It’s holiday time once again! This time of year is filled with celebration, but for many it can be tough. It’s only normal to feel more stressed at this time of year, as you may be trying to accomplish everything on your “to do” list. Unfortunately added stress like this isnever good.
Not only that but all the holiday parties that are filled with breads, cheese, pastas, alcohol and sugar, can really do a number on the delicate balance in your body. It can be hard to stick to your PCOS-friendly food items during these times.
The list of factors that can worsen the symptoms of PCOS seems to go on and on during the holidays. But instead of feeling blue and getting trapped in a vicious cycle, we’ve put together some tips and recipes to help you thrive throughout the season. So let’s get started!
How the Holidays Affect Us
First of all it’s important to realize you aren’t alone.
We’re all in this together!
Each and every woman can relate to the stress others may be going through. Some of the factors that may be impacting you are:
- Money stress due to gift buying, hosting obligations, and more.
- Lack of good quality sleep either because you are too busy, or you’re feeling stressed making it hard to sleep.
- The list of errands and things you need to get done seems to grow by the minute, causing stress and anxiety and a feeling of not being able to get it all done.
- The shorter days/less sunshine can result in a lower mood.
- You may not have time to look after ourselves properly (exercise, yoga, meditation, etc.).
- All kinds of party foods that don’t match our healthy eating regime.
Basically, all of this adds up to stress that is outside our normal level.
How to Juggle It All?
The golden question is how do you juggle it all and still keep your sanity and health?
The easy answer is we don’t! No one can handle all of this. You need to be aware of your own personal health at all times. There is no way to juggle everything; instead, it comes down to prioritizing. What is the worst that will happen if you can’t attend every event, host multiple events, and not buy a present for each and every person? The holidays will still go on, and they will include less stress on you!
One of the most important things to learn, especially during the holidays, is that “no” is in fact a complete sentence. When we say no to something, then that’s it and that’s all that needs to be said. There is no need to give an explanation. If there is something you don’t feel up to doing, or you know it will leave you feeling stressed or unwell, then you shouldn’t feel pressured into saying yes. The word “no” can be quite liberating, especially when it means you are putting yourself and your health first. If you don’t do it, who will?
Put Yourself First
Putting yourself first can often be frowned upon and looked at as “selfish”. It’s time to wipe all of those thoughts out of your head because it couldn’t be further from the truth. Each of us matters and so does our health, so we need to be our own advocate.
Putting yourself first can look like: taking a hot bath filled with epsom salts, pampering yourself with a spa day, scheduling a relaxing dinner with your girlfriends, enjoying a night at home on the couch watching your favorite movie, cuddling with a warm cozy blanket, and getting extra sleep whenever possible.
Here are a couple of yummy holiday eats.
(modified from a recipe by The Barefoot Contessa)
1 pound roasted unsalted cashews
2 tablespoons minced fresh rosemary
½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
2 teaspoons sea salt
1 tablespoon butter, melted
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Spread the cashews out on a sheet pan.
Toast in the oven until warm, about 5 minutes.
In a large bowl, combine the rosemary, cayenne, salt and butter.
Thoroughly toss the warm cashews with the spiced butter and serve warm.
Here’s another recipe to check out, this one is perfect for those cold evenings cuddled up at home.
Holiday Chai Tea Latte (it’s decaf!)
(modified from a recipe from the blog http://borninthewrongcentury.com)
1/2 tsp fresh ground pepper
1/2 tsp fresh ground nutmeg
1/8 tsp ground ginger
1/4 tsp cayenne powder
20 cardamom pods, smashed open
4 thin slices ginger root
1 cinnamon stick
10 whole cloves
2 whole star anise
1/2 tsp fennel seeds
20 whole peppercorns
4 cups + 1/2 cup filtered water
4 tsp loose leaf rooibos tea or 4 rooibos tea bags
To serve: Place all of the spices in cheese cloth and tie with twine (I use my nut milk bag). Put the 4 cups of water in a sauce pan and the 1/2 cup water in a small sauce pan, bring both to a boil. Turn off the heat and add the spice bag to the large pan and the loose tea to the small pan. Let the tea steep for 5 minutes and then strain into the larger pan. Let cool, cover and then leave to steep for 24 hours at room temperature. Remove the spice bag and pour the tea concentrate into a bottle. Store in the fridge for up to a week. To serve heat up the concentrate and add heated or steamed almond or coconut milk and stevia to taste.?
Make the Best of the Holidays
Above all, make the best of the holidays. This means going in with realistic expectations, and remembering it’s all about sharing time with our loved ones.