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    You Should Be Dating Yourself—Here’s How To Improve the Most Important Relationship in Your Life

    Maybe you spend every Friday night on a new Bumble date only to leave disappointed and exhausted or you’re tired of swiping right to no avail—dating in 2022 is hard. If you feel defeated, I have a proposal that may turn things around: Date yourself. Delete the apps (just for now) and instead try dating the one person who will always show up on time and is guaranteed to be fun (you!). Falling in love is great, but falling in love with yourself is even better. No, this isn’t some woo-woo self-help advice—this is a tangible method that will change your life.
    We are so focused on finding “The One” that we forget to check in on what we wanted in the first place. When was the last time you took a day to yourself? Or tried something new? When was the last time you reevaluated if you were happy, and then actually did something about it if you weren’t? As our lives get busy and “me time” gets pushed to the bottom of the list, we need to make the effort to bring it back to the top. Dating is supposed to be fun, and a partner should be someone you want to add to a life that already fulfills you. Dating yourself ensures you’re creating that life and helps you remember what you’re looking for in those Bumble swipes anyway. No matter your relationship status, you should be dating yourself. Here’s how.

    1. Start a journaling practice
    Self-reflection is a great tool that we often don’t take the time to utilize, and journaling is a fantastic way to do that. Every morning or at night before bed, take 10 minutes to journal about your day, thoughts, feelings, the coworker who annoyed you, or that startup idea your friend mentioned. What are you excited about in your life right now? What goals and dreams have you always thought about but never put into action? The 10K that scares you, the job you feel unqualified to apply for, or the trip you’ve never taken? The key to this practice is to set that timer, put pen to paper, and don’t stop until it dings; whatever comes into your mind, just let it out. You may even discover something new about yourself. 

    2. Nourish your body
    Food is fuel, and if we want to feel good, we have to nourish our bodies with the best of it. Now, before you run for the hills because you hate to cook or refuse to give up cookie dough, don’t worry (I would never ask that of you—I am also never giving up cookie dough!). Nourishing your body means listening to it, becoming more in tune with what it needs, and balancing pleasure and satisfaction with nourishment. In other words: Yes, there is room for cookie dough in a nourishing diet.
    Put into action, this step looks different for everybody. If you love to cook, maybe it’s time to try a new recipe. If you prefer takeout, experiment with a meal service. If you want to kick your late-night sugar habits, try herbal tea and dark chocolate. Whatever “nourish your body” means to you, choose one area you want to focus on and take small steps toward that healthy life that makes you feel good every day.

    3. Splurge on you
    If your love language is gift giving, why not show love to yourself? But the key to actually dating yourself instead of just using it as an excuse to spend more money is to splurge on something that truly makes you feel confident, happier, or better. We all have a version of Carrie Bradshaw’s Manolos that makes us feel invincible, and if you don’t, find it. I’m not saying break the bank, and you don’t need a whole new wardrobe. Whether it’s a pair of shoes that will make you feel like a badass during important meetings or your splurge looks more like a gym membership, functional piece of furniture, the perfume that your mom used to wear, or even a massage or cleaning service that will reduce your stress, give a gift to yourself that will truly make a difference. 

    4. Try something new
    The only way we grow is by getting outside of our comfort zone. This step may be the hardest step for you, but it could also be the most rewarding. Make a list of all the things you want to do “one day,” like skydiving, dining alone, starting your own business, taking a spin class, asking for a promotion, etc. Then, choose something from that list and do it. Don’t make excuses and don’t put it off for next month—sign up, make a reservation, do your research. Whatever it takes, go and do it. We often put off what we really want because of fear, and most of the time, we realize we had nothing to be afraid of. As Glennon Doyle always says, “We can do hard things,” and once you do one hard thing, all the others don’t seem so scary.

    5. Practice saying “no”
    While a large part of dating yourself involves trying new things and stepping outside of your comfort zone, it also means stepping into your power. By that, I mean learning to say “no” when you want to say no. Saying “yes” is easy a lot of the time. Especially as women, we feel this constant need to make everyone happy. While empathy and kindness are admirable and crucial traits, the problem is that making yourself happy ends up falling to the bottom of the list of priorities. We say “yes” to what we don’t really want, and it eats away at us, building up resentment and anger. So this year, let go of all that and say “no” to the plans you’d rather not attend, the people who drain your energy, and the coworker who pushes assignments off to you. Stand in your power, don’t apologize for it, and live a happier life because of it.

    6. Pleasure yourself
    Experiencing a mind-blowing orgasm benefits not only your body but your mind as well, so add some self-pleasure to the list this year. After all, nothing is more of a de-stressor at the end of a long day than an orgasm. Pleasuring yourself can involve a realm of activities, from becoming more in touch with your body to learning to feel confident in your own skin. Buy yourself a new sex toy, experiment with different arousals, or simply stare in the mirror and compliment yourself, knowing that self-love is the most worthy kind to give. Whatever it looks like to you, prioritize self-pleasure and make it a part of your wellness routine. Being intimate with another person is a vulnerable practice, so getting to know your body will not only increase confidence in the bedroom with partners, but—more importantly—it will also improve your well-being and the relationship with yourself.

    7. Make self-love a practice
    This one may sound cliché and overused, but loving yourself isn’t. The end goal is a balanced life that allows you to feel fulfilled and happy, so to love yourself a little more this year, first, stop the brutal self-talk. You know the kind: The thoughts in your head that criticize you when you make a mistake or feel insecure. Instead, practice loving affirmations such as “I am good enough” or “I am smart enough.” Repeat them to yourself each morning, write them down, or get in the habit of saying them before a presentation or first date.
    Next, celebrate the little wins as well as the big ones. We’re always going from one activity to the next, forgetting to stop and take a step back to look at all we have accomplished. Celebrate those moments and recognize how far you’ve come. Lastly, forgive yourself. Forgive yourself for forgetting the cereal at the grocery store, being late for work, the breakup, the failed test, and everything that still weighs you down. Just let it go. You’re human, not a fortune 500 company; you are allowed to mess up and move on. That’s what dating yourself is all about. More

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    The 16 Best Mental Health Podcasts To Help You Cope With Anxiety, Depression, And More

