How to Have a Stress-Free Holiday Eating Experience

I wrote a variation of this post last year, but I think it’s worth reiterating because I know it’s something that’s probably on most of your minds right now – I know it’s something I’ve been asked about by most of my AnneTheRD clients! How do you enjoy the holidays in a way that embraces the deliciousness of the meals/parties but also leaves you feeling good, both physically and mentally? How can the holiday eating experience be joyful, not stressful?

So many websites and magazine articles tell us how to avoid this and deny ourselves that around the holidays, turning situations that should be fun into stressful internal battles of will. I saw a couple blog posts recently recommending things like “weigh yourself every day!” or “wear your tightest clothes so you will be uncomfortable and won’t eat much!” or “avoid anything with cream!” or “only make/bring food you hate!” Seriously?! This is the advice being given out now? All things that will make people feel extremely guilty, unhappy in their bodies, and like food is the enemy? That makes me really sad. (See also: Why You Should Throw Away Your Scale)

So – to counteract that advice, here are a few of my tips for enjoying what the holiday season has to offer food and drink wise – without stressing yourself out, feeling guilty, or waking up with sugar or alcohol hangovers.

How to Have a Stress-Free Holiday Eating Experience

1) Place nothing off limits.

Yes. I realize this is counter to most of the advice out there. But for the mindful and intuitive eating approach to work, you have to truly allow yourself to have whatever you want, and without guilt. When a food is off limits it becomes MUCH more appealing. And if guilt is involved and you DO end up eating that food, the “screw it, I’ve already had a bite and ruined everything so I’m going to eat the entire party and have a thousand cocktails” mentality appears. Give yourself permission to get pleasure from food. It’s okay! Food is supposed to be fun, not stressful. Remember?

how to have a stress free holiday eating experience

That said…

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Weekend Adventures


Hey friends – and for my U.S. readers, happy Thanksgiving week! Matt and I push off for Pittsburgh tomorrow – looking forward to a little relaxing and lots of good food. We had another low key weekend here at home. On Saturday, Matt was playing in an all day soccer tournament for one of his men’s leagues in the area, so I entertained myself. The Continue Reading …

Vegan Kale Artichoke Dip Recipe

vegan kale artichoke dip

I know I just shared my best healthy Thanksgiving recipes (<—check out that post if you missed it) earlier this week – but here’s one more to add to the mix. Introducing a vegan Kale Artichoke Dip – rich, creamy, and savory, but without being heavy or a total dairy bomb. This recipe is this month’s McCormick partnership creation (last month’s: Continue Reading …

Healthy Egg Salad Sandwich + Recent Workouts


Hello, hello! In case you missed it and are working on planning your menu for next week, check out my post from yesterday: Best Healthy Thanksgiving Recipes. In the meantime, here’s another favorite healthy and easy lunch idea: egg salad with a twist! The trick is the same as my tuna salad: mix the egg with some very ripe avocado and a big old Continue Reading …

Best Healthy Thanksgiving Recipes

pumpkin bean dip 4

With many of you starting to plan your Thanksgiving feasts, I thought now was the perfect time to round up the best healthy Thanksgiving recipes that I’ve shared here on the blog over the years. Enjoy – and please let me know if you try any of them! I’d love to see photos. :) Best Healthy Thanksgiving Recipes ~ ~ Appetizers ~ Continue Reading …

GOTR Practice 5k + Today’s Packed Lunch


Hi friends! It’s been all about the running over here lately – the weather has been so lovely! I was working from home yesterday and took advantage of the beautiful day by taking an afternoon run break with my friend Karen. It was so warm in the sun that I met up with her in shorts and a tank. Shorts and a tank, in November?! Crazy, right? Continue Reading …

Weekend Trail Run at Burke Lake Park

burke lake park trail running

Hi friends – before I get going on today’s post I just want to say that I’m thinking of everyone in Paris after this weekend’s sad events. Lots of love from the USA. <3 -- Matt and I had a low key weekend here in DC – one of the big highlights of which was a trail run out at Burke Lake Park. I’ve only run at Burke Lake Park once before, Continue Reading …

Virtual Coffee Date

virtual coffee date

One of my favorite features on other blogs is virtual coffee date posts. Basically – what I would tell you if we were having a coffee/tea date today. It’s always fun to see behind the curtain a little bit and to hear what’s going on in people’s lives outside of the day to day madness. So, grab a drink and cozy up – let’s chat. Except that actually, Continue Reading …

Garmin 225 vs. Garmin 910xt GPS Watch Review

washington lee high school track sunrise

You guys – this morning’s sunrise was insane. I was kind of bummed I saw it from the track instead of down on the trail along the water (much better views), but glad I was up and enjoying it at all! This morning’s track workout was straightforward: a 24 minute tempo run building in speed. I ran the whole thing with one of my track buddies so we Continue Reading …

Why You Should Care What’s in Your Feminine Products

lola tampon review

Thank you to LOLA for sponsoring this post. Okay. Any guy readers out there? Yeah, you – all 3 of you – I’d recommend skipping this one. You’ve been warned. ;) Do you guys remember when I wrote a couple months ago about how I’ve been working to change all my personal care/beauty products to more natural versions? (If you missed that post, here Continue Reading …