The holidays are a time when it can be easy to put your nutrition and health on the back burner, prioritizing nutrition during the holiday season is one of the best things you can do for yourself.
For those in recovery from an eating disorder, they might find themselves especially overwhelmed or anxious as they simply navigate eating during the holidays, let alone go the extra mile to get enough nutrition.
Those who are in recovery can still experience overwhelm and anxiety about nutrition and health, especially during the holidays.
In this article, we’re going to discuss the importance of maintaining your nutrition during the holidays, as well as give you several examples of nutrient-rich—and actually delicious—foods and meals to incorporate into your days.
The importance of nutrition
Nutrition is one of the most influential factors in the overall state of our being, physically and mentally. Its importance is not limited to just those struggling with an eating disorder, but those who are suffering from some form of malnutrition, such as those in recovery from an eating disorder it is important.
Recovering from an eating disorder is as much about replenishing your physical health as it is about taking care of your mental health. Prioritizing your nutrition and health is one of the best ways to do both.
Certain ingredients and food additives — such as sugar, artificial ingredients, processed oils and dyes — are known to cause inflammation in the body and brain. Both of which are linked to countless illnesses, diseases and disorders.
Depression and anxiety are especially common symptoms of a weakened immune system or a body that is, overall, struggling to function due to nutritional deficiencies.
Studies show that a diet rich in probiotics, whole grains, antioxidants, clean proteins and colorful fruits and vegetables can significantly reduce these symptoms of mental illness. When paired with other consistent lifestyle changes, such as frequent time spent in nature and daily movement, the benefits of nutrition have been known to heal these illnesses entirely.
Practicing nutrition during the holidays
It’s important to recognize that eating healthy doesn’t mean severely restricting your enjoyment of certain foods or sweets and that forcing yourself to consume mass amounts of healthy foods isn’t good for you either.
The five tips we’re going to give you are going to help you find a balance between nutrition and health, as well as your favorite holiday “fun foods.”
1. Bring food you’re comfortable with
Many holidays revolve around some form of potluck meal which is an easy way to bring a food dish you’re comfortable eating. Even if the gathering isn’t potluck style, many hosts are open to guests bringing additional dishes to the party.
2. Have a friend to check in with
One of the best ways you can take care of yourself and maintain eating disorder recovery during the holidays is to have a friend who knows what you’re going through. Someone you can gravitate to when you’re feeling triggered by a situation or something else. If you don’t have a friend or family member you feel safe turning to, you can reach out to us.
3. Shift your focus
It can be easy to become hyper-focused on food during the holiday, but the holiday season has so many other aspects aside from food. Take time to remember and reflect on what the holidays really mean to you, the loved ones around you and all of the quality time well spent with them.
Practicing this while with your loved ones during the holiday may take your mind away from being too gluttonous during the holiday, or gravitating toward a trigger food or issue.
4. Take care of yourself
The holidays are one of the easiest times to stop taking care of ourselves, which is why it’s especially important to prioritize taking care of ourselves during this time of year. In addition to being sure to consistently fulfill your basic needs (such as eating, sleeping and moving), it’s equally as important to take care of your mental, emotional and spiritual health.
It’s this full spectrum of care that will help restore you to your happiest, healthiest self.
5. Reach out for support
If you or someone you love is struggling with an eating disorder and you aren’t sure what to do next, reach out to our team at Seeds of Hope.
We specialize in providing quality mental and behavioral health care to those struggling with an eating disorder. Our treatment plans are outlined with a full continuum of care, ranging from individual therapy to partial hospitalization, weekly meal support groups and more.
We know that no two people are alike, which is why we provide individualized, client-focused care to each one of our clients.
To learn more about how we can help you in your recovery journey, call us today at 610-644-6464.