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EP 40: HOW TO STAY HEALTHY THIS HOLIDAY SEASON (JESS CORDING)

Updated: Dec 17, 2018


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Staying healthy during the holiday season comes with challenges, like how much cake is too much cake and when seasonal depression strikes, what kind of food should you be eating to help you feel a bit better?


Jess Cording, a Registered Dietitian and Health Coach, gives advice on everything from why we need Vitamin D to why our body is craving carbs during the cold months.


We talk about:

-Healthy eating during the holiday season

-The importance of snaking

-How to be mindful on a daily basis

-What we can get out of journaling

-Why our body craves carbs

-Foods that have Vitamin D

-What to do if you're dealing with seasonal depression and don't want to eat


Learn More aboutJess Cording:

Facebook: @JessicaCordingNutrition  Instagram: @jesscording 

Twitter: @JessCording


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Below is a full transcript of the interview:


Youre not getting any younger, so hydrate like its your side hustle.

Welcome to the youre, not getting any younger podcast a podcast for people who want to distract their lives for good reason to make account im your host jen glantz and every week ill drop a new episode with stories from real people. Just like you who woke up one morning and decided to make big changes, starting with small things, will cover topics like entrepreneurship failure and selfcare. Hey youre, not getting any younger so lets make this an adventure ready

This week was such a bum of a week for me and this past wednesday, with the third meet up for the youre, not getting any younger facebook group in new york city, and i had to drag myself there. I wanted to make up every excuse in the book to cancel because i was feeling so low and tired, and i just didnt, think that i could really show up and somehow i brought myself there and sitting beside 15 other people who are listeners of the show. Some of them, friends them of them strangers and just coming together in a circle and talking about the things that we just dont talk about with other people with so incredibly powerful. It was interesting because to everyone, all of us, we werent we were strangers practically and one of the things that i had the group do. When i know this sounds super, childish and semi lame with, i want everyone to go around and share their names and talk about the things that keep them up at night and things that break their heart and things are scared up and things just need. Help with because those are the conversations that we need to start having with people, one of the things i try so hard to do, but sometimes i get scared to is to have those conversations that go past hey what the weather is and how was your day and what do you do for fun and really truly dive into the core of the human youre staring into the eyes of a find the similarity make sure they realize that theyre not so alone, because we all have our struggles, we have are monsters. We have our problems and its time that we talked about them. I just want to say humongous, thank you to the people who came out because it reminded me that this podcast sitting in front of the microphone and talking to it is so lonely, and sometimes i think that theres nobody out there listening and then you look into the eyes of the human to do, and you realize how much what you say, matters and and how amazing it is that theres a community around people who have a shared knowledge and a shared desire to make them out of life. And i just want to tell you a little bit about the people who were there. There was sydney a friend from college who works at a nonprofit and is the most energetic person youll ever meet, especially on a wednesday night theres ambreen shes, a lawyer. She just moved to new york from toronto and jason her husband, hes originally from california and brings the sunshine into any room and, of course, adam my boyfriend, the founder of best day, ever llc and entrepreneur, whos, always thinking of the latest and the greatest and theres child- and he was the only other guy there and he is a runner he likes to run and hes running another half marathon early next year and theres lila shes a rockstar. You can find her music on itunes and sam. She has a blog called occasionally i match, and i love her friday. Emails and theres. Lauren and lauren is a salsa dancer and a jewelry maker whos going to mess up her life and live in a new city and brenda who works for the financial gym and she cares so much about people. Their finances there stephanie, who wore such a glittery skirt and stephanie, does a lot of work and events theres hannah, who has her own babysitting and staffing company. And finally, this weeks, guests jessica, cording shes, a registered dietitian health, coach and writer with a passion for helping people, streamline their wellness routine and enjoy a balanced relationship with food and exercise fun. Facts about jess. She eats chocolate every single night and her advice on this episode is all about how to get through the holidays without stressing out about what youre eating and also the importance of journaling every single day. I have a feeling youre going to love this episode and, as always, if you do make sure you subscribe rate and review on itunes, it helps so much and please please please. Please come hang out with us in the secret youre, not getting any younger facebook group. I truly hope to see you there just thank you so much for coming on the show, thanks for having me, of course, its so great to have you back on the last time you were on, you gave such good advice on helping people figure out, quick meals to make and also stay healthy while theyre on the go, but this time i have a different set of questions for you. We are currently in the season where there is a lot of delicious food, so much temptation. I spy not to be such a battle because a part of me wants to splurge and have 5 pieces of pie, and then a part of me feels really guilty. After i see my body just completely reacting like its so mad at me. So what advice do you have for eating during this holiday time of the year? So i know which indulgences are worth it to you bucket that helps. You know what to make room for cuz. I dont know about you. I dont want to be sitting there eating things that i dont love just because theyre quoteunquote, healthy and then you know completely deny myself the stuff that i really want to have some. I find that when we do that, he always continue to fix it. On that thing, and then we just end up overdoing it on you know other things that we are trying to satisfy ourselves with that arent what we want. So i think that this time of year, knowing whats things you most look forward to it, give you a starting place for knowing how to make space for that so true. But my problem is, i think i know im like okay this time of year i love specific kind of different kind of pie, but then i go to a party or dinner and theres just so much temptation in front of my face, and i think to myself you know tis the season just dive right and is there any kind of trick, maybe mentally or even just filling yourself up before going to parties or events that helps you not benji everything in front of you because you feel like you should or you can or you think you want to oh my gosh yeah, where to start starving im a big supporter of having a snack before you go, especially if you plan on drinking it. Doesnt have to be anything elaborate, but i do find that having something balance such as something that will provide a little protein, maybe some complex carbs helps you stay your blood sugar, stable, so youre an alcoholic, get your bloodstream really quickly and cause you to get a little bit tipsy a little more quickly than you might normally be something like some yogurt, with some fries, depending on your preference. That could be a piece of fruit and some nut. Butter on half a sandwich

