SVT Prevention: Party Smarts: How to Party without Regrets
Between Thanksgiving and New Year’s there are many opportunities to socialize, renew friendships and relationships, dress up, have fun, and for many of us, have regrets from over-eating or making bad food choices (or both)! Here are some good reminders and strategies to be able to party, keep your SVT risk low, and still have fun:
- Be a good guest with a hidden agenda: Offer to bring a vegetable or gluten-free dish to the party. That way you will have food that is safe and healthy to eat along with the other guests at the party
- Don’t go hungry to the party!: You tend to make your worst decisions about food choices when you are starving. Being hungry leads you dangerously close to justifying eating food with gluten or too much sugar “just this once…
- Use your mouth to (mostly) talk. Stand away from the buffet table or keep your eyes off the food. Focus on asking a lot of sincere and thoughtful questions of the guests. Create memories with deeper connections.
- It’s easier to keep track of calories that you eat than the ones you drink. Keep it light, and choose a flavored water or seltzer over sodas, alcoholic drinks and hot chocolate. Remember that flavored or blended drinks contain a lot of unexpected gluten ingredients (and sugar!). Always ask for the ingredient list or to read the labels of the drink containers. As with food, apply the standard advice: “if in doubt, go without.
- Make a deal with yourself: Serve yourself half of what you think you’d really like with the following promise: If you are still, truly hungry after 20 minutes, then go back for a little bit more of one or two items
- Be picky. Only choose food that is really special. Resist the “mindless” eating. And for those who are committed to a gluten-free diet, holidays are not an excuse for cheating. Your body doesn’t care what’s on the calendar but instead, what makes it feel good or sick. The inflammatory effect of eating one bite of gluten can take weeks or months to get out of your system! Is it worth weakening your body or triggering an SVT episode for a 30-second pleasure? If there is some really special dish or dessert, buy or make a gluten-free version of it and enjoy the same pleasure without guilt or damage
- Take a little walk during the party with another guest to get some fresh air and keep your metabolism going. Or consider it a break from feeling pressure or temptation from food.
- Fill your plate with half vegetables, one-quarter with protein/meat and one-quarter with carbs. Then, eat one dessert, or one to two bites of a few of your favorites. Think of this as another opportunity to nourish your body, practice self-care or lovingkindness. You will be far less likely to have regrets when you have your best interests at heart!
- Just say no to invitations or gatherings that will be draining or not obligatory during the entire holiday season. Say yes to what will be memorable and enjoyable. In other words, do what gives you joy and is fulfilling without risk to your well-being.
When optimal health is your constant priority, you can never afford to let your guard down, even on holidays. There are always delicious alternatives to gluten, dairy or any foods that weaken you. You can even use the Holidays as a time to invent your own traditions and create dishes that you love and are still within the parameters of your commitment to health! You can still enjoy sweet treats but in low moderation. Respect your own limits in terms of food, time and energy spent on the many demands preying upon you at this time of year. In sum, always take control of what you can and focus on creating beautiful memories among families and friends that will fill you up with the real joy and merriment of the season.
One of my traditions is to go around the Thanksgiving Holiday table and name something that we are grateful for. I would like to share that with you all, my lovely SVT readers and community today,
I am Thankful for you, for giving me a reason to stay inspired and on track, for caring about what I have to say, for being so open to my integrative approaches and for being patient with me when I make mistakes or over shoot a deadline of a new product or service that I want to share with you. I am grateful to my SVT for showing up to always remind me that I have limits and those limits are here to protect me and keep me on course, safe and healthy!
Lots of Love, and wishing you a Happy Peaceful Thanksgiving,
xox Laura, Your SVT Coach!