    Podcasts are incredibly popular these days, and there are so many to choose from. From politics to pop culture this type of audio entertainment covers almost everything you can think of and is a great way to pass the time and learn something new. But that’s not all it’s good for – mental health podcasts, in particular, can boost your emotional wellness and be an effective form of self-care.
    Shelby John, a clinical social worker who specialises in addiction, anxiety, and trauma, loves mental health podcasts because they are not only extremely accessible for most people, but they are also free. “The freedom to be able to listen to episodes whenever and wherever you want is incredible,” she says. “This allows people who maybe otherwise would not go to therapy or hire a coach to access knowledge and practical skills from professionals.”
    READ MORE: 12 Bonnie Mbuli Wellness Quotes
    The information you consume has a direct impact on how you behave, feel, and think, says Amy Morin, a therapist and the host of The Verywell Mind Podcast. “If you listen to podcasts that share stories, strategies, and tips that can improve your mental health, you can learn how to improve your psychological well-being,” she explains. “A podcast might affirm the information you already know, which can reassure you that you are on the right path. A podcast might also help you feel less alone. This is especially true if you hear stories and interviews with guests you can relate to. You might also learn new things or discover strategies you can try to reduce your anxiety or boost your mood.”
    Most mental health podcasts feature experts in a specific field, such as behavioral scientists, psychologists, therapists, or other types of pros with unique and helpful insights to share.
    How To Choose A Mental Health Podcast That Is Right For You
    The host will be your constant companion, so look for one whose personality and voice mesh well with you. You should also make sure the podcast you’re listening to is produced by a licensed and legitimate mental health care provider, advises Licensed Clinical Social Worker and Licensed Master Social Worker Kayleigh Parent. “Even then, just because someone is licensed does not mean they are competent or using evidence-based practices,” she says.
    Another factor to consider is whether you are part of the target audience. Of course, anyone can listen to any podcast, but you may be able to benefit more if you tune into ones that you feel a kinship with, whether it is because of the age group, ethnicity, gender identity, or mental health issue they address.
    READ MORE: Why You Need Boundaries ASAP
    Know that many of the conversations that take place on podcasts are based on personal experience. The host and guests may touch on sensitive topics that trigger you. If you’re not comfortable with what will be discussed on a podcast (read those episode blurbs beforehand!), it may not be right for you.
    Remember: Podcasts are not a replacement for therapy. If you struggle with issues such as addiction, eating disorders, domestic violence, self-harm, suicide, or trauma, seek help from a medical professional.
    Ready to jump in? Here are the 16 best mental health podcasts recommended by experts. More

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    I Only Have 3 New Year’s Resolutions—This Is the Hack I’m Using To Achieve Them

    A fun fact about me: I’m not a fan of new year’s resolutions. In theory, they seem like a harmless way to reevaluate who you want to be and where you want to go. But over the years, I’ve found myself making CVS-receipt-long laundry lists of all the things that I want to change about myself and am subsequently flooded with shame and dissatisfaction months later when I burn out and return to old habits. 
    Instead of completely overhauling my routines and nit-picking all of the things that I dislike about my life, I’m viewing 2022 as an opportunity for growth rather than a “detox” or a “reset.” This year, I’m focusing on small changes that’ll make a big impact and ones that I know I can totally achieve. So when I sat down and resisted the urge to scribble down 24 aspects of my life I wanted to revamp, I had a bit of an epiphany. In this season of my life, I’m focusing on finding balance, treating myself as I would a friend, and making minor adjustments that’ll have a large payoff in the long run. I only have three resolutions this year, and CBD from Equilibria is helping me achieve all of them:

    Resolution 1: Gain control over my work-life balance

    I started a new role in October, and I’d be lying if I said that the transition was an easy one. I used to be a nurse, and while the emergency department kept me on my toes and challenged me in ways I never thought possible, I definitely underestimated how mentally tolling working from home and no longer being an expert in your field can be. I’d often times find myself too anxious to start a new task, unnecessarily terrified to speak in meetings, and overwhelmed, and then, in an effort to compensate, I’d stay online hours past sign-off in an attempt to get ahead.
    This year, I’m taking a breath and I’m being consistent with my CBD routine. CBD has been known to improve anxiety, focus, mood, and concentration, and whenever I take one of my Equilibria Rapid Release Melts, I’ve found that I’m able to more calmly tackle tasks that would otherwise stress me TF out. By approaching my day with a more level head, I’m hoping to be able to use my productive hours to be productive and actually sign off at 5:30 p.m. Plus, it’ll help me sleep more soundly so that I have more energy to take on challenges throughout the workweek.

    Calming Melts
    Use code theeverygirl for 20% off your first order at Equilibria!

    Resolution 2: Stay social but drink less

    Source: @equilibriawomen
    I’m getting to a point in life where participating in a girls’ night out sidelines me for one to two business days. My hangovers have gotten significantly worse over the last year, and while I love a good espresso martini every now and then, one of my resolutions for the upcoming year is to reevaluate my social life and how it relates to alcohol. For me, that means planning more sober dates, coordinating nights out with friends that aren’t centered on drinking, and swapping mocktails for cocktails whenever I can.
    One of my favorite mocktail hacks is to add a 10 mL dropper of CBD oil to my non-alcoholic drink to help me summon a little extra zen, and let me tell you: I’ve found that CBD mocktails are something I actually look forward to. 1) They’re fun to make, 2) help me chill out, and 3) don’t leave me with a crippling hangover like my typical vodka soda. Gone are the days of exuding awkwardness at a social gathering and feeling the need to occupy my hands with an alcoholic beverage that I end up drinking quickly to curb my social anxieties—so long, I won’t miss ya.

    Daily Drops
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    Resolution 3: Carve out (and actually schedule) more “me” time during the week

    In previous years, my idea of “me” time was to treat myself to something I loved if my schedule allowed it. It took me far too long to learn, but I’ve finally come to the conclusion that if I let my schedule rule the rest of my life, there will never be time to connect with myself, rest, or recharge. I’m reclaiming my power over my schedule this year by physically writing down self-care moments into my planner and treating them as I would a meeting. 8 p.m. bathtime and a light read with myself? Can’t cancel that again.
    One of my favorite ways to block everything out and to reset is to take a fancy bath, use Equilibria’s Mindful Mineral Soak, and read a few pages out of a novel. There’s no better way to wind down and reflect on my day quite like calling upon the 30 minerals + 200 mg of CBD of the Mindful Mineral Soak that help me purify, destress, relax, and reset. So this year, it’s one of those non-negotiable weeknight activities that I want to make a consistent part of my nighttime routine.

