Stay healthy and happy this holiday season.
I know how frustrating it can be to keep your health a priority through the holiday season.
There is so much delicious tempting food around, social situations and expectations from society to indulge.
Often out health goals get pushed back to 'start in January'.
And what about our children?
The pressure parents are put under to feed their child food full of chemicals, saturated fats and animal products can feel overwhelming.
But does it have to be this way?
Stay a priority!
I believe health of ourselves and our families are extremely important, and something which we should keep a priority no matter what time of year it is.
But I also believe we should be enjoying our lives, and not feel like we are 'missing out'
So here are my top 5 tips on keeping yourself and your family happy and healthy through this winter and party season.
And furthermore, I am offering a 50% off my personal coaching service for 12 weeks over this winter, to help give you personal guidance in enjoying a delicious festive period whilst still reaching your health goals!
These tips are based on how I maintain health with my particular lifestyle with my daughter. Which is a Raw Vegan, and high carbohydrate lifestyle.
These suggestions are to help even those who are not completely raw and so may contain cooked food options.
For some people I know that health is a journey, and transition, and so its not a case of Raw or nothing.
Include as much fresh, ripe, whole raw food as possible. And if you do eat some cooked food it is not the end of the world.
Just go for the unprocessed, whole food options and keep eating more and more fresh, raw foods.
1. Learn and teach your children about healthy eating.
Knowledge is power.
And taking charge of our health involves learning not only what foods and lifestyle habits will benefit us and which won't, but WHY.
Why aren't animal products health promoting?
What happens to our bodies when we consume them?
(Nutritionfacts.org can be a great resource for this)
What happens to our bodies when we consume ripe fresh whole food?
What is in junk food which is so health compromising?
And once you have enlightened yourself with this information you will have reason behind your actions.
You will have more understanding and motive behind your choice to make the more positive health choices.
And once you have taught yourself, teach your children!
Children are more intelligent, reasonable and understanding than we often give them credit for.
They deserve to know what is in the food they are eating and what it is doing to their beautiful growing bodies.
And more often than not, children do not want to hurt themselves with food if they are given the information to make that decision. And especially if they are being taught to love and respect themselves, whilst being brought up in a self esteem promoting environment (see Tip 2.).
My daughter for example see's sweets the same way I do, as nutrition-less balls of harmful chemicals that she doesn't want to put in her body. We acknowledge that , sure they may taste good, but so do medjoul dates. So we might as well just eat the medjoul dates.
And in addition to the health implications of our choices, I recommend learning about the other impacts our choices have on the world. In particular in relation to animal welfare and environmental destruction.
Tip 2. Love yourself
I believe very strongly in the benefit of inner work in all areas of life.
And if you want to achieve your health goals inner work can help with that too.
By inner work I mean unraveling old emotions, forgiving the past and letting go of the old.
Practicing gratitude, mindfulness, trust in yourself and learning self acceptance.
When you do these practices daily and they become part of your perspective it can break the cycle of self sabotage.
Often we 'cheat' on diets because they may be insufficient calorie and nutrient wise, but also because we sabotage our efforts. And the reason we often do this is because we have a deep rooted belief that we "don't deserve" the health and happiness we want.
To over come this I highly recommend looking into the teachings I have included in The Happiness Programme.
These include Mindfulness, Forgiveness, Openness, How you are always loveable, Self- acceptance, Gratitude, Grounding, Trust, Following your heart, Finding you Passions and the gift of giving.
I also recommend the 'Mirror Work' of Louise Hay and the 'Shadow Work' of Teal Swan with this aspect of self improvement.
Find out more about The Happiness Programme for adults
Once you practice loving yourself completely this spills out into other areas of our life, including what we fuel our bodies with.
Nourishing your soul drives you to WANT to nourish your body too.
And so eating health promoting foods becomes a more pleasurable, joyous and even spiritual experience.
Also, the more self acceptance we develop, the less we care about what other people think of us and our choices.
We no longer seek the approval of others because we approve of ourselves.
And so this is something I recommend doing with and for children too!
I have created a Kid Happiness Programme which teaches these same self improvement practices through fun interactive worksheets, daily practices, exercises and affirmations.
When children become more mindful, grateful and begin to love themselves completely, they also WANT to be loving and kind to their physical self.
And so when this is combined with the knowledge of health promoting foods, a strong positive role model passionate about health and a not overly critical world influence, children are likely to take pride in nourishing themselves.
And healthy eating as a family becomes effortless.
Find out more about The Happiness Programme for Kids
Tip 3. Make it yourself!
I ask you to let go of the idea of 'Convenience foods'.
When we let companies make our foods for us to save us time or effort, we are most often doing so at the expense of our health.
For example, shop bought smoothies and juices may be better than fizzy drinks, but they are usually pasteurised and therefore the living goodness has been killed off. or they have added preservatives in it to improve it's shelf-life. Also you can't guarantee the fruits and veggies used are of a high quality, or even ripe.
You are so much better off making smoothies and juices with all the fresh ingredients at home.
And so you can apply this to all foods and begin making your own healthy versions of you favorite food items.
Instead of shop bought cakes, begin making your own at home.
Substitute the refined processed ingredients for nutritious ones.
For example, instead of refined sugar and butter, use soaked blended dates and nut butters.