Can be a snack if you need it to be out and about and theres a million places to duck in and get a cup of like minestrone soup that totally works as a good free party snack. I love that youre using the word snack and saying that because i feel like theres so many health coaches out there and people out there who advise you have three meals a day. Only youre not allowed to snag dont give in to that and im thinking to myself throughout the day, when i try to follow that im really hungry right now, i want to have a snack, so im really happy that youre telling people to eat snacks to bring snacks back into their life, but i think thats a great technique to remember as well not to show up hungry, because i know i show up at an hours and i just started eating literally a bowl of cheetos cuz im, just im just so hungry,

Where i go to a holiday party or i have a wonderful weekend eating what i want and then sunday night monday. I feel so bad about myself. I feel so bad about what i just did. What kind of foods are good recovery food? So, if people say you know what im going to start over im going to start clean on monday to you just reset yeah, so i find one of the most common complaints after an indulgent weekend or even like. I know you know: a guy definitely started feeling like an evening out a little bit more than i might have in my twenties wear. If you wake up feeling kind of bloated, are you want to make sure that youre consuming up plenty of potassium rich foods to help counteract that im? So so my favorite high potassium foods are avocado dark leafy greens, tomato sweet potato bananas. You can make a smoothie with some coconut water, which is also really high in potassium, would like something ever. You know you like im, or you can make some avocado toast with the place to meet on it may be. Out of those are all just some examples of some valence meals that theyre going to come. Get you off. I mean its going to help but im not going to beat myself up im just going to go to the gym and not feel guilty about it, and you have that stable bloodsugar to support you up after engaging and whatever type of behavior. We said we werent going to hurt like a weekend.