    Mineral Soak
    Use code theeverygirl for 20% off your first order at Equilibria!

    The Self-Care Ritual My Therapist Recommended for Reducing Anxiety

    This post is sponsored by Equilibria, but all of the opinions within are those of The Everygirl editorial board. More

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    5 Easy Meditations You Can Do Anywhere To Help Deal With Holiday Stress

    Navigating holiday stress can seem nearly impossible, but I have a fix for you: meditation. Between family dinners with in-laws who like to argue, waiting in long lines while holiday shopping, or dealing with inevitable delays while traveling, the holidays can feel like the most stressful time of year. In a perfect world, we would all love to maintain our regular healthy routines through these months, but sometimes, it’s just not possible. So instead of putting pressure on yourself to do it all, stop, take a breath, and find little moments throughout the day to give yourself some self-love with an easy and quick meditation. 
    Meditation is an amazing tool for keeping calm during stressful moments of the season because it can be done almost anywhere and for any length of time. You also don’t need to have any previous knowledge or experience to start. As a breathwork facilitator and diehard meditation fan, here are five meditations I use consistently to help conquer the holidays with ease and joy. 

    1. The Starbucks Line Meditation
    If there’s one place where it is easy to succumb to anger and stress, it’s a Starbucks line: You’ve been waiting for a while, your to-do list is nowhere near ending, and the clock is just ticking by. Instead, turn the dreaded wait into a quick meditation by Suze Yalof Schwartz from her book Unplug.
    Length: However long it takes to get your coffee order
    Practice: As you are in line, begin by placing your gaze on your feet and noticing how they feel on the ground. Allow them to really connect to the floor beneath you. Then, very slowly, as the line moves, lift up one foot and place it, heel first, onto the ground in front of you. Continue with the other foot as well in the same slow motion. As you do this, notice how your body moves, how your ankle allows your foot to turn, how your legs work with your feet. Continue in slow motion, taking your time until you reach the barista. Once there, look your barista in the eyes and smile at them, then place your order. Nine out of 10 times, they will smile back; a smile always goes a long way. After you have ordered, continue the slow and careful movements to wait for your coffee. Once it arrives, pick up your coffee and feel the warmth of the cup, bringing it to your face and breathing in the smell before taking a slow sip and allowing the taste to absorb in your mouth. Just like that, your coffee line has turned into an easy reset. 

    Do you feel like you never have time for mediation? You don’t actually need 20 minutes, 10 minutes, or even one. Instead, try this 16-second meditation any time you’re feeling stressed, overwhelmed, or worried. This meditation by renown spiritual teacher Davidji is perfect for escaping a high-stress situation and giving yourself a moment of rest.
    Length: 16 seconds
    Practice: To start, think about something that has bothered you this week. Maybe you missed your flight, lost your wallet, or spilled coffee on your favorite shirt (whatever the first thing is that comes to mind!). Once you have it, close your eyes and take a deep breath in through your nose. Notice how the breath travels all the way down to your belly. Let it sit there for a moment before exhaling back up through your body and out your nose again. Once more, notice the breath as it escapes, pausing as it is released. Now you can return to your normal breathing. That was 16 seconds! If you were following along during those 16 seconds, you were not thinking about the past or the future, you were simply living in the moment. You most likely weren’t even thinking about whatever had been bothering you this week. You were fully present. In just 16 seconds, you can push the stress away. 

    3. The Traffic Meditation
    While some of us get road rage, others just feel triggered by any extra inconvenience during a busy time of year. Suze Yalof Schwartz created this genius meditation for those moments where you feel restless sitting in traffic. Pro tip: While this meditation was initially designed for trips in the car, it’s also great for a delayed flight. Think of this meditation as the perfect de-stressor for things that are out of your control.
    Length: 1-3 minutes
    Practice: The first step is awareness. Start by looking at the road and cars in front of you. Register your surroundings and how you are feeling. Maybe there is no movement, or you are late, stressed, annoyed, or want to scream. No matter how you feel, become aware of everything. The next step is to do a body scan. Start at your feet and notice how they feel, then your ankles, legs, and stomach. Continue until you have registered every part of your body all the way up to the top of your head. The final step is to connect with your breath. Start by breathing in through your nose for four counts, allowing the breath to go down into your belly, holding there for four counts and then letting out for four counts, and finally holding for four again. Repeat this breath a couple of times until you start to feel your body relax. Now, open your eyes and repeat the phrase “it is what it is” three times. Even if the traffic is still there, hopefully, your agitation is gone. 

    Practicing gratitude is always important, but it’s especially important during the holiday season when it can become easy to lose perspective and let holiday triggers or a busy schedule take over. This gratitude meditation by Deepak Chopra will bring you back around to awareness. 
    Length: 5 minutes
    Practice: Start by finding a quiet place where you can be alone (even your car or a bathroom will work). To begin, close your eyes and take a slow, deep breath in through your nose all the way down to your stomach. Hold it there for a moment before letting it out through your mouth. Pause and then continue the breath a couple more times until you feel more connected and centered. Now focus on your heart, feel it beating, and maybe even place your hands over it if you like. Ask yourself the question, “What are you grateful for?” Allow whatever comes into your mind, and then let the question go. “What are you grateful for?” Let your mind fill with images, words, or people that capture this. Now say to yourself in your mind, “Whatever happens today, I will not judge.” Repeat the phrase a few times. To end, slowly wiggle your hands and feet, open your eyes, and come back into your body. 

    It’s a long season of delicious desserts, tasty wine, and turkey dinners. Sometimes, it’s hard to say no to it all, which leads us to overeat and not feel great, or other times, we feel guilty when we do want to indulge and enjoy the food that the season has to offer. This meditation by Amanda Gilbert is here to help you eat mindfully, all season long. 
    Length: 5 minutes
    Practice: Begin by taking a few breaths to help center and connect to your body before starting. This meditation is meant to be done with food, so once you’re ready, take a moment to look at the meal in front of you. Take in the colors, the smells, and the shapes. Now you can pick up the food, and before you take a bite, ask yourself how you are feeling right now. Are you really hungry? Moderately hungry? Once you know, take your first bite and allow the flavors to burst in your mouth, chew slowly, and take your time before swallowing. How do you feel now? Are you less hungry? Did you enjoy the first bite? Continue to repeat this practice as you take your next bite and so on. Really register each piece of food and remember to eat slowly and mindfully. Once you have taken your last bite, sit for a moment and appreciate the food that filled you. Not too full, but fully satisfied. 

