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Life is extra busy during the holidays with more social events on the calendar. Feel good and keep stress at a minimum by being mindful of these three simple things: your choice of drink, your meals and the amount you move.

When we stop being mindful of these three areas of our life, self-care can easily drop in our priorities. We have the ability to make a conscious choice to not let that happen. It’s completely up to you (us) to focus on good, healthy choices, while having a great holiday season.

Ok, so here are the three key areas that I’d like you to be mindful of:


We all know that the holidays mean activities with food – lots of food. Lots of rich, dense foods that we might not normally eat if we are not making conscious choices about what we eat and when we eat it. No one likes that sluggish feeling that comes the morning after a heavy meal or decadent desserts, so here are my tips for feeling your best when it comes to eating over the holidays:

  • Drink plenty of water before and during events and parties you attend, this will help you to stay hydrated, which is great for flushing out any toxins from eating foods your body may not react favourably to

  • Don’t starve yourself before heading out to an event or party. This strategy may increase blood sugar dysregulation and encourage overeating once there. Try eating before you go. This way you have 100% control over what goes into your mouth, ensuring that even when hors d’oeuvres or desserts are presented, you have a full tummy and you’ll be less tempted to overeat.

  • Similarly, if you are going out and dinner will be served (or you are going to a restaurant), consider eating a small, healthy snack that will prevent you from snacking on appetizers, bread or other pre-meal eats. Be mindful of the foods that are served and pick what fills your plate with healthy choices that are delicious but won’t poorly impact your gut health.

  • And just as important, pay attention to the portion size of your meal. Use a smaller plate, load up on non-starch veggies (green beans, green veg, salad greens), have a healthy serving of protein (4-6ounces depending on your height/weight), add 1-2 tbsp of fat (avocado, olive oil, flax oil) to meals to help regulate the metabolism of sugars in the blood from carbohydrates.

  • And the most obvious tip is to go easy on the sweets! Select one desert or 2-3 bite size samples of deserts being served. This way you are participating but not spiking and crashing blood sugar by over-indulging in the confections.

One of my patients asked me to share a recent experience she had had, and I thought that it was perfect for this blog post…

I recently went to a dinner party where I ate something I knew I shouldn’t. It was a food that I know I am sensitive to, but I ate it anyways because I have a weakness for it. It was delicious – in the moment. And it made me happy – in the moment. Within an hour I was regretting my choice and by morning I knew that it was a foolish decision that I would not make again. That moment of deliciousness was not worth the hours of discomfort that followed. So, you were absolutely right Marissa, being mindful of food choices and quantities is important and I this is one lesson I don’t want to repeat! LOL. Thanks for your support through my journey – please feel free to share this with others because you know your stuff. Thanks again.” – Erin


Sugar. Sugar. Sugar. Sugary drinks are the easiest and most common way to consume excessive amounts of unnecessary calories and unhealthy fructose over the holidays.

It’s easy to drink multiple glasses of wine and spirits at holiday parties, not noticing how many calories and grams of sugar are racking up. My best advice: stick to clear liquor (vodka, gin, tequila) and enjoy with plain soda water, la Croix flavoured water or Perrier with a lime or lemon. This way there is no sugar in your drinks, you can enjoy a few glasses freely and you may save your liver having to work extra hard to move toxins out of the system the next day!

And we all know that sugary drinks are a significant culprit in weight gain – so whether it’s a soda or glass of wine, don’t drink your calories away.


It’s important to ensure that during the hustle and bustle of the holidays you prioritize self-care in the form of moving your body. A simple 30 mins daily walk at lunch, yoga a couple times a week, going to the gym…whatever you love to do, please keep doing it!

If you are not a lover of exercise, then consider movement another way… get up and out for a mani/pedi, go walk the aisles of the closest Indigo (grab a new book for some relaxing self-care when back at home), walk around your block to look at the holiday lights or dance around the kitchen while making dinner… anything to move your body so any extra food and drink doesn’t have you feeling sluggish over the holidays!

The message behind this blog post isn’t to not enjoy yourself this holiday season, but to be mindful of the choices you make so that you can enjoy ALL of the holidays without feeling unwell or sluggish. When we are mindful, we will always be thankful for our choices because they were made with respect and love for ourselves.

“Everything is created twice, first in the mind and then in reality.” – Robin Sharma

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