This is a wonderful time of year. Work parties, get-togethers with friends, and family reunions all provide opportunies to connect, celebrate, and be merry.
Yet this time of year is also known for its excess. It’s all too easy to spend beyond your budget on holiday gifts, overindulge in holiday cookies, drink one too many cocktails, and squabble with loved ones when tensions boil over.
One of Integrative Nutrition’s core values is “create balance in all areas of life,” and this philosophy infuses all of Founder and Primary Teacher Joshua Rosenthal’s teachings. Joshua’s background is in macrobiotics, a dietary theory that emphasizes the Chinese principle of yin and yang. The philosophy of yin and yang emphasizes the duality of opposing and interdependent forces in the world – for example, light and dark, fire and water, male and female.
On a dietary level, Joshua teaches that certain foods have yin qualities (expansive) while other foods have more yang qualities (contractive). Eating foods that are extremely yin, such as sweets, or foods that are extremely yang, such as salt and meat, can cause cravings that ping pong us from one imbalanced meal to the next. While our bodies can enjoy a certain quantity of extreme foods, such as when we are at a holiday party, the key is to fuel ourselves during the rest of the time with plenty of water and nutrient-dense, whole, nourishing foods.
The same is true of other areas of your life that fuel your soul. As Joshua teaches, when primary food is balanced and satiating, your life feeds you, making what you eat secondary. Nourish yourself daily with loving friendships, a fulfilling career, regular exercise, and a meaningful spiritual practice. It’s common for one of these elements to become deprioritized during the busy holidays – for example, you may hit the gym less often or let your meditation practice slide. If you notice that these areas of your life are out of balance, you can make gentle adjustments to nourish yourself anew.
What are your tips for staying balanced this holiday season? Let us know in the comments below!