    35 Gratitude Affirmations To Help You Get Through the Holidays
    ’tis the season More

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    ‘Science Says You Can Be Fat and Fit: So Why Do I Feel Like the Odd One Out?’

    A new study out of Arizona State University indicates that, to quote the researchers: ‘fat can be fit’.
    What’s more, the authors argue that when it comes to mitigating the health harms of obesity, focusing on fitness – as opposed to weight loss – is the smarter, more sustainable strategy.
    Here, one writer explores the science of being super fit while in a bigger body – and shares how it can feel:
    Sunday mornings – coffee brewing and radio playing in the background – I plan the week ahead. This usually involves shuffling coloured blocks around on my calendar app until the next seven days look like something I’m happy with.
    Of all of the comings and goings in my diary, there are a few entries that are unmovable: workouts. I made the decision long ago to plan my work and social life around exercise, rather than the other way around. If this makes me sound like a fitness junkie, that’s exactly what I am. In an average [pre-COVID 19] week, I’ll go to at least three cardio and strength classes (spin, kickboxing, HIIT); one yoga session (always yin); do one run (distance dependent on current training demands); and, hopefully, one swim. I also cycle as my main mode of transport in London, where I live.
    READ MORE: “I Cycled 300km in 3 Countries Over 4 Days & And Put On Weight”
    I lead a very active lifestyle; I love moving my body regularly and equally love the noticeable benefits this brings in terms of my strength, my fitness and my peace of mind. And yet, if social media, gym adverts, the average group exercise class and messages from general popular culture are to be believed, I don’t exist. Yes, I work out – but I’m also a size 16 to 18. I’m defined as ‘fat’ by most, no matter how fast I can run or how heavy I can lift.
    Growing up, I was always heavier than my peers and I only really saw people who looked like me in gym marketing that was centred around punishment; messaging that taught me exercise was penance for having a socially unacceptable body. At school, I considered sport a hobby that people did if they had a particular knack or really loved it, rather than exercise that came with myriad benefits. I chose other hobbies – ones that didn’t involve running around in short shorts or require a muscular physique. The result was a feeling that fitness just wasn’t a world in which I belonged; it wasn’t designed for people like me.

    Happily, that changed five years ago when, at the age of 27, I caught the fitness bug. Yes, I’ll admit, I first embraced exercise with a desire to change the shape and size of my body; to make it more acceptable, more likely to be validated by others. I’d always enjoyed swimming and began going twice a week. To start with, I felt self- conscious in my swimming costume, but that gradually passed. I started a Couch to 5k plan, too, as the idea of building up my fitness by exercising alone – without the judgemental looks of others – was appealing.
    READ MORE: Beginners 5K Training Plan And Tips To Crush It In Just 6 Weeks
    Like anything, it was tough at the start, but I soon noticed a huge difference in my mood before and after a run — I was suffering badly with the symptoms of undiagnosed OCD at the time, and exercise granted me a short reprieve from the mental torment. Once I’d built up enough confidence, I started cycling 20km every day to and from work, which meant I was exercising more consistently than I ever had before.
    Since learning to love exercise, my weight has fluctuated, boomeranging across a range of four clothing sizes. Other things have changed, too – my work, relationships, where I live – but my workout routine has been the constant. Though sometimes I’ll do more and sometimes I’ll do less, I don’t think I’ve gone longer than a week without some form of high-cardio activity – unless I’ve been injured. Sometimes, it’s been more of a struggle, usually when I’ve stepped away from exercising alone and into a group setting, be that at a gym, a studio or space that should be engineered to guide, motivate and empower.
    “I don’t think I’ve gone longer than a week without some form of high-cardio activity”
    Particularly when I’ve been on the heavier side, I’ve had trainers underestimate me, misunderstand my goals and fat-shame me in front of a whole class, telling me I need to work harder if I’m going to lose weight. I’ve been handed lighter weights and given less ambitious targets than slimmer women standing next to me and been offered wide-eyed high fives from trainers who’ve been surprised to see me accelerate on a treadmill just as quickly as anyone wearing size eight leggings might.
    In the beginning, of course, this hurt and there were times when I wanted to walk straight back out, but, as my confidence and fitness improved, I started to use it as fuel to push myself harder; to prove everyone wrong. My self-esteem is robust enough that I can use this fuel to keep pushing myself forward without resenting other women.

    Even now, I’m not immune to feeling anxious when I enter a new fitness space for the first time; I can become hyper-aware of my body and how much room it takes up. It’s as if I need to do a bit of extra work to build up to feeling confident working out in an environment that’s not created with me in mind. On a bad day, this self-consciousness can slip into anxiety. I’ve noticed a tendency to push myself harder when training alongside thinner people to prove that I’m as fit as – or fitter than – them. It’s hard to say whether I’m projecting my own body insecurities, or whether it’s a response to judgemental looks in classes or changing rooms; in all honesty, it’s probably a combination of the two.

    “I can become hyper-aware of my body and how much room it takes up”

    Sadly, I’m not alone in feeling this. Suzy Cox is a 41-year-old who works in sales. ‘I’m a size 16 to 18 and, a year ago, I’d never been to a spin class – the thought of any form of organised group exercise made me shudder. I was worried that I’d feel out of place and wasn’t fit enough,’ she tells me. ‘I nearly didn’t go into the first class because I was terrified of all the people in leggings and crop tops, but I’m glad I did – now I spin three times a week. I love the way that, whatever’s going on in my life, it clears my head and makes me feel like I can take on anything.’
    READ MORE: “I Went From The Overweight Girl Who Couldn’t Exercise To A Spinning Instructor”
    The feeling that organised fitness is off the table because you don’t fit in could result in scores of women missing out on exercise – and achieving fitness goals – well within their grasp. ‘Gyms in general can be such intimidating body-focused spaces, full of mirrors and people taking sweaty selfies,’ says Hannah Lewin, a PT and spin coach. ‘This can be really stressful for people starting out. It’s likely to hold you back in terms of your workout and make you less likely to perform as well – limiting the mind-body benefits for the exerciser. All in all, not a good starting place.’
    Nike stuck its neck out in 2019 when it featured plus-sized female mannequins in its flagship London store, but it faced a backlash. It suggests to me that both inclusivity and society’s understanding of an individual’s health and wellbeing beyond aesthetics have a long way to go. For me, seeing those mannequins was the first time I’d ever really felt represented in the world of fitness, despite spending so much time in it. It reiterated the need to make women like me feel welcome in workout spaces more effectively than any previous efforts to do so.
    Representation is key; is there anyone above a size 10 manning the front desk? Across marketing material? Teaching the classes? I’ve only seen this once – at fitness studio Flykick, where the focus in all the marketing material is on strength, and the coaching team is size diverse, which made me feel part of a community: welcome, comfortable and celebrated.
    It matters in the fit kit boutiques housed in gyms and studios. I’ve lost count of the times I’ve rifled through rails of leggings, ready to drop cash on a shiny new pair, only to discover they stop at size 14. If your size isn’t catered for, the underlying message is that you don’t belong, or at least won’t belong until you slim down. It’s the same with the physical set-up in some classes.

