Since this is the most stressful time of the year, I want to help you out a little in the brain department.
Now let’s be honest, spending time with family can be overwhelming and downright unenjoyable at times leading to massive amounts of stress.
And what happens when you’re stressed?
Your body goes through its nutrient reserves like nobody’s business to compensate for all the cooking, running around, and annoying comments from Aunt Martha about how you should be married by now, making you feel depleted.
What’s even worse is that when we are depleted we tend to overeat, which creates even more physical and emotional stress.
Then we beat ourselves up for having too much pumpkin pie and embark on a detox the next day.
If this sounds familiar to you, trust me, I get it. I’ve been there a million times and I’m here to tell you it doesn’t have to be this way.
So here’s what you can do to actually enjoy yourself this year:
- Balance blood sugar and cravings with protein and fat. The amino acids, vitamins and minerals in protein act as a barrier to stress. Of particular importance for brain health are zinc and vitamin B-6 found in red meat and turkey, both of which promote optimal neurotransmitter production. And let’s not forget the importance of medium chain triglycerides found in healthy fats such as coconut oil, which have been found to alleviate and/or regress cognitive deficits associated with aging and neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s.
- Stay in your routine. Get up and exercise like you always do, eat a proteinaceous breakfast, and eat again before the big t-day dinner. Switching up your routine makes the day more fun too. This year I’m doing a power yoga class with a live DJ. Trust me this works.
- Relax. Ok, so you have some pumpkin pie with ice cream and then maybe another slice. So what? Take a deep breath and enjoy it. Deep breathing tricks the nervous system into thinking it’s relaxed and allows you to completely digest your food. And if you’re going to indulge, celebrate it. Tomorrow is a new day. One thing’s for sure, if you follow steps 1 and 2, you’re less likely to go for that second slice.
Have a wonderful Thanksgiving everyone! I’m so grateful for you!