Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Davina's Holiday Help

Hershey's chocolate kisses.  Creamy party dips.  Fried finger foods.
Temptation seems to be everywhere during the holidays, especially food that is unhealthy yet oh-so- delicious.  And precisely because it's the holidays, I always start out with good intentions but then end up giving myself permission to eat those sweet, creamy and fatty foods, don't you?

Basically, I need all the help I can get to keep my willpower strong while hanging out during the holidays.  Trust me when I tell you that I will find my way to bowl of nuts at any social gathering and eat all of the cashews!  It's true!  I need someone to tell me how to get back on track after sampling all those tasty foods that go right to my hips.  How else am I going to say "No!" to dessert buffets that are also calling out to me?
How indeed Davina?
Davina Sandground (www.nutritiongroove.com) is a health and nutrition counselor trained at the Institute of Integrative Nutrition where her teachers included Dr. Andrew Weil, Director of the Arizona Center for Integrative Medicine; Dr. Deepak Chopra, leader in the field of mind-body medicine; Dr. David Katz, Director of Yale University’s Prevention Research Center; Dr. Walter Willett, Chair of Nutrition at Harvard University; and Geneen Roth, bestselling author and expert on emotional eating.
I just received Davina's December newsletter focusing on eating sensibly and staying healthy during this time of the year when the last thing on your mind may be eating well.  Nutrition may also be the last thing on your mind when you are trying to recover from a loss and experiencing great stress in your life.  But your body needs even more extra care during this time and eating healthy may help you manage your emotions better and feel more in control of this painful time.

No matter what your holiday plans, whether you are determined to burn the candle at both ends or just chilling at a friend's house watching movies, here are Davina's smart and easy tips for navigating the nutritional minefield of the next few weeks:

Davina Sandground

As we head into the holiday season, I wanted to share a few reminders with you about how to not over indulge and end up feeling bloated. ~ Davina Sandground


Pre-planning means that you always eat before you go to a holiday party. Make sure you have a healthy snack before you head out to the party. An apple with some almonds or hummus with vegetables will both do the trick. If you know you cannot eat certain foods at this party, make sure you have a mini meal before attending. You may want to have a small salad with protein or even a small bowl of cooked vegetables with tahini drizzled on top to keep your blood sugar balanced. (I always eat a healthy snack before I go to a party so I’m not ravenous when I get there).
It is okay to make the choice to indulge once in a while, knowing the next day you may feel the after-effects but you need to know exactly how to get back on track.

So what to do the day after?


Make sure that eating over the next few weeks is clean eating. Making it through the holidays is about moderation. If you have a lot of celebration dinners and office parties it’s OK to indulge a little but be sure to “get back on the clean eating train”  at the very next meal.
Come back to the basic principles of clean eating. Eat fresh vegetables with lean protein. Avoid processed foods and drink plenty of water. Start your day off with a high protein breakfast like a two egg vegetable omelet so that you begin the day with balanced blood sugar. This will make it less likely that you’ll crave sugar and simple carbs.


Take 2 cups of room temperature water, and add the juice from 1⁄2 a lemon, a pinch of cayenne (optional), and 1 teaspoon of raw honey or a couple drops of stevia (use stevia if you are on a yeast cleansing diet).


Add 2 tablespoons of cranberry concentrate (I like Knudsen’s brand) into 6 ounces of room temperature water or seltzer if desired.


Add 1 tablespoon of chlorophyll to 12 ounces of water with the juice of one lemon.  Note: you can buy chlorophyll at any natural food store or Whole Foods or Amazon.

When you consume more sugar and alcohol than normal your immune system can become compromised, so it’s extremely important to give it a boost. When you get exercise your lymphatic system is stimulated (in effect, you are its pump). The more you move, the more effective the lymphatic system works in keeping you healthy and warding off infections. Plan your exercise. We’re all busy but make it a priority. You’ll always feel great afterwards!


95% of your serotonin (the happy hormone) is manufactured in your digestive system.

80% of your immune system is manufactured in your digestive system.

Focusing on your digestive system is the gateway to being healthy AND happy!

Try not to abuse your digestive system. Treat it with kindness and it will serve you well.

I hope these few tips inspire and help you over the coming weeks. Remember, life can get crazy so you have to take care of yourself or soon you’ll be running on empty. Don’t let that happen to you.
I wish you a joyful holiday, peaceful end of year and a healthy 2014!

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