Or even make your own low fat raw options such as the raw cakes recipes I have in my earlier blog posts (and these came be made into bite size portions too), if you don't feel great on raw gourmet, as I don't.
Making delicious vegan, home-made, alternatives to junk food with fresh nutritious (and if you can raw) ingredients helps hugely with taking healthy eating out into social situations.
Instead of ice-cream make banana or mango nice cream.
Instead of cookies make bliss balls.
instead of crisps make dehydrated sweet potato/courgette/tomato crisps (with home-meade celery salt) or raw crackers, on low in the oven, or dehydrator.
Instead of chocolate bars make carob raw nut and fruit bars.
Instead of sugary juice drinks, have homemade fruit and veg juices or smoothies.
My daughter and I, for example, don't care if other people are eating 'yummy' foods, as long as we have yummy alternatives to have.
So if we ever go out to a party or even to the park, I always have a big bag of healthy food to bring.
Lots of fresh fruits and veggies that we like.
And if it's a party where there is likely to be cakes and things, I will pre-make a dense raw cake alternative to bring so my daughter gets to 'join in' without compromising her health.
Tip 4. Make it fun!
Oh this is one of the best bits about embarking on a new adventure!
And the health adventure is no different!
Get excited about all the amazing new foods you are going to try!
All the delicious succulent fruits you've never even heard of let alone tasted!
Get excited for how fabulous your body, your mind and your spirit is going to feel!
This is key when getting children into healthy eating too.
Passion and excitement are contagious and children are inspired by enthusiasm.
This is also a great time to build the bonds with your children over exploring this fresh new nutritious world!
So, as a family, look up new recipes to try.
Get in the kitchen together and get your hands dirty.
Let your kids join in when looking up new food ideas to try, when shopping for ingredients, when growing foods, when preparing the food.
Often the more involved a child is in the process the less strange these foods become, they also feel important in the process, they learn and they feel a sense of pride over their creations.
Try out fun art works with fruit and veggies, like the Jack-o-lantern peppers me and my daughter made last Halloween- just for fun.
Smoothie night - Dedicate one evening to having a smoothie tasting session, perhaps your children could invite their frinds too!
Get some fun drinking glasses and straws and let the kids make and try out different recipes.
Laugh if it tastes horrible, and enjoy the times you get it right.
Make a collection, as a family, of you favorite recipes and even make your own personal recipe book together.
It doesn't have to be anything fancy, just handwritten out recipes in a folder or stuck in a scrap book.
You could also go foraging as a family too!
This time of year (Autumn/Winter) where I live in the UK we have wild walnuts and apples in abundance. Me and my daughter love going and collecting them as well as seeing where the food comes from. It brings a greater appreciation and an excitement to the food; much like growing you own does (which I recommend too for getting children into healthy eating).
After we have been foraging, my daughter cant wait to eat the foods she has collected.
Tip 5. The Hierarchy
I see food as a hierarchy or a ladder, which the most optimal health choices at the top, and the least optimal at the bottom.
1.Fresh juices, fresh whole fruit and vegetables, high carb low fat soups/sauces/dressings/smoothies. (higher fat whole fruit and dressings included in moderation).
2. Dense and dehydrated raw foods (low fat cakes and dates), starchy raw foods such as corn.
3. Steamed vegetables (including potatoes).
4. Grain based and other whole cooked plant foods (with moderate whole foods fat intake). Some raw gourmet foods.
5. Whole food plant based cooked with oils/salt/sugar, most raw gourmet.
6. Highly processed foods with chemical additives/salt/oil/sugar, fried foods, high fat processed foods, animal products (meat, fish, dairy, eggs).
So what I do is start at the type of food you are currently eating and try to climb up the ladder to a healthier option/ version of what the food is.
So this could simply be just removing the salt/sugar/oil from a recipe or upgrading the ingredients to whole food options.
Or I use the hierarchy to offer food to my daughter (although I never offer animal products due to ethical reasons).
I start at the top, offering fresh whole raw foods.
The if she doesn't want that, I'll offer a smoothie or a sauce.
If she doesn't want that i will go to the more dense or dehydrated raw foods.
If she doesn't want that I may go to the starchy raw foods...
And so on down the line.
And I hardly ever even get to cooked food, and I'd never get to the processed foods. Especially as I have put in the time and effort to find raw foods and recipes my daughter loves.
And there you have it!
And these are only 5!
I could write a book on all the ways you can become healthier and happier, especially in relation to bringing health to the whole family.
In fact this is what I will be working on over the next few years!
50% off Winter coaching
I know how tight money can be over the Holiday months so I am offering a half price deal on personal one on one coaching to keep you and your family making the healthiest choices over this time.
The coaching is for a 12 week period covering Halloween, Christmas, New year 2016 and the beginning of January 2017.
Each session will be 1 hour long and at a reduced cost of £50* per session instead of £100 each.
*This is a limited time offer.
I recommend at least one session per week, or two sessions a week if you'd like a more intense guidance and coaching.
Payment is taken 4 sessions in advanced.
I only have space for 3-5 new people at the moment so get in touch soon if you'd like to take part in this offer!
Learn more about my Raw Food/Healthy Eating coaching service
Book you FREE 30 minute phone or Skype call with me to discuss what I can do for you!