Ep. 44: Holiday Meal Recovery Plan

By: Cassy Joy Garcia
Fed & Fit
Fed & Fit

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Ep. 44: Holiday Meal Recovery Plan

Today we’re going to talk my super quick holiday meal recovery plan.

1. Step 1: hydrate [5:29]
2. Step 2: Prepare your nutritious food for easy access [7:30]
3. Step 3: Book your fitness class [11:39]
4. Step 4: Sleep [14:34]
5. Step 5: essential oils, morning cocktail, and hot tea [15:49]
6. Step 6: Watch your mindset [20:33]

Cassy Joy: Happy Monday my dear friends! I hope that you had the most wonderful Thanksgiving with your friends and family. And if you’re listening and you don’t celebrate Thanksgiving, I hope you had the most wonderful last weekend in November. So if you are like me, this past Thursday you gathered with family and friends around a large meal. We ate, we paid no mind to counting our macros, and we indulged in foods that maybe we would normally avoid.

So today’s episode, I want to just quickly focus on providing you with essentially a holiday recovery plan template. So I’ve kind of broken it up into about 6 categories, 4 main ones, and if you’re a regular listener, a lot of this will; it’s in our conversation a lot that we talk about, but hopefully I’m putting it in a way that’s going to be easy to remember. And the fifth and sixth categories are a little bit unique just to this episode, so I just wanted to quickly touch in on this Monday back from Thanksgiving.

If you are feeling like; let’s say, it could be the gamut. Maybe you had a Thanksgiving; a totally paleo Thanksgiving. Maybe you followed the Fed and Fit Holiday Feast, my eBook that I’ve got out there. It’s about 45 recipes, and I have a whole bunch of menus and grocery shopping lists, and what to make when guides, all designed to kind of help you create a dinner that will really support your health and the health of your families, but also it tastes really great and it looks just like the food that we have always known.

So, maybe you went that route. Maybe you had a totally paleo Thanksgiving, and on this Monday morning you are hitting the ground. Your feet are running. You're feeling great, you don’t feel like you’ve got anything to recover from. And I think that’s awesome! You go girl, or guy! {laughs}

If you are not on that side of the spectrum, and I’m kind of one of those that’s not. I had a Thanksgiving with my new family. You know I got married in October, so we spent this Thanksgiving with Austin’s family, my husband’s family in San Angelo, Texas. And although I volunteered to bring a pie, a paleo pumpkin pie actually from my holiday eBook, which was excellent. Oh my goodness, it was so good. And I have to tell you, out of a group of people who do not eat paleo, these folks couldn’t really care less about paleo stuff. I will tell you that the paleo pumpkin pie, the pan was licked clean and the conventional pumpkin pie sat there untouched until the next day, so I think there’s a big ol’ win for us.

But anyways, I had one of those Thanksgivings where I was just there to enjoy and be a part of this new family and be a part of that community and soak up every minute of this awesome family. And I did, I had a great time. Of course I didn’t eat some foods; I opted out, I didn’t eat the dressing, because it had the normal bread in it, and I know it’s just not worth it for me. It makes me feel too crummy, and then I wouldn’t really be able to enjoy family time. But I did enjoy some other things. I had way more of that paleo pumpkin pie than I normally would. And I’m a wine drinker, so I definitely had a few more glasses of wine than maybe just a one-off glass of wine on a Friday night.

So I definitely indulged, and I had a great time. I had mid afternoon popcorn, I had a couple of sips of, Austin had these Mexican Coca-Cola’s that were left over from our wedding, and I had a couple of sips of those. I mean, I really kicked back. And some of you might be rolling your eyes, that’s not really kicking back. But, my body is kind of sensitive, so I’m definitely feeling the difference now. So I want to talk to you guys.

Even if you had one of those Thanksgivings where you didn’t eat a single thing that was paleo. You had the breaded stuffing, you had the; oh gosh, I don’t know; eggnog! You had the mulled wine, I had that too. I had that recipe from the book. All of the desserts; that’s great. I hope you had an awesome time, and I want to tell you that it’s ok. Don’t beat yourself up. And that’s really what we’re going to talk about at the end of this episode, how to not throw the baby out with the bathwater.

