nutmeg, cinnamon not only make your food taste wonderful but also support digestion by stimulating 'Agni' or your digestive fire. Ginger is a known digestive anti-inflammatory and prevents 'Ama' formation or the formation of digestive toxins. Cinnamon helps balance blood sugar while nutmeg helps calm you down.

Here are a few spiced up versions of Holiday recipes that you will enjoy!

3. SKIP THE COLD DRINKS & SIP ON DIGESTIVE TEA

Cold drinks and also cold foods impair your digestion by diminishing your 'Agni'. A simple way to aid digestion is to sip on digestive tea in place of water or cold drinks. Fresh ginger root, peppermint, CCF (coriander cumin fennel) serve as great digestive aids.

4. CHEW WELL & ENJOY THE FOOD WITH ALL YOUR SENSES

Chewing food ensures your food breaks into tiny pieces and mixes well with saliva to start the digestive process in your mouth itself. Putting your fork down and chewing food well ensures you properly taste the food, your taste buds and mind are both satiated so you don’t overindulge.

When you are seated at the dinner table, it is really important to enjoy the food with all your senses- the taste, the aroma, the texture, the crunch and also the touch of food. Enjoying food with all the senses ensures that the food satisfies each of the five elements or 'Panchamahabhutas'...so your mind, body and also senses are nourished and satiated with food. 

5. HAVE AN EARLY DINNER

A typical meal takes about 2-3 hours to digest, whereas a rich holiday meal could take up to several hours. So planning an early dinner ensures that you have enough time to digest your food before you go to bed, so you don't wake up tired and bloated the next day!

6. AVOID OVER-EATING

This is the one area where most people struggle during the holidays. How can you not simply over-eat when you are surrounded by all the deliciousness? Well the secret is to be mindful of how hungry you are and stop right when you start to feel full. Another of my favorite tips is to fill up the plate just once and avoid any second helpings.

7. WARM WATER IS YOUR BEST FRIEND

Warm water aids digestion by increasing blood flow to the stomach. You can drink warm water 20 minutes before you eat or have small sips of warm digestive teas with your meal to support digestion.

Also make sure to have some extra water if you decide to have a few drinks you as alcohol dehydrates you.

8. DESTRESS AND SMILE

Stress often takes away from the celebrating each moment. Most of us get so stressed over shopping, playing the perfect hosts or trying hard not to eat, that we often forget to relax and enjoy. The following are my favorites to

 A smile is the best holiday jewelry you will ever get to wear so don’t forget to smile. 

I have also created a list of healthier foods to swap for junkier ones in a downloadable file, to receive your free copy sign up below!

HOPE YOU ENJOY IT!