Having an autoimmune disease can be dauntingly tricky by itself. Throw in the Holidays; aka baked goods, festive drinks, stress inducing hustle and bustle, and hearty comfort foods everywhere and it can feel downright overwhelming. I am here to share with you how I navigate through some of these uncharted waters so that maybe we can do this together and come out feeling more confident on the other side. For me it boils down to fear of missing out on my favorite foods and figuring out how to combat the holiday stress.
In my opinion, this can be the trickiest part of the Holiday season. Seeing ads and Instagram posts for delicious and sugar-filled treats, cooking shows, movies and TV showing the recipes that you know you can’t have, but would likely give your left arm to be able to…just this once. Err. Well, friends. Don’t stress. I have gotten really good at figuring out ways to enjoy your holiday favorites without sacrificing your Paleo or AIP lifestyle. And by I, I mean that I have found some amazing resources that I use on the regular whether for inspiration or downright repeat recipes in my kitchen.
- Danielle Walker – This woman is one of the best things that ever happened to the AIP/Paleo recipe world. I own all of her cookbooks and I am constantly scrolling through her Instagram feed for inspiration. Seriously, check out Against All Grain, if you aren’t already a huge fan. Think all of your favorite and craveable recipes, but AIP style.
- Sweet Laurel – Talk about hooked. The minute I found out that Laurel Gallucci healed herself from Hashimoto’s by creating the most delicious sweet treats that NO ONE believed could possibly be Paleo treats, I had to get her book. I can honestly say now that there is nothing that compares to her Double Chocolate Brownie recipe. Hello, Paleo treats that don’t make you feel like you are eating “healthy” food.
- Clean Cuisine – Our very own, Aimee and Madison, from Autoimmune Sisters have some incredibly easy and equally yummy Anti-inflammatory recipes to boot. You definingly want to save these!
- The Power of the Internet – Honestly, there are so many amazing bloggers, cookbook authors, and recipe developers out there. If you are craving something that you don’t think you can enjoy while being AIP or Paleo, google it! Chances are you will stumble across some amazing information. I even found a recipe for “Paleo Christmas Crack” by just doing a quick google search.
The Holidays can be synonymous with stress and unfortunately for those of us with Autoimmune diseases this can mean an unwanted flare up. So how do I avoid these during the stressful holiday times?
- Breathe – Sounds silly, but for me, I have to remind myself to do this on the daily. I have been using the Calm daily meditation app to help remind me to stop and breathe. Their daily meditations are incredible. 10 minutes of daily calm. Enough said.
- Baths – I am a huge proponent for taking a bath. No, not the kind where you get yourself clean, although I highly recommend that too. I am talking about hot baths with Epsom salts and some kind of essential oil that makes you happy. My go-to is lavender!
- Move Your Body – Just do it. Whether it’s a brisk walk, a calming yoga session, or stretching on your living room floor. I always feel better once I have moved my body. Trust me. During the holidays, curling up under a fuzzy blanket sounds like an appropriate to-do list for the day, but maybe that can wait until after I’ve gotten my body moving.
- Sleep – Easier said than done. We know sleep is super important to our body’s healing process, but how easy is it really? Prioritizing sleep is something I have gotten really good at and can certainly feel when I am off track. Here’s my big three for sleep: DARK ROOM, SLEEP MUSIC/STORY, WASH YOUR FACE. Ha! Seriously. Game changer. And not necessarily in that order. Remember that Calm app I told you about earlier? Turn on one of their sleep stories for adults and try not to fall asleep. I have yet to hear the ending of any of the stories.
I hope these tips help you to navigate through the Holidays with Hashimoto’s or your particular autoimmune disease. It sure is comforting to know that we are all in this together!