Just because you indulged and you had some of your mom’s famous turkey stuffing, doesn’t mean that you’re entire healthy living plan has to be restarted. We’re not at ground zero. We don’t need to be that dramatic. We’re just taking a step forward. We had an awesome holiday, and even if you’re listening to this after Christmas or after New Year’s; you had an awesome holiday, enjoy it for what it was, and then let’s just get back on track. Let’s pull the Band-Aid off and start feeling great as soon as possible. So that’s what today’s episode is about.

1. Step 1: hydrate [5:29]

Ok, so, like I promised I’m going to try to make it quick so you can get on with your very full Monday morning, I’m sure. The holidays tend to be pretty full. I want to talk about number one way to recover from the holidays, is to rehydrate. Number one, rehydrate. So we want to flush out all those toxins as soon as possible, and really give your muscles, mind, and digestive system a healthy dose of that necessary water. So, straight up water, flat water, is great. That’s ideal. Remember to take your weight, divide it by two, and that’s kind of a ballpark number of ounces of water to drink. That of course will go up if you’re sweating a lot or you’re working out, but that’s a good baseline.

Coconut water with sea salt is another really good option, especially if you’re looking to replenish those electrolytes. Coconut has the potassium, and the sea salt of course has the salt, so you put those two things together and it’s way better than a Gatorade or a PowerAde. So that’s a great resource.

I also like to mix up my water scene with some sparkling water; non-flavored. So the straight, I’m actually sipping on a can right now. The La Croix blue can is my favorite, and it’s just; let me read it to you. It just says no calories, no artificial sweeteners. Oh, it’s the pure one, there you go. So no flavoring or anything like that; it’s just delicious sparkling water, kind of helps keeps things interesting.

Remember, if you are experiencing slower transit times; digestive transit due to some of the foods you ate, water is going to be your best ally in getting things back on track. So there’s a good chance that dehydration is really contributing to the reason why things are not moving. So rehydrate, and that will really help everything reset. It’s kind of ground one, or step one.

2. Step 2: Prepare your nutritious food for easy access [7:30]

Ok, step 2. I’m going to tell you to go grocery shopping; step number 2. I know you’re probably tired of cooking, and you just want to relax with the takeout menu from your favorite local Thai restaurant, but now is the time to cook up a big old batch of leafy greens, make a whole bag of sweet potatoes at a time and stick a pork shoulder in the slow cooker. Create a bunch of leftovers, really powerful nutrients. I’m talking leafy greens, I mean those; if you walk by the produce aisle, those big bags of chopped up organic curly kale, and you look at those bags and you’re like, who the heck buys that much kale at a time? How do they eat it all? You know, I’m definitely one of those people.

And they always see me; when the people check me out at the checkout counter, they say; oh you must be a juicer! Because I buy all these kales and vegetables. I’m like, actually I don’t juice them, I eat them. So I like to get those big giant bags of curly kale, and I will sauté or steam the whole thing at once. I cover it with a whole lot of fresh lemon juice; I think that really brightens the flavor. Add some sea salt, a little bit of pepper, and bam. It is so darn tasty, and I will just take really dense piles of that, and put it in all of my dishes.

Let’s say if I had a really indulgent weekend, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and even Thursday I’m going to try to squeeze that dense leafy greens cooked ideally cooked so you can get the most nutrients and it’s not as rough on your digestive system, but I’m going to try to put that in as many meals as possible, and it really makes a difference. Man, I feel great after that, so I encourage you to go ahead and do that.

The whole bag of sweet potatoes is one of my favorite tricks. You go get one of those; I can’t remember off the top of my head right now if it’s a 3 or a 5-pound bag of organic sweet potatoes; pop those puppies in the oven. My favorite temperature is 450. I will wash them with a wet towel, wipe off all the junk on the outside. I don’t actually puncture my sweet potatoes, I think they have a better texture if you kind of leave them as is. I will put them on a baking sheet that I put a sheet of foil on in case anything bubbles over, I don’t have to clean it. Stick it in the oven at 450 degrees for 45 minutes to an hour until you can put on an oven mitt and pinch the sweet potatoes, and they kind of give very easily, that’s when you know they’re done. I’ll probably eat one or half of one right away, depending on how large they, then save the rest. You’ve got really easy carbs that are going to be really good for you.

