It’s almost Thanksgiving and I am starting to plan my trip to my mother’s, where I will have to bring my own food. My being vegan is a pain in the neck for her, ‘why can’t you just eat like everybody else does.’ Well, because I would get really sick and spend the entire holiday on the toilet if I did. The holidays are a really rough time of year for anyone who has adopted a healthier lifestyle. But before I give you some tips to beat the sugar, carbs, and fat, I want to say something really important about the holidays: don’t forget why they’re important.

The holidays are about family and tradition, and food is just a part of that. In every culture, feasts are prepared to bring family and friends together, to celebrate abundance. There is joy in working together to make a table look beautiful and then sitting down to it together, continuing traditions.

Don’t get me wrong, I know family can be challenging, especially when you throw the stress of preparing a giant meal and having lots of people over. My family drives me insane sometimes. But not everyone has a big dinner to go to, or a family to drive them insane, or maybe they’re dealing with the loss of a family member.

So, how do you keep the food at Thanksgiving from becoming a problem for that healthy lifestyle of yours? Here are some tips:

Don’t Be a Jerk

No one held a gun to your head to get healthy. You chose to. Stick to your food choices without being confrontational about it.

  • Don’t spend the day pointing out the fat and calories in every dish. Don’t be a wet blanket for those who came to pig out.

  • Don’t expect the rest of the world to change how they cook just because you’re coming to dinner.

  • Don’t have a fit if, in an effort to offer something you can eat, your host or hostess gives you a plate of veggies covered in butter or cheese. Quietly explain the situation to them. Help them learn the ropes.

An Ounce of Preparation…

  • Offer suggestions for dishes you can eat. Unless they eat the same way, chances are they have no idea what to make for you. Be polite – “Hey, about dinner next Saturday, have you ever tried this broccoli dish I make at the holidays?”.

  • Be lighthearted if (when) you get teased for not giving in to the piles of temptations everywhere you turn.

  • Bring your own food and prepare your own plate quietly so that no one even notices that you’re not taking a helping of stuffing.

Bring Your Essential Oil Kit

  • Your host/hostess is completely stressed out. Grab them for just a second and rub some lavender, a blend of spruce, rosewood, frankincense and blue tansy, or a blend of sweet marjoram, chamomile, Ylang Ylang and sandalwood on their temples. Don’t apply too much if they’re cooking though – you don’t want to mess with their ability to smell, that’ll just stress them out more! Then, give them a hug, and ask where you can help.

  • This time of year, people find ways to make the house smell more festive. Bring a diffuser filled with a blend of wild orange, nutmeg, pine, cassia, cinnamon and vanilla, and put it in the bathroom. It’ll smell great and help calm them.

  • Stuffed tummies will be desperate for something to make them feel better. Put a few drops of peppermint oil in some tea and share it with the sufferers.

Keeping to a diet or healthy lifestyle can really suck, surrounded by all the yummy temptations.

So, do your best, give yourself a break, but don’t let yourself get away with murder.
@hayleyhobson (Click to Tweet!)

And, no matter how crazy they make you, don’t forget to be thankful for spending time with your loved ones. They’re the only family you’ve got!

I’ve just shared some tips on how to be healthy at the holidays. Got a tip of your own? Share it below.

XO Hayley

Hayley Hobson is an author, speaker, business coach, yogi, Pilates instructor, and holistic nutritional expert based in Boulder, CO. Her unique and intelligent style promotes strengthening while softening—empowering her clients to heal not only their physical bodies but their hearts and minds as well. To learn more about her nutritional courses, events, and custom programs, visit or follow her on Facebook or Twitter.