6 Tips For Truly Fun & Joyful Holiday Dinners and Parties

Plus ayurvedic tips on how to shake off the next day hangover

holiday_partyBetween now and the New Year’s eve it is very likely that you will be going to a party, family dinner or hosting a celebration event at your home. Events and parties are supposed to be fun but more often than not they end up stressing everyone out.  The host is stressing over preparing food, entertainment, and setting everything up. Guests stress over getting perfect gifts for the host, looking their best, getting to the party on time, and getting along with other guests. Plus most people stress over not looking their best, choosing the perfect outfit, and not over-indulging at the dinner table.

Holiday celebrations don’t have to be stressful or bring on unwanted pounds if you follow a few simple tips. They can and should be fun and leave us feeling inspired, connected, and nourished!

Below I want to share a few tips that will help you to feel less stressed, to have more fun, and to effectively ward off bloating and heavy feeling the next day.

1. Focus on the things that really matter

It is easy to get focused on the details of putting together a perfect party and get sidetracked from the things that really matter. What is your big WHY of bringing people together? Most likely it is to have fun, re-connect, and to celebrate friends and family. Invest time and effort in the things that will help you move towards the feelings that you want to experience. Instead of spending the whole time in the kitchen, maybe it would make more sense to simplify the menu and spend more time with family and friends.

As a guest you can also make a big difference in the way the event feels to you and the host. One of the best things that you can do as a guest is to enjoy the party. Don’t complain about food or give advice to the host the night of the party. Don’t forget to say that you had a fun time at the end and to thank the host.

If we feel good, we can make everyone feel better with a hug and a smile. Be generous and sincere on compliments. Don’t judge. If you have a food sensitivity or special needs take care of them in advance, maybe bring a dish if you are not sure you will have something suitable to eat.

2. Clearly visualize how you want to feel during the dinner and after

holiday-partyv2Go through your upcoming party/dinner mentally. Pay attention to what emotions come up when you think about the event. Do you feel stressed, resentful, guilty, tense or excited, happy, and joyful? Our feelings and expectations determine the way the event will turn out. The good thing is that you can consciously prepare yourself and to ensure the most positive happy outcome. The universe works in a way that whatever we focus on tends to happens. So if you focus on things that you are afraid of or things that you are not looking towards to, they will come into your life. If your body fills up with resistance and you get an influx of negative emotions thinking about an upcoming food coma, most likely you will feel heavy and sluggish after a meal. I always imagine myself feeling very relaxed and somewhat indifferent to dessert. If we fear dessert or any other food, it will have a lot of control over us. If we are indifferent to it, nothing bad happens.

Imagine being faced with temptations, asked uncomfortable questions, maybe not eating on a schedule you are used to. In your visualization, see yourself going through the whole night with grace, ease, and deep breaths.

Remember: your body is not your enemy, it is your only life long partner. She deserves love and respect. She deserves celebration, beautiful food made with love, not fast fed. She deserves to have fun.

If you are not eating certain foods due to a food sensitivity, don’t think of it as restricting food. Instead think of it as preserving energy that would go to digesting difficult foods for healing. The food that you might be craving will be there later when your digestive system is healed.

3. Be an inspiration, not an accusation

If you eat healthy and other people start bombarding you with questions, don’t take it as an insult. Your reaction to those questions will determine how you feel emotionally for the rest of the night and what that other person thinks about healthy eating. You don’t want to feel abused, misunderstood, and unsupported. There is no reason to make another person think that healthy eating is about restriction, control, and no joy. Instead it would be great if you can feel as an inspirational guide, as you are nourishing your body with what works best for it, and inspire someone else to explore healthy eating. You can help another person to make a positive change by sharing your story. Don’t lecture or look down upon anyone not following your rules. The only way to create change is by inspiring people to experiment and explore new ways, it is never done through force.

4. Make a party a testament to slow living

strawberrytreeSlow movement is all about savoring life. Take time to cook food enjoying the process without rushing, eat food mindfully, enjoy a slow, not rushed conversation without phones and email distractions. Slowing down and being aware really helps to enjoy the moment.

Enjoy the connection with other people not just the food. Make social events about being social. When you are absorbed in an exciting conversation, you will feel nourished by positive emotions and won’t have to load up on too many sweets.

5. Keep your diet simple and light the day after the feast

Agni, the digestive power, is like any other muscle – it needs a break to restore after a challenging workout. If you push yourself really hard one day, you will have less muscle strength available to you the next day. Marathoners don’t run again the day after the marathon to allow their muscles to restore. Have a day with light meal the day after the party so your digestion restores itself. A light meal day does not mean that you have to starve yourself. It means sticking to easy-to-digest foods and simple food combinations. A sample light day can be: oatmeal for breakfast if you are hungry or skip breakfast and have just herbal tea, lentil soup with a little bit of rice and cilantro for lunch, a baked apple for a snack, a vegetable stew or another soup for dinner.

6. Help your natural detoxification mechanism

If you notice any signs of indigestion such as gas, bloating, burping, acid reflux, constipation, and feeling tired after eating, it means that you overloaded your stomach. Be kind to yourself and help the natural detoxification processes. Triphala is a wonderful age-proven science supported bowel tonic. It is not a laxative like many over the counter detox packs. It is popular in ayurveda due to its unique ability to gently cleanse and detoxify the system while simultaneously replenishing and nourishing it, this traditional formula supports the proper functions of the digestive, circulatory, respiratory and genitourinary systems. Tea can be another good option – any mixture of Licorice root, Cardamom seed, Fennel, Coriander, holiday-bar1Ginger, and Black Pepper will alleviate indigestion and reduce heavy feeling in the stomach.

If feeling hangover, try this Ayurvedic Hangover Cure from Dr Lad:

  • 1 glass of water
  • 1 tsp lime juice
  • ½ tsp raw sugar
  • pinch of salt

Just before drinking add ½ tsp baking soda

Enjoy your parties and keep an eye for the upcoming post-holiday detox articles and LIVE programs!

Happy Holidays to you and your family! Thank you for reading, commenting, liking, and sharing your stories! I appreciate all your emails and facebook messages! Let it be a healthy and a happy holiday season to all of us!

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