So when you’re getting over those sugar addictions from the holidays, instead of going for those frozen brownies maybe you’ve got stashed in the freezer or instead of getting a head start on your Christmas baking, you can really lean on those healthy carbs that you’ve already made in your pantry.

And then a nice, really goes a long way protein, I think is a great recipe for success, a pork shoulder is a great one. They’re really affordable, go buy one. Cover it in a nice spice blend; this time of year cinnamon and some garlic would be really delicious, some salt. Whatever really strikes you. Look in your pantry and sniff your spices, and whichever ones you think go well together, that’s really how I like to cook to be honest, is whatever I’m inspired by. Rub it all over that pork shoulder, throw in a chopped up onion, and some other cloves of garlic. You could even put in some fennel, chopped up fennel and maybe some carrots or other root veggies like other potatoes, and just put it in there and let it cook and then you can shred it, and you’ve got this really delicious protein that you can mix in with morning eggs, put into one of the sweet potatoes, maybe stuff it. That would be really delicious.

What I’m really trying to get at here is that there are infinite possibilities, even if you just do huge batches of those kinds of three foods. You know, some leafy greens, some starchy carbs, root vegetables, and a nice big protein. So go ahead; I know you’re tired of cooking possibly, but get through this one last stretch and your body will really thank you.

3. Step 3: Book your fitness class [11:39]

So number 3; book your next fitness class right this second. Schedule it and honor it. I know there’s a possibility that you don’t’ feel like going, and you’re possibly tempted to put it off until you’ve had a week of eating well under your belt. I talked to a lot of folks that are like that. They’ll say, you know, I’ll start working out when I lose 5 pounds. Or, oh, I’m not going to go back to the gym today because Thanksgiving was a couple of days ago and I really just want to feel better so I’m going to eat really well for a couple of days and then I go.

I say bubkis to that. I say go ahead and schedule it, jump in, do it before you're ready. Go and work out right this second, because that will help you get there faster. Take it easy in that class and maybe don’t push yourself too hard. You’re not in it to win it, if you’re worried about your ability, but definitely go through the motions.

And I always try to remind myself and people that I work with, I think this is a Woody Allen quote, but it applies in so many different areas, that 80% of success is just showing up. So don’t worry about your performance at the class or in the gym or wherever you like to go or on the run; just show up. Just go through the motions, and you’ll at least get 80% of the benefits. So that’s huge. And then when you’ve got those endorphins after that workout, you’re going to be even more motivated to eat well so you make the most out of that workout.

It’s so funny, I was talking to my best friend and now sister-in-law, Morgan, this weekend about that. We went to a Crossfit class the day after Thanksgiving in San Angelo. We dropped in, we had an awesome team workout, and beforehand we walked into this gym, it’s right next to a donut shop in San Angelo, and we were joking that, oh my gosh a donut sounds so good! Because we had all just had all that pie and mulled wine and hot chocolate and all kinds of other yummy things. Oh my goodness, my cousin Amber made these delicious gluten free chocolate cupcakes with this awesome butter cream frosting, and man we really enjoyed ourselves, and so our sugar cravings were just through the roof. We saw that donut shop and we said, oh man after this workout that donut is going to sound so good!

And you know what? As soon as we walked out of that gym, none of us wanted a donut. I was like, it’s so funny, after you work out, all I wanted was a nice big salad with a lot of chicken. And it’s just so interesting. And of course some carbohydrates. But it’s just so interesting that when you workout and you do go through the motions; we came in dead last in that workout. We were not in it to win it, we were just in it to have a good time and to go through the motions. Morgan and I just decided to be intentional with our movements and not necessarily worry too much about heavy weights. We got a lot out of it, and at the end of the day it really helped us get back on track faster.

