Hello dear readers! The holidays are coming up and with that, the typical candies, cookies, cakes, and other tempting sweets start cropping up all over the place. It is a huge part of our culture to associate the holidays by celebrating with lots of sweets and alcohol – unfortunately not great news for your skin! I’ve learned over the years how to not backslide to far into breaking out and generally feeling unhealthy. Here are my best tips on finding your limits and eating healthy around the holidays.
Choose To Not Over Indulge.
This is probably the number one thing each of us can do to avoid causing new breakouts. One cookie? A piece of peppermint dark chocolate? Ok. But eating six cookies, seconds of cake, and hovering over the entire box of chocolate until it’s gone? Breakouts, y’all! I’m really not trying to say this to be cruel (trust me, I only WISH I could eat this much sweets!), but this is how the body works. More than 25-50 grams of processed sugar in one day and you’re looking at a wave of inflammation that products alone can just not fight. I am all about enjoy oneself, but bring in some mindful of how many sweets you’ve been eating. You’ll start to notice how much your skin responds and find that ultimately beautiful threshold where you can eat a little without feeling the consequences on your skin.
Bring healthy snacks to the party.
In support of avoiding overindulgence, it’s important that you have some healthy options to go to when all those inflammatory sweets are staring you in the face. It’s very difficult to make healthy choices if the only options available at the snack table is full of sweets. At my family xmas, there is usually crudite (celery/carrots/cucumbers), hummus, salsa, nut crackers, olives, nuts – you get the idea! When I’m filling up on those goodies, it’s hard to be hungry enough to keep eating shortbread cookies and caramel popcorn.
Limit your alcohol consumption.
Keep to no more than 2 drinks in one evening and have a glass of water with each drink. Alcohol is a poison that has a terrible affect on your immune system and skin. Too much will cause your skin to go crazy at a level that cannot be reached by products. Sweetened mixers also often contain high fructose corn syrup that makes the skin go CRAZY! Stick with wines or light cocktails with real fruit juice or sparkling water. Enjoy yourself and help your skin heal at the same time. And if you’re really committed, avoid drinking altogether.
Offer to make some healthy sides for dinner.
People often ask me what I eat during the holidays. Honestly, the sides have always been my favorite part! Brussels sprouts, mashed potatoes (no milk or cream, please!), corn, and homemade stuffing are the things I’ve always looked forward to the most! Over the years I’ve looked to remove the nasty stuff that comes with those like milk, conventional butter, and the like. It still tastes great and I feel amazing about my skin in the days that follow.
REMEMBER: One bad meal can cause breakouts and redness that last for days. Yikes. If your lapse in food or drink judgment is bad enough, you’re inevitably going to see breakouts and redness on your skin for days if not weeks. Is all that drinking and eating really worth having pimples and residual pigmentation that can last long after the meal is done? It’s also important not to judge by how other people are eating – they may not be trying to actively heal their body or skin.
The other thing I’ve noticed over the years of holidays and vacations is that when I’ve indulged during those times, I’m still inclined to eat unhealthy when I return home. Those old patterns start creeping up, our sugar beast starts rearing it’s unhealthy head! For this reason, I enjoy some things I don’t eat at home but for the most part I still eat generally healthy when I travel. I find that it helps my continuous support of healthy skin and it’s much easier to get back on track when I return home. I hope all this real time advice helps to provide some perspective on eating healthier during the holidays. Enjoy yourselves and most of all – enjoy staying skin healthy!
-Elise May, CN + LE
”The Skin Nutritionist”