    “If your size isn’t catered for, the underlying message is that you don’t belong”

    As I’m sure is the case for many women, floor-to-ceiling mirrors mean I’ve become distracted mid-workout by my own reflection, self- conscious about my body while sweating buckets sprinting on a treadmill. But what the average gym-goer might not have reflected on is the layout of an everyday spin class. Because bikes are crammed so close to each other that people can barely move between them, I’ve been left apologising (cringing on hearing myself ) while trying to squeeze through. The takeaway? This place isn’t made for me. There are few ways to kick off a workout that are more disempowering.
    And that’s a pretty poor outcome. Fitness should be fun, not some punishing chore, whatever your size. And surely it’s especially important that working out is fun for people for whom weight management is a struggle, and those who haven’t yet found their ‘thing’ with fitness and developed a sustainable routine.

    Dr Josh Wolrich – a surgeon who campaigns to end weight stigma – explains, the benefits of exercise, whatever your size, are broad.
    ‘Regular exercise can have a positive impact on weight distribution, which can carry great benefits in terms of your metabolic health, thereby lowering your risk of developing lifestyle diseases such as type 2 diabetes,’ he says. ‘Weight-bearing exercise can reduce your risk of developing osteoporosis, and cardio workouts can improve your heart health.’
    And, despite decades of association between thinness and wellness, the two aren’t always correlated. ‘A person who’s considered thin may be unhealthy,’ Dr Wolrich adds – ‘depending on their exposure to other risk factors, such as alcohol intake, lack of exercise or poor diet.’
    READ MORE: What Exactly Is The Ayurvedic Diet And What Are The Health Benefits?
    And, yes, while obesity can lead to poor health outcomes – especially if an obese individual isn’t regularly exercising – the assumption that bodies larger than society’s ideal are automatically seriously unhealthy is outdated and misleading.
    “Science is catching up to the idea that you can be both fat and fit”
    A new review of studies from the University of Arizona hammers home this point. The authors analysed recent research to gauge how effectively intentional weight loss reduced the mortality risk of people living with obesity, compared to focusing on physical activity and cardiorespiratory fitness.
    Their findings? That increasing fitness and physical activity was associated with reduced harms from obesity – more consistently than when people with the condition focused on weight loss.
    ‘We would like people to know that fat can be fit, and that fit and healthy bodies come in all shapes and sizes,’ says Professor Glenn Gaesser, from the university’s College of Health Solutions.
    Their analysis underlined that when it comes to helping those with obesity, it’s better to emphasise fitness and activity; they also encourage health professionals to big up the benefits of physical activity and cardiorespiratory fitness, even in the absence of weight loss.

    “Falling in love with fitness should be for everyone”
    While a growing number of scientists and clinicians are catching up to the idea that you can be both fat and fit, mainstream society stubbornly puts out the message that they’re mutually exclusive. This prevents those who could benefit the most from discovering the positive benefits of exercise on their health from doing so.
    Falling in love with fitness can help those who feel ‘othered’ by society to develop a habit that’s a robust, get-back-what-you-put-in source of self-esteem. Few other things make me as happy, and I want everyone to be able to get in on the action.
    [Editor’s note: this feature was written pre-COVID 19]
    This article originally appeared on Women’s Health UK

    READ MORE ON: Fitness Advice Self-Care Success Stories More

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    5 Things To Try if You Feel Stressed During the Holidays

    Sure, many of us are wrapping up the year with a calendar full of family time and happy traditions, but this time of year also brings holiday stress like figuring out a budget for all the gifts you need to buy or finding time for every event. Throw in pressure at work and less energy from the lack of sunlight and it seems like we’re all doomed. Even as a wellness editor and health coach, my only health goal this season is to stress less. After all, the point of physical health is for mental health—eating nourishing foods and moving our bodies are simply tools to help us live our happiest lives. Since the holidays are known as the most stressful time of year (just as much as they’re known as the most wonderful time of year), I gathered the best tips to decrease stress in every area of your life so you have the most enjoyable, happy, and stress-free season possible. The Ghost of Christmas Present will thank you. 

    1. Try CBD
    We’ve talked a lot about CBD for deeper sleep and even help reaching orgasms, but this super ingredient should not just be reserved for the bedroom. CBD can help promote a sense of calm and stress relief without making you tired or have lower energy. Whether you’re stressing about an overpacked schedule, year-end work presentation, or just feel more stressed because of the time of year (the weather outside is frightful AF), CBD might be the secret ingredient you’re missing.
    We love Equilibria because their products are high-quality, organically grown, and made without GMOs, heavy-metals, and pesticides—it’s basically like the farm-to-table version of CBD (and when it comes to supplements, it’s so important to know where they’re coming from). To stay calm, help your body relax, and overall decrease stress, add the Daily Drops to your morning coffee for sustained stress relief throughout the workday, rub the Calming Roller onto pulse points for a stress relief boost before meetings, or take the Daily Softgels for increased stress relief over time.

    Daily Drops
    Buy any two stocking stuffers, get one free from now until Dec. 13, and use code theeverygirl for an additional 20% off!

    Dynamic Roller
    Buy any two stocking stuffers, get one free from now until Dec. 13, and use code theeverygirl for an additional 20% off!