4. Step 4: Sleep [14:34]

Ok, number 4 tip; get to bed early. I know you're probably tempted to stay up late to peruse those cyber Monday deals, maybe work on Christmas shopping lists, place your orders for holiday cards, which is something that I have to do before I forget. But giving yourself a bedtime that you will actually honor will do more for helping you get back on track than almost anything else on this list. Water coming second. So sleep; rest will do so much for you. It will really help you manage your stress levels, it will help you manage your cravings, it will help your body recover. Just untold benefits of just good quality rest.

And if you need more tips on sleep habits and ways to get the most out of your sleep, go ahead and scroll through the podcast feed; I did some sleep 101 episodes, put a lot of stuff into there that hopefully you find useful.

So those are the four main ones that probably come as no surprise to folks who are regular listeners. So I’ve got two more that I’ve broken out into kind of, I’m thinking of them as bonus categories for your recovery plan.

5. Step 5: essential oils, morning cocktail, and hot tea [15:49]

For the number 5 bonus category, I’m going to talk about, really, really briefly, essential oils, a morning cocktail, and hot tea. So, for the oil piece; while I do have a more extensive podcast in the queue, where in the future we’ll talk about essential oils, benefits, best practices, where to get them and all that stuff. For now, I’m just going to lightly skim the surface and talk about the one that I use most, especially when I’m trying to recover and keep stress at bay. And please know that I’m not an affiliate for any essential oil brand. I’m not pushing any products here. I think the ones you get at the grocery store are great, I think the ones that you get at your favorite online subscriptions ones are great, too, so whatever works for you.

So the oil I just want to briefly talk about today is peppermint essential oil. And peppermint is great for a lot of reasons, but I really tend to lean on it when I’m trying to reinstate some calm. I like to rub peppermint oil on my shoulders and my neck, because that’s really where I carry a lot of my personal stress. I’ll even, after I’m done with that, I’ll kind of rub my fingers in my hairline, and it really does help me manage my stress. Which stress happens more naturally after I’ve had less sleep, less water, and less than ideal food. So it’s one that I really love, and I think you might enjoy. It’s an easy one to start off with if you’re just curious about oils.

And you can add peppermint essential oil to a carrier oil, because essential oil it’s a really thin, if you’ve never actually seen one, it’s really thin, it’s almost kind of got a watery texture, and they’re really, really strong. So you can dilute with a carrier oil, meaning you're mixing it with another more common oil that helps dilute it and also possibly help maybe cross reactions that you might have. Because you never know, and with all new things, use a little bit, see how you do with it, and then go from there.

So carrier oils could be almond oil is a good one, olive oil, coconut oil; I have used all of those. So you just put a little bit of that oil in your hand, maybe if you’re using coconut oil, like maybe half a teaspoon, a teaspoon, put a few dabs of peppermint oil, rub it together, mix it up, and then rub that into your shoulders and your neck, and you’ll really start to feel it seep it, relax, it’s really wonderful.

For a morning cocktail to kind of help with this holiday recover plan that I can recommend, apple cider vinegar, especially fermented Braggs for example, mixed with water can really help to promote balanced blood sugar in addition to a whole bunch of other potentially positive benefits. So how do you have this morning cocktail? A rough go-by recipe, I say start with about 1 teaspoon of apple cider vinegar mixed with at least one cup of water. This can be cold water or hot water, whatever floats your boat. I do not recommend any more than 2 tablespoons mixed with one cup of water at a time, but you can go anywhere between the two; one teaspoon to two tablespoons. And of course, I recommend that you start small with that one teaspoon or even less if you're nervous. Monitor yourself, and discontinue if you notice anything adverse, but it could be a really great thing to start your day off with.

And then for hot tea support, I really, really like, when I’m trying to recover from something, hot lemon ginger tea. It really helps to support my digestive system. You can purchase ginger tea bags. My favorite company is Traditional Medicinals, that’s one of my favorite tea brands, and they sell them at most common grocery stores. Whole Foods, for example, definitely has them, and I know most listeners here at least have a Whole Foods nearby. So you can use that ginger tea bag and squeeze in some fresh lemon.

