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Nourishing Your Gut And Soul – 3 Ways To Embrace Abundance This New Year

Written by: Chelsea Haines, Executive Contributor

Executive Contributors at Brainz Magazine are handpicked and invited to contribute because of their knowledge and valuable insight within their area of expertise.

 
Executive Contributor Chelsea Haines

The New Year is upon us, and with it comes a whirlwind of festivities, gatherings, and delicious treats. It's a time for joy, connection, and celebration. To have the best festive season possible, I’m going to share a reminder of how crucial it is to ensure that we prioritize both our well-being and the well-being of our gut and how to do just that.

Number 2024 on heap of coins.

It all starts (like most things) with a mindset shift. The shift is to focus on abundance rather than restriction, allowing ourselves to enjoy the festivities while fully nurturing our bodies and minds. Here are three ways to savor the holiday season: mindful eating, presence, and nourishment.


1. Nourishing your gut = Mindful eating: A feast for the senses


If I close my eyes and let my mind wander to Christmas day as a child, I can almost taste my mom's famous turkey stuffing. I can feel the heat of the crackling fire. Smell the cinnamon tea brewing and cookies baking. Memories are felt more than recounted. That means the magic of making memories lies in getting every sense involved. This looks like taking the time to notice the senses that are online when we're at all our precious celebrations.


Here's how that works. When you’re at a gathering, start with the eyes and view the variety and colors of all the dishes in front of you. Consider the time, effort, and thought the creator of each dish put into it (even if it was a bought dish, someone's hands went to making that for you and your family.) When dishing up, enjoy smelling your mindful choices. As you sit down to eat, don't let etiquette get in the way of you using your hands to feel the texture of the foods on your plate. Finally, take a moment to savor each first bite of the different dishes. Eating mindfully makes you more likely to recognize when you're satisfied, preventing that post-holiday lunch overfull feeling.


Instead of rushing through your meals, create a mindful eating ritual. Chew slowly, put down your fork between bites, and engage in conversation. By being present with your food, you'll enjoy it more and foster a healthier relationship with eating over the festive season.


2. Nourishing your gut = Choosing presence over perfection


The holidays often bring with them a sense of perfectionism, whether it's the perfect gift, the perfect decorations, or the perfect body. This year, let's release the notion of perfection and focus on being present in each moment.


Whether you're sharing a meal with loved ones or enjoying a quiet evening by the fire, be fully present. Put away the distractions, savor the conversations, and relish the joy of connection. When you're in the moment, you're less likely to turn to food for comfort or distraction, fostering a healthier relationship with both the season (which can be a triggering time for some) and your gut.


To practice that presence, I like to practice mindful eating with meditations like this one so that when I am eating with loved ones, my "mindful muscle" is well developed.


3. Nourishing your gut = Eating for nourishment, not numbers


More time for many means more time online. With all the holiday postings by influencers, it's easy to get caught up in calorie counting and food restrictions. This New Year, shift your mindset to one of abundance. Choose foods that nourish your body and soul, focusing on the quality of what you eat rather than the quantity.


Start your day with a nourishing breakfast filled with wholesome ingredients. Prioritize nutrient-dense options that provide sustained energy. Use the Magic Plate technique to balance your breakfasts. When it comes to festive gatherings, savor the indulgent treats without guilt, and also ensure you're incorporating a variety of protein, fruits, vegetables, and whole grains into your meals. (Happy gut, happy life, and your gut LOVES the fiber found in all plant foods but especially legumes and whole grains).


A healthy gut, your secret ingredient for a jolly holiday


Amidst the holiday cheer, your gut health quietly plays a pivotal role in ensuring you have not just a good but a great holiday. Picture this: you indulge in a festive feast, and instead of feeling bloated and uncomfortable, you feel light and nourished. A healthy gut means efficient digestion without the discomfort of post-feast regret.


But the benefits extend beyond the physical. Believe it or not, your gut health directly links your mood, energy levels, and even those persistent food cravings. A well-nourished gut can influence the production of neurotransmitters like serotonin, often dubbed the "happy hormone," contributing to an uplifted and positive mood.


Sending you into the new year with all my love


Let's make this holiday and New Year a season of true celebration—of connection, joy, and the abundance that fills our hearts and plates. I want to take this last moment to thank this beautiful community for coming along the ride, and for choosing to show up for yourselves and prioritize gut health. If you'd like to gift yourself or a loved one a life-changing opportunity, then be sure to apply for our signature Gut Health program with The Gut Health Agency. My team and I can't think of a better way to say "I love you" than to work on adding years to your life and life into those years.


Cheers to a holiday season filled with mindful indulgence and the nourishment of both body and soul!


Follow me on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, and visit my website for more info!

Chelsea Haines Brainz Magazine
 

Chelsea Haines, Executive Contributor Brainz Magazine

Recently featured "The Gut Health Coach" by Yahoo!, Chelsea Haines has a unique way of helping high-performers heal. She doesn't claim to know best. Her mission: to remind you that YOU are the expert on your body, only you know precisely what you need, and you are not "crazy" for feeling how you feel. Her expertise stems from personally healing autoimmune disease paired with formal degrees in psychology, gut health, and mindfulness. She’s the Founder of The Gut Health Agency, where a team of health coaches & Registered Dietitians merge health coaching with clinical testing for increased patient compliance and lasting habit change ‒ a needle-moving combination not otherwise seen in the gut health space.

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