    2. Eat mindfully
    Food can be a major source of stress, especially around the holidays. Whether your stress comes from the chores of grocery shopping, meal prepping, and cooking (it can be so much work!), or your stress is more along the lines of feeling like you broke your “diet rules” during holiday meals, nutrition can feel taxing. Since you have much more important things to worry about than how many calories are in that cinnamon bun or when to go the grocery store, get rid of expectations, rules, or habits and just eat mindfully and frequently check in with your body.
    For those of you who are stressed about how much work cooking is, search for ways to make meal prepping easier for you during this busy season: Is it worth investing in grocery delivery or a meal delivery service to eradicate some stress? Most importantly, frequently check in on what your body really wants for each meal (sometimes it will crave something nourishing like soup, and other times it will crave Chinese takeout—and that’s OK!). For those of you who get stressed about “overeating” at holiday meals, know that there’s plenty of room for mindful indulgences, even in a healthy diet. Give yourself permission to eat foods you enjoy, eat intuitively, and check in with your body. Are you feeling sluggish and need some more veggies to nourish or will you enjoy a slice of pumpkin pie? Forget eating for perfection—eat with the priority of self-compassion and it’ll drastically reduce your stress levels (guaranteed). 

    Source: @alainakaz

    3. Schedule alone time
    I live for a morning and evening routine. I love a warm cup of lemon water and gratitude journaling in the a.m., and I look forward to evening stretches, skincare, and meditation all day long. However, routines feel more difficult to fit in during the holidays (or any other busy time), and we don’t realize that practices we started in the name of “stress relief” are actually making us more stressed. If you’re frustrated that you didn’t make time for a morning meditation or you binged Netflix instead of working out, don’t panic. The goal of a routine (or any self-care practice) is not to check items that you’re “supposed” to do off of a list. Instead, the goal is to do something that makes you feel good, and that might look different every day or season. Your only stress-relief routine should be to make time for yourself every morning and night, and then be OK if what that time looks like changes.

    4. Prioritize having fun
    A realization that changed my life is that the only purpose of the holiday season is to enjoy it. That’s it. The purpose isn’t to buy the best gifts, fit in every single tradition, make the most delicious pie ever, or even see every person you care about. The purpose is just to enjoy it. Once you start reframing the purpose of the season, you’ll be able to start realizing how you’re holding yourself back from that goal and causing stress you could actually get rid of. It sounds so childlike and basic, but it’s the #1 reason most of us are stressed out this time of year. We don’t realize that the items on our to-do list that are meant to make the most of the season are actually keeping us from enjoying it. Before scheduling every event you’re invited to, adding a bunch of different wellness practices to your routine, or deciding what food you’re going to eat at every holiday meal, ask yourself if this truly helps you enjoy your life. If not, you know what to do: thank u, next. 

    Source: Maddie Galassi for The Everygirl

    5. Make a list of the top 10 sources of stress (and then fix what you can)
    Many people avoid facing their stressors or sweep them under the rug until it comes out in moments that wouldn’t typically cause a ton of stress, like your roommate leaving dishes in the sink or your boss scheduling an extra meeting. Spend a few minutes identifying and writing down the top 10 sources of stress in your life. Once you know where your stress is coming from, you’ll be able to find solutions. You can even go so far as to take your #1 stressor and come up with five things you can do right now to minimize it (and then do them). If you find that some of your stressors aren’t solvable, you can begin to accept what cannot be changed. Accepting life circumstances as they are can also help ease stress, even if you can’t actually change them (because you can always change mindset). 

    Lindsay Kramer
    Write It Down, Let It Go: A Worry Relief Journal
    If you feel worried about everything from work to-dos to how you’ll have time to bake that pumpkin pie for a family party, writing it all out will help you organize what needs to get done and (most importantly) release the worry.

    Paper Source
    The Anti-Anxiety Notebook
    Designed by therapists to help ease anxiety (in between actual sessions), this notebook offers tips, exercises, journal entries, and more.


    6 Techniques to Reduce Stress That My Therapist Taught Me

    Head to Equilibria and get two stocking stuffers to get one free from now until December 13, and use code theeverygirl for an additional 20% off! 

    This post includes a sponsored mention of Equilibria, but all of the opinions within are those of The Everygirl editorial board. More

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    How to Cope With These Common Holiday Triggers

    It’s supposed to be the “most wonderful time of the year,” so why are there so many holiday triggers? It’s the time of the year when families come together, gifts and food are abundant, and memories are made, but it’s also a time when it’s dark by 5 p.m., the weather is freezing, and Taylor Swift just dropped an album that make you want to cry, not to mention that this time of year can actually bring up a lot of painful feelings, anxiety, and stress. Whether your stress starts at Thanksgiving or you’re hit with the post-holiday sadness after New Year’s Day, read on for expert tips on how to cope and get through the season enjoyably.

    If you’re feeling pressure or exhaustion thinking about the season…
    You are probably expecting way too much. “The holidays are so stressful because there are a lot of ‘shoulds’ placed around them,” explained Chloe Ballatore, a relationship and communications expert and author. “Holidays have rituals, or repetitive activities, so really think through if doing these activities are serving your own best interests.” With the holidays approaching, identify where you think you “should” do something and if you’re doing it for any other reason than it makes you happy or you want to do it. Respect your own happiness over expectations and try not to do anything because you feel like you “should” do them. 

    If you have a negative relationship with food… 
    Whether it’s Friendsgiving, gift exchanges, Hanukkah, or Christmas dinner, holiday gatherings often revolve around food. For those with any kind of negative relationship with food or even a medically restrictive diet, the focus on food can be triggering. Tayler Silfverduk, a registered dietician who specializes in celiac disease and disordered eating, advised to be aware of food pushers, which are people who do not take “no” for an answer when offering food (even if it’s a well-intentioned aunt or grandparent), which can be highly triggering. If you need to, remind your family that your body and eating habits aren’t up for discussion. Overall, eat mindfully, have a game plan if you know you’ll have limited food options (like bringing a hearty side dish to eat for your main course if you don’t eat turkey), and consistently remind yourself that nourishment should be pleasurable—stress about food is worse for your body than any Christmas cookie or cup of eggnog. 

    If family get-togethers are triggering…
    Maybe you don’t get along with certain family members or maybe your family events can just be draining. Maybe you have family members who do not agree with your political or core beliefs, argue through every get-together, or make you feel stressed/pressured. Missy McCrickard, an energy healer, breathwork facilitator, and wellbeing coach, suggested setting boundaries with your family members or removing yourself from the situation altogether. It’s OK to say “No thank you” or “I can’t engage in this conversation.” When setting boundaries, let your family know the boundaries beforehand so they know what will or will not happen when you are together. You can also let them know you will remove yourself from the situation if you do not feel respected or comfortable. You cannot control anyone but yourself, so setting what your personal boundaries and reactions will look like is crucial for navigating tricky family dynamics.

