The Holidays. Most look upon this time of year with joy and excitement. Don’t get me wrong, I love the holidays; but sometimes all I can see are hurdles, you know the ones that line a race track? Well, these are also the ones I end up face-planting over, every. single. time. It’s true, as much as I hate to admit it, the holidays are a time that my health goals are put to a serious test. It’s not just being faced with delicious food around ever corner that revs up cravings and challenges my self-control…It’s almost a sense of defeat, as if I convince my own self out of a healthy diet; “well, I wont be able to resist binge eating on Thanksgiving, so why not just start now?!” But this kind of thinking is exactly what sets me (and you) up for failure, it’s not about all or nothing it’s about balance.
I’ve made it past the first two holiday hurdles (I happen to include Halloween because hello, CANDY) Yes, I have stumbled along the way, but the difference between now and before? I got right back up after I fell and I am still in the race! There is something so reassuring about making mistakes but realizing that those mistakes don’t add up to failure. We are in what I like to call “the in between” of the Holidays. The stretch of time after Thanksgiving and before Christmas, when people either to try to correct the lifestyle choices they have already made, or to just keep rolling with them all together and face the outcome of those choices in New Year. Let me tell you I have done both, and in my opinion damage control is a lot easier when you face your goals one (holi)day at a time.
By now, I have come to terms with the fact that I won’t get through the Holidays without off days. I want to enjoy nice meals with my family, and I would rather spend more time catching up with friends than alone at the gym. But in striving to remain healthy when I know I can and not beating myself up when I indulge here and there i don’t set myself up for failure through disappointment and self-loathing.
So how do you practice balance and keep your goals in check amidst the Holiday madness? There isn’t an easy solution…you are probably tired of hearing that but as they say, acknowledgement is the first step. You can track you meals, exercise daily, and reflect on your progress at the end of each day, but focusing on changing your mentality is what will get you farther in the long run, you may even just win the race! (Sorry I had to).
Changing your mentality means not beating yourself up for indulging once in a while, it means not feeling guilty for skipping the gym on a Sunday to veg out with family, it means being happy and confident in your own size, no matter what. Changing your mindset can only come with time, because with time it’s easy to recognize that one cheat meal or even a week off wont destroy what progress you have made. I’m still not 100 percent there, and I may never be, but there are moments now that I feel proud, proud of how far I have come with my own goals because I haven’t given up on them.
As promised I have a new recipe, a comforting clean creation that got me over some of the toughest Holiday hurdles. Banana bread is one of my most favorite things in the world, so there is no reason I shouldn’t be able to enjoy it-GUILT FREE!
Balanced Banana-Nut Muffins
1 cup rolled oats, blended into a fine flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 ripe banana
1 tbsp honey
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 cup walnuts, chopped
Halved walnuts to top
Preheat the over to 350 degrees. In a bowl mash the banana with a fork. Grind the oats in a blender and add to the mixture. Using a wooden spoon to mix, add in the egg, honey, baking soda/powder, vanilla and cinnamon. Stir until combined. Roughly chop the walnuts and add them to the batter. Spray a muffin tin with coconut oil spray. Add the batter to each about half way. Top the unbaked muffins with the walnut halves. Bake for about 20-25 minutes or until firm to touch.