How Not to Feel Like Crap by New Year’s

to-do-list-smallHow’s your stress level these days?

Are you obsessing over the busy-ness of the holiday season? With gifts to purchase (and wrap), parties to plan (and attend), and guests to entertain it’s no wonder that for many of us the holidays are the most stressful time of the year.

And that doesn’t even cover the food !

Tables laden with holidays feasts, and endless gluten-filled, sugary treats – how will you survive?

It’s a common refrain from many of my clients – along with saying this:

“I don’t want to feel like crap by January 1!”

Are you wondering how you can rein in your appetite when so many temptations abound? No question, the holidays are stressful, with so much to do and so little time.

Even more worrisome, is that stress plays a HUGE compounding role for just about any health concern you might have – especially your digestive health!

With that in mind, here are my 3 favorite tips for managing your stress during the holiday season, so you don’t feel like crap come New Year’s!

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Is It Time For You to H.A.L.T.?

Frustrated woman waiting for a phone call in Christmas kitchenThe holidays are upon us, and for many it’s the most challenging time of the year.

The heavy emphasis on love and joy, family togetherness and endless festivities can easily take you down, special diet or not.

Worse still, what if the holidays find you alone?

What if you’re dealing with a recent break-up, an illness, or worse still – a death in the family?

Can you relate?

While there’s no question these things are difficult any time of the year, the pain and heartache increases ten-fold during the month of December.

Yet the bigger issue is this: when you’re up against life’s challenges, do you still find time to take proper care of yourself?

How do you deal with those typical stressors we call ‘Life’, that will inevitably come your way?

This is where some mental gymnastics come into play – in the form of a self-coaching technique known as H.A.L.T.

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Is It Time For You to H.A.L.T.?

Frustrated woman waiting for a phone call in Christmas kitchenDuring the holidays, there’s a lot of emphasis on love and joy, family togetherness and endless festivities.

But what if the holidays find you alone?

What if you’re dealing with a recent break-up, or illness, or worse still – a death in the family?

Perhaps you can relate?

While there’s no question these things are difficult any time of the year, the pain and heartache increases ten-fold during the month of December.

When you’re up against life’s challenges, do you still find time to take proper care of yourself?

I experienced this first-hand in the past two weeks, when my mother spent the weekend before Christmas in the hospital. Even though her caregiver stayed with her, I still made numerous trips back and forth from home.

I didn’t feel like cooking. (There was little time to shop).

The holiday cookies I had planned to bake were put on hold. I found myself eating on the run – grabbing a quick snack from the fridge (or cupboard) to tide me over. It being the holidays, there were plenty of sweets on hand so my choices weren’t always the best (even though they met my gluten-free, dairy-free, sugar-free criteria).

While sugary anything is very easy to come by this time of year, it’s certainly NOT what you or I, or anyone needs during times of stress.

Yet, there it was – comfort food that fit a need.

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What’s It Worth To You?

Newborn baby and his father's hand - care and safety conceptLast weekend, my husband and I had an unexpected wake-up call.

Either earlier in the evening, or while we slept – someone entered our garage and stole from us. Among other things, they took my husband’s expensive mountain bike, his wallet (bad habit to keep that in your car) – and a set of house keys (also a bad habit).

This is what greeted us the next morning. But I didn’t realize the keys were missing until much later in the day and it totally unnerved me – to think that a stranger now had the ability to enter our home!

After a sleepless night, I called a locksmith first thing the following morning, and was lucky to find someone who could fit us into his busy schedule right away.

Talk about a sigh of relief!

Unfortunately, in the weeks leading up to Christmas and holiday shopping – this also meant forking over an unexpected $375. But you know what? Even if it cost twice as much, I still wouldn’t have hesitated. And here’s why:

When it comes to my family’s safety and security, I can’t put a price on that. Can you?

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Gift Ideas for the Gluten-Free Foodie

Lebkuchen3lHave you started your Christmas shopping yet? Perhaps you’re still compiling a holiday Wish-List, comprised of things you’d most like to have?

Or perhaps you’re wondering what to give that special someone, who happens to love good food and spending quality time in the kitchen?

Either way, I’ve got you covered.