    If you feel lonely during the holidays…
    Whether this time of year reminds you of family members who are no longer in our lives, you feel sad not seeing family this year, or the season is a reminder that you don’t have the relationship or family you want, the holidays can feel lonely. Dr. Rebecca Leslie, a psychologist and owner of Best Within You Therapy & Wellness, said that connecting in whatever way feels fulfilling to you is the most important thing to do when you’re feeling lonely. Set up friendsgivings, gift exchanges, or get-togethers (even if they’re virtual) with people who make you feel loved and supported. “If you’re feeling alone, know that you are not alone in feeling that way,” Dr. Leslie said. “Try to be kind to yourself and practice self-compassion.” Talk to yourself as you would your best friend or little sister, spend time with your favorite hobbies, books, people, and movies, and say ‘no’ to anything that doesn’t make you happier. Practicing self-compassion and fostering connection can help ease loneliness.

    If you’re sober during the holidays…
    If you find that many holiday traditions rooted in a partying or drinking environment feel triggering to your sobriety in any way, set boundaries and seek support. Beth Bowen LMSW, a coach for alcohol-free and sober-curious women, suggested managing your physical, mental, and emotional energy by making sure you are getting extra sleep, turning down invitations to events you don’t want to attend, fueling your body with nutritious food, and exercising regularly. These practices can help you feel grounded so you can make choices that help your body feel best. If you feel uncomfortable being sober in an alcohol-focused environment, bring your own non-alcoholic beverage or perfect your non-alcoholic order so you can have something tasty and celebratory. This can be a mocktail, non-alcoholic beer/wine, or something like sparkling water. 

    If you are financially stressed during the holidays…
    While this season should be more about spending time with loved ones than spending money, we often like to show our love with gifts come the holiday season. Beyond our shopping list, we spend money on new outfits, food and drinks to bring to parties, travel expenses, etc., which can all really add up. “First and foremost, remember you are not alone,” said Sara Kuburic, a holiday triggerspsychotherapist, consultant, writer, and columnist. “Stick to your budget, be honest with people you are spending time with, and find traditions that are more affordable or free.”
    Good news: Gifting doesn’t have to break the bank. Homemade gifts like jewelry, candles, or art can help erase some of the expenses and can even be more personal and thoughtful than a store-bought gift. Lastly, while it can be a bummer to say “no,” try setting boundaries around foregoing gift exchanges or events that cause you more financial stress than enjoyment. Instead, make plans with loved ones for activities that won’t cost a lot of money (and stress): a virtual catch-up, movie night at home, walking around the neighborhood to look at the lights, or a potluck and BYOB dinner (so you’re not in charge of providing all the food and drinks). 

    And no matter what you feel triggered by…
    Practicing consistent self-care is crucial all year long but especially during extra stressful or triggering times like this season. “Make a schedule every day so you can plan ahead and schedule in ways to care for yourself,” suggested Dr. Elizabeth Lombardo, PhD, a celebrity psychologist, keynote speaker, and author. “Determine which days will be particularly demanding and plan self-care activities before, during, or after those days.” Also, when you feel triggered in the moment, have a game plan. Try grounding yourself by taking 10 deep breaths from your belly, journaling, venting to a trusted loved one, or any other coping skills you have in your toolbox. Lastly, you should not be triggered, struggling, or coping alone. Seek support from friends, family, or a therapist.

    Anxiety, toxic family relationships, and depression can feel isolating, but you shouldn’t have to feel as though you’re going through it alone. Please reach out to your doctor, a therapist, or another trusted professional for support.
    National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-TALK (1-800-273-8255)
    Crisis Textline: text CONNECT to 741741
    If you are struggling with an eating disorder or with disordered thoughts or behaviors regarding food and eating, please seek help. Call the National Eating Disorders Association Helpline at 1-800-931-2237 for support, reach out to a qualified medical professional, or, for a 24-hour crisis line, text “NEDA” to 741741.

    35 Gratitude Affirmations To Help You Get Through the Holidays
    ‘tis the season More

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    PSA: The Holidays Can Seriously Mess With Your Gut Health—Here’s How Experts Prevent It

    From Thanksgiving turkey to New Year’s champagne, the holidays are full of delicious indulgences, favorite foods, and a busy social life, which are all fun and games until the gut health issues and digestive drama kicks in. There’s a reason that “holiday belly” is a thing and our digestive symptoms either worsen or resurface when the season starts. Maybe you even expect a constant stomachache from now until January or stock up on digestive enzymes and anti-gas pills this time of year (if you ask me, the real Grinch is painful bloat and constipation).
    The good news is that gut issues don’t have to be a given with the holiday season like the ugly sweater your mom will make you wear or the embarrassing cards she’ll send to relatives. Gut issues are typically due to specific problems and routine changes that come around this time of year, which means they are manageable. Because I’m personally over the digestive drama, I asked experts how to keep my gut health in check without giving up my favorite foods and traditions. Here’s what they said. 

    What makes gut health worse during the holidays?

    Lack of routine
    Turns out, your gut might not be as spontaneous as you are. Packed schedules, holiday travel, and a totally abnormal diet are all factors that can affect gut health. “The gut thrives in routine, especially when it comes to sleep, exercise, and meals,” explained Erin Judge, RDN, a registered dietitian nutritionist, gut health expert, and founder of Gutivate. “The holiday season throws off routines, thanks to travel, busy schedules, and shorter days. This can confuse the gut and lead to digestive symptoms, especially changes in bowel motility.” Just like your sleep cycle and menstruation cycle, your gut works best when it’s on a cycle too. When you’re eating at unfamiliar times (like late at night) or your body is going through general routine changes (like changing time zones), your gut might be affected.
    “When we’re changing time zones or even just out of normal routine, our internal rhythms are disrupted, often causing the metabolism to be less effective,” agreed William Siff, a licensed acupuncturist, clinical herbalist, ethnobotanist, and health educator who founded Goldthread Tonics. “Weaker digestive fire leads to slower digestion, which will cause gas, bloating, inflammation, and more.” It’s not just about what you eat during the holidays that wrecks havoc on your gut (but more on that below)—lack of consistency in all areas of your life can lead to weakened digestion and a confused gut. 