Or you can just steep, if I don’t have tea bags, I will pull out a piece of fresh ginger, and just give it a good smash with a knife so it’s kind of broken up, toss that in the water or you could even shave. I also sometimes will keep my ginger root in the freezer so it lasts longer and I’ll pull out my microplane even when the ginger is frozen, and I’ll shave it into a cup of really hot water, let it steep, and I’ll squeeze a whole half of a lemon in there and goodness, gracious, it’s so yummy if you like lemony things, which I do. That can be a great tea to enjoy if you’re experiencing an upset stomach or to really help calm you before bed.

6. Step 6: Watch your mindset [20:33]

Ok, so that was number 5 bonus. Number 6 is really I just want to focus quickly on mindset, and encourage you to spend some time with yourself after this holiday, whichever one it is that you’re thinking of right now. So, whether quiet time comes to you in daily meditation, I know some folks like to do that. And if you’re looking for something like that and want to know how to start a daily meditation practice, I can recommend the iPhone app, and I believe they’ve got one for android as well, called Headspace.

{laughs} I think I spelled that right. {laughs} I’m having flashbacks of spelling bee’s growing up. So that’s a great option for meditation. Quiet time could also come to you during maybe a walk. I take Gus on walks in the morning, whether you're showering. Whenever it is during the day, set aside some time to intentionally focus on your progress, not the ground you fear you may have lost, and remember that these special holiday times spent with friends and family are more important than those arbitrary super detailed goals that we tend to obsessively set for ourselves.

So remember that this journey that we’re on is really at the end of the day about healing our minds and our bodies, and I am of the believe that the grace we show ourselves while we are purposefully wavering from our paleo food plan, like at Thanksgiving dinner, maybe Christmas dinner, Christmas morning, whatever the heck it is when we choose to indulge in an extra glass of Christmas wine or New Year’s champagne, we do more good for our overall health by showing ourselves grace than we would by worrying about the deviation itself.

So above all, I encourage you guys to really be just purposeful. Be purposeful with how you choose to indulge in the holidays, be purposeful by keeping your body watching in check, and body watching, you know what I mean, looking in the mirror and judging how; oh gosh, I’m puffy today. Keep that in check. Knock it out. You’re just going to focus on the positives. We’re having a great time with our family, we’ve got a great recovery plan from this podcast in our back pocket, we know how to get back on track.

And then be really purposeful with that recover plan. If you know that you’re going to body watch and you’re going to beat yourself up, stay off of the scale and really jump in with your recovery plan intentionally. Don’t throw the baby out with the bathwater, like I said before. Don’t punish yourself for indulging by just giving up altogether. There’s a way to get back, and I know when food addiction switches are turned back on, it can seem like a really long road, but I promise it’s shorter than it looks, especially if you’re intentional. So jump back in with me, let’s cook up a whole bunch of leafy greens, let’s have a whole bunch of water, let’s get to bed early, let’s schedule those workouts even when we don’t feel like it, and you will feel like yourself before you know it.

So alrighty folks, that’s all I have for you today. I hope you’ve found today’s episode helpful, and if you did, please share it with your friends and family. I’d love to know that you guys are liking what I’m putting out there. And if you have requests for other episodes, guys, jump on the blog, FedandFit.com, leave a comment on these show notes. Remember that we provide transcripts for all of the podcasts, so if reading isn’t the way that you really like to consume information, you can jump in there; or excuse me, if listening isn’t the way you like to consume information, you can jump on there and you can read all of these words, and Amanda, our awesome transcriptionist, does a great job of making me sound even more eloquent in written word. {laughs} So it will be an easy read for you guys.

So thank you, as always, for listening. I wish you a very happy graceful love filled holiday season. I will keep coming back every Monday with something new, but I especially wanted to touch on that today. Just give yourself a break, enjoy these holidays, and remember that recovery is not far away. Y’all have a great week, and we’ll be back soon.


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