Did the temptation to beat yourself up is enormous, but we are so hard on ourselves and i think that when we shift our mindset from swelling on to what we dont like to move it more towards. Okay, well, what can i do to feel great? I find that that is a much better approach, that we tend to enjoy a lot better so true, and what are the things i love about you that i feel like you mentioned last time i read about you and your bio is that you say that you openly chocolate every single day seuss about how you make the choice to do that and why youre not ashamed of doing that all my gosh yeah, i mean number one chocolate. You can eat like three chocolate bars a day. I mean it would kind of lose the specialness appeal. I think if you did but yeah i love a piece of dark chocolate ice, just something ive always enjoy it, and i feel like its just a really nice- and i often will have it like at the end of the day, is just that would like a cup of tea is im doing my evening journaling check in at its just such a nice. Little ritual and you know i buy my favorite types of chocolate or ill. Try different ones and, like i do, know its sort of just a nice little treat and the day. And you know if i find that chocolate is one of those foods, that it has only health benefits like antioxidants and different towerful compounds, that help support our health and wellness and really cool ways, and just having that nice little moment is so great that you dont. Like anything else pleasurable in our society, we just feel like always feels good. It must be bad and horrible and i should feel guilty about it. So true and i think just even hearing someone like you say that and be open and honest about that. Just reminds people that you cant have a little bit of what you want theres, nothing wrong with everything in moderation, and i really like how you talk about journaling and i recently saw a picture. I think on facebook of a bunch of journals that you had that youve had for so many years and its so great, and one of the things im really trying hard to work on that i failed miserably at is being mindful and being in the moment and controlling myself, so what kind of things are you journaling about when you, when you close up at night, you have your tea, you have your chocolate. What kind of things are you writing in that journal over the years, since i was 9 years old, probably which is really nerdy, but where im at right now is every night i write down something. I appreciate myself for something from that. Do you know awesome for me its like being proud of how i handled myself in an emotionally challenging situation? I also will write down. Sometimes you know if you think that went thats a newer one for me, i i just. I found that sometimes i need that little boost to be like. Oh, no, you know what these are some things that i sometimes will make a note of something that choice. I made her something that i did that maybe didnt serve me so well, im just so that kind of energy, something to reflect on in like how could i handle that differently. But i also just like right down, like just a nice thought for myself sometimes ill write the same thing over and over. If you know many nights in a row, sometimes i go through phases, where a different little things that i feel like. I need to hear, but ive just found, that those are some nice ways to sort of wine down for the night and just sorta clear my head from whatever might be still in there and chattering that i need to just kind of put to bed for the. For the night right- and i used to do this years ago- and i remember i did it for an entire year straight and then im on december 31st and new years eve. I went back to the beginning and i read through my ear and it was just so powerful to see how much change and how much i grew, and it was really just a remarkable thing that i regret, but i stopped doing. But do you ever go back and look at progress, or do you do you feel like when youre writing these things down when you write about what youre proud of what youve accomplished, even just that day, even if its small do you find that that also sets into your mind and then mix carries on the next day and changes your behavior at 10. I find that when i turn all about few minutes in the morning, while im eating breakfast and then again in the evening- and i found that the morning journaling is so powerful for helping me get into the day with intention thats huge for me, and then i find that i struggle a lot with like, if im going to be anxious, it tends to creep up in the evening wear, like all the stuff, that ive sort of kept down all night or all day thats when it sneaks up on me and its like very loud, so i found that the night time is a good time for my journal wine to serve with a declutter so to speak, but the morning is when it really is like. I feel like thats, where the magic happens for me with setting intentions or if im riding down a dream. I had the night before that thats when ill kind of get messages that i might not have thought about that way. Otherwise, i think just being mindful in general, as is so important and having something to keep you accountable, even if it is a journal that you write in privately is its so powerful in this day and age. When we over share a lot of things on social media and we filter a lot of things, a lot better than they are another thing i wanted to ask is you know where is holiday times a lot of that comes with mixed emotions? It comes with people feeling depressed; it comes with people just having a shift in mood which wich all the changes eating habits. I know that sometimes when i get really really depressed around, you know having a ton of anxiety. I physically cant eat, and i know ive heard people say this to me all the time you know i just i cant eat. Theres no way i could eat- and i i spelled that and its a scary feeling, because you, just you cant even put something in your mouth thats how you know sort of stick you feel internally. So do you have any advice for people who are going through a really tough time dealing with either seasonal depression, holiday, depression or just depression and anxiety and general, and find that their normal eating habits have just gone to shit? Yes, i will give you some practical tips in his back, but the number one thing i tell my clients who are feeling that way is to give yourself some grace and some space is that i mean we are so hard on ourselves and i keep saying that, but i think that acknowledging that youre having a tough time and that you need a little extra tlc is a really important stuff and whether you are getting that tlc from yourself or you are able to ask for it and receive it from other people. In your life, i think those are both really important things. You know being