Tips to Stay Energized and Happy During the Holidays

That time of the year has come when we're surrounded by baked goods, chocolates, candied nuts, seasonal lattes, and alcohol. The holidays can be a stressful time which usually results in us overeating and feeling bad afterwards. Whatever it may be that has you overindulging in these treats, remember that you always have control of what goes into your body. Wouldn't it be nice if the holidays passed and you still felt great?

I'd like to share with you some tips to help you stay disciplined and not be hard on yourself after the holiday season:
  • Start your day off right. Focus on a protein-based breakfast to reduce sugar cravings throughout the day. 
  • Be aware of portion sizes and snacks. Start off with small portions and pace yourself while eating. If you are still hungry 20 minutes after you are done, then go for more. When reaching for a snack, be mindful of what it is and if it will sustain you. It's okay to have a snack a few hours prior to a meal, but avoid grazing right before a meal to eliminate overindulging. 
  • Enjoy your family and friends. At the table, take a moment to be grateful for the people around you that love and care for you. Enjoy conversation and be in the moment. 
  • Check in with yourself. Tune in with your body and listen to what it feels/needs. 
  • Before reaching for a snack or a second portion, ask yourself: Am I really hungry? Am I just eating due to emotional stress or anxiety? Am I thirsty? 
  • Keep moving. Exercise will help your mood and keep your mind active. If you don't have time for a full workout, take a 10-20 minute walk after meals. 
  • Stay hydrated. Dehydration can cause a sensation of hunger and lead to overeating. Drinking water will keep you energized and satisfied throughout the day. Avoid sweetened and/or caffeinated beverages. 
  • Be conscious of your breathe. Breathing is the best way to relax if in a stressful situation and helps you release anxiety and stay centered. Do it alone in a quiet room or step outside to get some fresh air. 
Happy Holidays! x


Kale and Walnut Pesto

I love pesto. Pesto is a great way to incorporate healthy fats, greens, and herbs into an every day diet. It is high in protein and pairs well with almost any type of vegetable or meat. I use it as a spread, dip, marinade, or dressing. There are many different recipes and types of pesto. Here is a recipe that I recently came up with and I eat with absolutely everything! 


1/2 cup walnuts, toasted
8 small kale leaves (about 2 cups), stemmed
2 Tablespoons thyme leaves
1 clove garlic
zest and juice of one lemon (about 3 Tablespoons juice)
3 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/2 + 1/4 teaspoon sea salt

  1. Preheat oven to 300 F.
  2. Place walnuts on a parchment-lined baking sheet and toast in oven until fragrant, about 8 minutes. 
  3. Place all ingredients in a food processor and process until smooth. Taste and adjust with sea salt or lemon juice. If pesto is too thick, add more olive oil. 
  • Toasting of nuts is not necessary, but it will enhance their flavor. 

Author: Giovanna Garcia, Natural Chef


Coconut Chia Pudding

I'm currently obsessed with this pudding. Not only is it delicious, but it doesn't contain any unrefined sugar or sweetener. It's a great health-supportive dessert or snack that provides energy and lots of fiber. Just a few simple steps and it's ready to enjoy. 


1 cup coconut milk
6 dried figs or dates
2 teaspoons cinnamon
¼ teaspoon nutmeg
1 ½ teaspoons vanilla
1/8 teaspoon sea salt
3 Tablespoons chia seeds

  1. Place all ingredients, except chia seeds, in a blender and blend until smooth.
  2. Transfer to a medium bowl and whisk in chia seeds.
  3. Pour into small glass bowls or cups and let sit in refrigerator for at least 30 minutes. 
      Servings: 4

      Author: Giovanna Garcia, Natural Chef