In the spirit of supporting your digestive health through optimal nutrition, I’m sharing my absolute favorite Gift Ideas for the foodie in your life (gluten-free or not) – and yes, that person could be YOU!

 

Small Kitchen Appliances

For years already, my guiding principle has been “It’s better to buy well than often.”

Even though small kitchen appliances are often the priciest category, the items I’ve included here are absolutely worth the investment. Ultimately, you’re really investing in yourself – and I’m sure you’re totally worth every penny!

Then there’s this: when you choose the one thing that is most important to you (and you choose well) – you won’t be disappointed.

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How Not to Feel Like Crap by New Year’s

Eat Less Sugar on Paper Note with texture backgroundHow’s your stress level these days?

Are you obsessing over the holidays? Wondering how you’ll survive?

I hear you! It’s a common refrain, for sure.

Another thing I’m hearing from my clients is this:

“I don’t want to feel like crap by January 1!”

Perhaps you’re also wondering how you can rein in your appetite when so many temptations abound? Let’s face it – the holidays can be extremely stressful, with so much to do and so little time.

Plus stress is a huge compounding issue for any health concern you might have – especially your digestive health!

So today I’m sharing 3 of my favorite tips for managing your stress during the holiday season, so you don’t feel like crap come New Year’s!

[Read more…]

What’s On Your Table This Week?

PUMPKIN PIE4Are you stressing over your holiday menu?

Perhaps you have the basics worked out already. But what about dessert?

No worries, I’ve got you covered with a special treat – just in time for your big feast. Even better, this Raw Pumpkin Pie allows you to literally have your ‘cake’ (or pie, in this case) and eat it too!

Truth be told, I didn’t grow up with pie.

In fact, I didn’t grow up with many of the traditional dishes we associate with the Thanksgiving feast – thing like bread stuffing and sweet potatoes or yams, never made it into the holiday table.

Did I grow up deprived?

Not in the least! As with most families, we had our own wonderful traditions, many of which have been carried forward to the next generation. (Things like my fabulous Turkey Stuffing with Rice & Pecans, which I shared with you last week).

As we marry or form new partnerships of our own, other traditions sometimes fall by the wayside – as we meld different families and different traditions.

Either way it’s all good! [Read more…]

How to Survive A Holiday Feast

Whole Homemade Thanksgiving TurkeyHave you checked your calendar?

Thanksgiving is just a few days away, and  the rest of the holiday season is close on it’s heals!

If you’re new to the gluten-free lifestyle, you might have decided that all this is more of a challenge than you can handle.

I absolutely get it.

It could very well be a challenge.

After all, it’s not just Thanksgiving you need to worry about. In the weeks to come, your senses will be assaulted with treats of every kind, beginning with the holiday turkey and all the traditional side dishes.

To help you survive the big day – should you decide to go for it – here’s what you need to know:

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Mimics, Marauders & Masqueraders

Tragicomic Theater Masks. Sad and Smile masksDo you sometimes feel like there’s a lot of drama going on in your body?

With Halloween just two weeks away, it seems like the perfect time to explore this drama in greater depth, since these so-called mimics, marauders and masqueraders are present 24/7.

Yes, you read that correctly.

You see, even though your body is beautifully designed to deal with these pranksters at a moment’s notice, sometimes your immune system does make mistakes.

Or rather, we think of them as mistakes, but in all actuality, your immune system is simply doing what it’s designed to do.

And that is to protect you.

So, what’s really happening here is that some of these invaders are actually very clever,  mimicking or masquerading as something other than what they really are.

And the immune system gets confused.

Let me explain.

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A Sugar-Free Christmas? Bah Humbug!

Lebkuchen3lA couple of years ago, I decided to cut back on my intake of refined sugar.

And I’ve shared my various successes baking with alternate sweeteners here and here.

Of course, there are lots of reasons why you might want to consume less sugar than the Standard American Diet (aka SAD).

However, if you’re experiencing any kind of digestive distress, or chronic illness, then sugar is one of the first things I’d recommend you eliminate.

After gluten, of course!

(Both gluten and sugar, along with dairy, are considered the top three most inflammatory foods).

So, that’s reason #1.

Here’s another reason to eliminate sugar: a yeast or bacterial overgrowth, such as Candida or SIBO (Small Intestine Bacterial Overgrowth).

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