• Nicole Shaw

GRATITUDE, NOURISHMENT & BOUNDARIES

Its official, the holidays are among us! There are so many great things about this time of year, however there are a few things we let take over that might not be good for our health. Here are some items to remember and to incorporate to make sure you are feeling your best and healthiest this time of year.


1. PRACTICING GRATITUDE (and not only during the holidays!)

Practicing gratitude is an important practice that should be done daily. Its a way of reframing and allows your brain to rewire itself and be more positive. Here are some scientifically proven benefits of practicing gratitude:

  • Gratitude opens the door to more relationships. Not only does saying “thank you” constitute good manners, but showing appreciation can make or break someones day. What do you have to lose to be kind? So whether you thank a stranger for holding the door or send a thank-you note to that colleague who helped you with a project, acknowledging other people’s contributions can lead to new opportunities.

  • Gratitude improves psychological health. Gratitude reduces a multitude of toxic emotions, from envy and resentment to frustration and regret. Robert Emmons, a leading gratitude researcher, has conducted multiple studies on the link between gratitude and well-being. His research confirms that gratitude effectively increases happiness and reduces depression.

  • Grateful people sleep better. Writing in a gratitude journal improves sleep, according to a 2011 study published in Applied Psychology: Health and Well-Being. Spend just 15 minutes jotting down a few grateful sentiments before bed, and you may sleep better and longer.

  • Gratitude improves self-esteem. A 2014 study published in the Journal of Applied Sport Psychology found that gratitude increased athletes’ self-esteem, an essential component to optimal performance. Other studies have shown that gratitude reduces social comparisons. Rather than becoming resentful toward people who have more money or better jobs—a major factor in reduced self-esteem—grateful people are able to appreciate other people’s accomplishments.




2. INCORPORATING HEALTHY SIDE DISHES

Look, I love mashed potatoes and pie as much as the next person, but its important to stay balanced! Here are some healthy side dishes you can incorporate into your holiday feast!




Roasted Cauliflower with Green Olives and Pine Nuts

Roasting cauliflower caramelizes the florets, making them supersweet. Tossed with crunchy pine nuts and salty olives and capers, this dish is perfect with roasted chicken or steamed fish. See Recipe Here»



Tricolor Roasted Carrots and Parsnips

This gorgeous, lightly sweet salad is terrific with roasted chicken and great for a buffet. See Recipe Here»





Kale & Apple Salad with Pancetta and Candied Pecans

Kale is a marvelous green for salads because it’s hearty enough to handle hefty ingredients like nuts and meat, plus it doesn’t wilt as it sits on the table.See Recipe Here »




For more delicious healthy recipes check out Food and Wine’s article: https://www.foodandwine.com/slideshows/healthy-thanksgiving-side-dishes?slide=112228#112228



3. SETTING HEALTHY BOUNDARIES

I feel like this one is not talked about enough, non the less- it is an important one. This is what setting healthy boundaries during the holidays (or just in general) looks like:

  • Saying “no” without guilt

  • Asking for what you want or need

  • Taking Care of yourself

  • Saying “yes” because you want to, not out of obligation

  • Feeling safe to express difficult emotions and have disagreements

  • Being treated as an equal

  • Being in tune with your own feelings


Implementing boundaries can better your self esteem, conserve emotional energy and creates more independence.


At the end of the day, the holidays are all about coming together and reflecting on the important things in life. One of the most important things in life is our health. I know if you incorporate these three things ( gratitude, nourishing food, and healthy boundaries) this holiday season will be the best yet.

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