How to prepare for the holidays: Food edition

Updated: Jan 12

One of the most challenging aspects of the holiday season is the unpredictability.

Schedules are off.

You’re traveling.

Kids are out of school.

You’re sleeping in and staying up late.

This doesn’t just affect your energy levels or your need to coordinate travel dates.

The holiday season affects your relationship with food and your body too.

My dad has always reminded us to “expect the unexpected.”

This is especially true during the holiday season.

Expect unpredictable mealtimes

Expect unpredictable food options

Expect unpredictable schedules

One of the best ways you can approach this holiday season with confidence is to prepare for and plan whatever is in your control.

I'm THRILLED to be offering FREE 20-minute coaching sessions during this holiday season. 🎅🎄❄ If you want to talk through a particular concern or want some tips on how to navigate this time of year sign up for your call today!

Here are some of my favorite ways to gear up for holiday season:


Being prepared with snacks can eliminate a lot of food anxiety.

Hunger might strike when:

  • You don’t particularly enjoy your dear Aunt Sally’s jello or tuna casserole.

  • None of your family eats breakfast

  • Everyone else eats dinner at 8pm, but you’re used to eating at 5.

Clif Bars are one of my personal favorite travel companions. I find them delicious and filling. I like to always have a few packed in my suitcase.

I recently went to a fancy dinner where the portion sizes were smaller than the dollar signs.

THANKFULLY I had a granola bar waiting for me in the hotel room.

Knowing that you have food to snack on prevents a scarcity mindset (which can lead to overeating) and allows you to be more flexible throughout the day.


How many people will be there? Do you know if there will be any vegetarian options? What will a typical morning look like?

I went to visit one of my college friends a few months ago and she sent me a text beforehand “Head’s up, none of us drink coffee. So bring your own if you want some!”

Such helpful information. I made a plan to bring my own or visit a local coffee shop while in town.

I made a mental note to myself that this is a great question to ask future hosts before traveling.

Chances are when you’re traveling for the holidays, whoever you visit isn’t going to send out a mass text to everyone about all the food they keep in stock.

Make sure to reach out and ask any hosts, guests, or travel buddies if they have x, y, or z. If not, bring your own or offer to buy some while in town.

This might sound trivial, but my coffee isn’t solely an enjoyable beverage. It’s part of my morning routine. It cues me to slow down, check in, and start my day with intention. Without my coffee, my world (okay maybe just my mood) is thrown off.

If you’re a vegetarian visiting a meat heavy household, you need to bring your own protein. Going a week on just fruits and veggies isn’t a wise move.

If you love a little sweet at the end of the night, but you’re visiting a family that demonizes sugar… pop a little chocolate bar in your purse to keep in your room.

Knowing as much information as possible ahead of time helps mentally prepare you for what's to come.


It's easy to get swept away in holiday festivities and forget to eat.

Or maybe you use food for comfort to soothe your social anxiety.

One of the best ways to make sure you're getting the food you need is to consciously notice how your body feels before being in a highly stimulating environment.

Gauge your hunger level before arriving or step away from the crowd (I love bathrooms) so you can stay connected to your body.


If you’re at a holiday dinner and all you can think about is the dessert table, try to find a person, place, or thing to distract your mind for a bit.

Is there a family member in a room away from the food you could hang out with?

Could you go on a walk and call a friend to check in and wish them happy holidays?

Maybe there’s a football game on in the living room and you can join the party there. Or people sitting by a fire.

Most often there are opportunities to engage in activity or conversation away from the food table.

When pulling away, make sure you’re not leading from a place of deprivation or restriction.

Instead, you are simply refocusing your attention. That way when you do get hungry or want dessert, you are making a conscious choice to eat rather than grazing mindlessly.


Remember the reason for the season. Remember your values. Remember what really matters to you in life.

At the end of the day, the food you eat is meant to bring nourishment and pleasure to your life. LET IT.

This isn't a time for restriction, calorie counting, or guilt. (There's actually no time for that, p.s.)

This is a time to feel connected to yourself, your family, friends, and loved ones.

If you hear people around you discussing diets, calories, or shaming foods... walk away, say a prayer, hug a friend, smile because you're alive, offer gratitude for what you have, and go forth with LOVE.

Just another reminder that I'm THRILLED to be offering FREE 20-minute coaching sessions during this holiday season. If this blog post resonated with you and you want some extra support this year sign up for your call today!

I would LOVE to connect. ❤

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Web design by Chelsea Hester 

Photography by Re-Vive Photography,

Ali Van Eck, & Chris Bradt