    Chronic stress
    If you think your packed schedule, growing shopping lists, and family turmoil only affects your sanity, think again. Stress levels are a huge factor in gut health because the gut and brain are connected (via the gut-brain axis). “The gut and the brain communicate, so stress can cause us to clench muscle groups and hold tension in our abdomen, which can affect digestion,” explained Willow Jarosh, MS, RD, a dietician nutritionist and expert for Health-Ade. “Stress can also lead to changes in movement in the gut, and stress-related gut symptoms can vary (like constipation, diarrhea, gas, bloating, cramping, etc.).” 
    “The stress of the holiday season can increase cortisol levels, which sends the body into the sympathetic nervous system state,” Judge agreed. “During this state, the digestive system also goes into a state of stress, which can lead to changes in bowel motility and bloating.” Stress can affect gut symptoms by changing the chemical messages passed along on the gut-brain axis and also because we often hold tension in our abdominal muscles, which tenses the gut, causing cramping, gas, constipation, or irregular bowel movements. “Tension forms in the gut area when we’re feeling stressed, and these tight muscles in our diaphragm make digestion harder,” Siff explained. Bottom line: Stress is not just something you know you should improve eventually—it deserves to be the #1 priority when taking care of your health. 

    Abnormal diet
    No surprise here: Those sugar cookies, spoonfuls of gravy, and glasses of holiday punch are not your gut’s BFFs. “Holiday foods are higher in sugar and fats that slow down the gut due to malabsorption and are lower in fiber that helps regulate the gut and improve the health of gut microbes, leading to bloating and discomfort,” Judge explained. Your favorite holiday foods from a cup of eggnog to cornbread casserole are often less nutritious because of the high sugar content (who can say “no” to gingerbread?) and contain less fiber, which is an essential nutrient to keep the gut healthy and keep you regular.
    So while our holiday diets typically have less fiber that feeds the good bacteria, the increased amount of sugar is feeding the bad bacteria. “We likely eat more sugar this time of year, which can imbalance the gut microbiome and allow the bad bacteria to grow,” Siff said. However, the answer is not to avoid all of your favorite foods for fear of a gut flare-up. In the end, a rich meal or a sugary cookie here and there is not going to majorly affect your gut (and the body is meant to detox all on its own), but changing your diet and eating less crucial nutrients over a period of time can cause uncomfortable gut symptoms. 

    How to keep your gut healthy during the holidays:

    Stay consistent whenever you can
    Yes, routine is crucial, but our routines don’t have to be perfect to be beneficial. You don’t need to leave a holiday party early if you’re having fun just to keep your regular bedtime, and you shouldn’t forego traveling to keep your gut in check. This also doesn’t mean you have to fit in a 60-minute workout every single day or bring a container of your go-to meal to a holiday dinner, all in the name of “consistency.” Instead, be consistent where you can, whether it’s having the same morning routine (no matter where you are or what time it starts), getting seven to nine hours of sleep (even if that means 1 a.m. to 8 a.m. instead of your usual 10 p.m. to 6 a.m.), and fitting in movement (whether its a 60-minute workout or a walk around the block with your mom). 
    Judge recommended eating meals throughout the day, getting enough hours of sleep every night, and fitting in movement, because any amount of consistency helps keep your gut stay happy. But consistency doesn’t have to mean doing the same thing every day—it can simply mean taking time to check in with your body. “Try to carve out time each day to do something that helps you connect to your body, whether that’s a meditation or a walk without your phone,” Jarosh recommended. “Try to keep sleep consistent, hydrate throughout the day, don’t start a diet or try to skip meals in preparation for holiday meals, and practice strategies to avoid diet-related talk or feel the need to detox (that can cause stress on both the mind and body).”

    Prioritize stress relief 
    “Health, especially in the gut, always begins with the mind because our core area is extremely sensitive and actually has more nerves than anywhere besides the spine,” Siff explained. In other words, staying positive and seeking joy (including joy with food!) is not only good for your experience but also good for your gut. Judge recommended prioritizing habits that can help your body move into the parasympathetic nervous system state, or “rest and digest.” “This can be done through diaphragmatic breathing, mindfulness exercises, meditation, and adequate sleep. Starting your meals with breathing and mindfulness can also help you digest your food better and have less discomfort,” she said.
    In general, doing whatever you can to keep stress levels down can have a huge effect on your gut, digestion, and symptoms. So when you’re about to go ham (pun intended) on a huge holiday feast? You know what to do: Take some deep breaths, eat mindfully, and enjoy every bite without one bit of shame, guilt, or regret.

    Start strong in the morning
    Have you ever skipped meals or ate light snacks throughout the day, knowing you were going to a big holiday party at night and thought it was best to save room or calories? Yeah, same. In reality, the body does not work that way. If you go into a holiday buffet or extravagant dinner without properly nourishing your body throughout the day, you’ll be more likely to mindlessly binge, eat past the point of fullness, and not make mindful decisions of what you would really enjoy or what would nourish the body.
    Most importantly, breakfast is an essential chance to get in crucial nutrients that will help the gut stay healthy, even with added sugars and lack of fiber in other meals later in the day. “Starting every day with a breakfast rich in fiber is a guaranteed way to improve your gut health because prebiotic fiber is the fuel for probiotics and can help keep your gut healthy,” suggested Kara Landau, RD, a gut health expert and founder of Uplift Food. No matter what your holiday plans entail later, start the day off strong with a smoothie full of fruits and veggies, add leafy greens and onions to an omelet, or eat a side of fiber-rich fruits like berries to get in some added good-for-the-gut nutrients.

    Be mindful about meals
    Good news: Every expert I talked to agreed that you do not need to give up your favorite foods and that stress over food is worse for the gut than any cup of eggnog or slice of pumpkin pie could ever be. If you eat a diet rich in whole foods and nutritious fruits and veggies most of the year, a buttery dinner roll, plate of creamy Alfredo, or a few too many glasses of punch at the office party won’t make any difference. Instead of restricting, just be mindful. Your plate can (and should!) contain both the foods you love and the nutrients you know are going to make your body feel good.
    “The holiday season is a time for treats and indulgences, but your diet can still include gut-friendly nutrients,” suggested Sofia Popov, MSc, BSc, a microbiome scientist and founder of GUTXY. “Eating fiber helps your gut bacteria make short-chain fatty acids, which give your gut energy and keep digestion running smoothly.” Bottom line: Enjoy your favorite foods, but don’t skimp on the Brussels sprouts, salad, and pomegranate seeds—your plate and your gut have room for it all. 

    Improve Your Gut Health By the End of the Week More