able to turn the dial on your own, so to speak with your energy, but also knowing how to ask for what you need, or both really powerful things. I dont suggest it also giving yourself some space time. I find that when were dealing with a lot of stressful things or if they were around more than we might usually the or we might feel overwhelmed. So i find that carving out time to whether its time for reflection, like it, look journaling whether its time for selfcare what are thats like canceling, a plan that you really dont need to. You know show up for and having a night in things like that can be really valuable, but in terms of seasonal depression, there are different nutrients that are involved in that you want me to dig into that a little bit. Of course, i would love that this is one of my favorite topics, but i am interested in it because i went through it too, especially when we live in areas where its dark a lot of the time. During this time of year, for example, one of the number one brain chemicals that impact our mood is serotonin, which is an er of regulating transmitter and what i see happening. A lot during the the darker months is a carb cravings, really kick in for a lot of people, and it just freaks them out. There like why am i and one of the reasons that we need carbohydrates? Is there really a central part of serotonin production, so when we are having lower levels of serotonin, when we are having less exposure to sunlight? Another thing that impacts serotonin production are serotonin levels. They take a dip and our body responds by say it by. You know what it shows up for us, many of us with carb cravings cuz thats her bodys way of saying hey. I need some help here. I need to make some more serotonin stat, like give me some freaking pizza its pizza and pasta mashed potatoes this time of year, and that is one big reason why i just cuz. We often tend to be a little lower energy and thats another in our body. Glucose to make energy so its you know its not mysterious or youre, not wrong, but the important i can help a lot. I was actually just talking with a friend about this on monday, and he was saying that hes just been really tired and you know kind of feels a little more like prone to just feeling down, and we got on the topic of vitamin d box thats. Another nutrient that is really tight end do our mood or cognitive function. So this time of year, if i, if i am working with someone and theyre saying they feel really fatigued, they just feel like i cant think straight, i feel really down. I will ask them like you know, what time did you get your vitamin d chapter? Are you getting enough sunlight? Are you on a d supplement because very often when were vitamin d levels are low were going to feel tired, but they cant think clearly im so thats, something that is simple blood test at your doctor can identify an omega3 fatty acids have been shown to be helpful as well for counteracting seasonal affective disorder and sometimes the stress that comes up during the holidays and, like everybodys favorite stress, hormone cortisol, some fish like tuna salmon and mackerel sardines. One of my favorites, i know thats weird, but you can also get vitamin a little bit of vitamin d and omega3 in eggs. But if you are vegetarian or you dont, like those foods, you know there are supplements available as well. Yeah im writing these down because i feel, like i need to overdose on both of these things right now. Ive, definitely, like most people who live in a cold climate, are vitamin d deficient. I know every single year i go and get checked and thats. The first thing the doctor calls to tell me is that another year, another deficiency in vitamin d and i dont do anything about it, yeah its its its something that is so common but yeah its i almost feel it because its so normalized, we are less motivated to do something about someones, like everyone, you know, is deficient in vitamin d youre like part of that club, but no one does anything about it. You know its just a fun thing to talk about it. Party go to coffee. I probably not good for you to drink it anymore, and i didnt have it today and im. Just feeling like i could go to sleep right now and its, like only for the rest of the day is coffee, something that people should take out or keep in their diet. I think that your relationship to coffee and the amount youre drinking are the key things to look at from a research standpoint. Its been shown that you know about 400 400mg might sound like a lot to some people, but it might sound like nothing to somebody else. Like in a grande drip coffee from starbucks coconut like coffee cuz, they brew a really strong cup but like a shot of espresso thats like 75 mg hospital. And then i was drinking like insomnia and like heart palpitations- and i was so in denial, really took like going to my doctor and her being like how much coffee you drinking thats, like oh yeah, thats thats so true and its something i just have tried. My whole life never to rely on, but i find during tough times its your best friend, cuz youre, like all this makes me feel like i could get through this day, and i was so definitely have a relationship but im going to go. Get me some vitamin d and start to take. That type of question i want to ask you about eating and diet is holiday. Season is also a time when a lot of people travel there on the go. What suggestions do you have for people who are on the go to stay healthy in your gut health, especially if youre onthego im, actually the stuff youre talking about seasonal depression, its also good im, sorry to things that are happening, so are we have like kind of? Like to call the second brain in our gut theres, just so much that happens in our digestive tract theres, actually the transfer call the enteric nervous system. This is all this, but basically our god and our brain. They talk to each other, and so that way, when we are eating things that help support a healthy digestive system, its also really good for a mental health and its also very good for our immune system function. Because so much of our immune function originates in the god, its really cool stuff. To my clients, experience, which is probably eating foods that are a little bit different than your normal and youre just out of your routine, and sometimes that can be really rough. On our immune system are mood or energy science that they take probiotic supplements when theyre traveling im or if they dont want to take probiotic supplements im just make sure theyre eating some kind of fermented food everyday, like yogurt kefir, kim sauerkraut, whatever works for them. Userfriendly way to just keep it consistent, i also do tend to recommend if someone struggles with constipation, when theyre on the road or for women in their cycle, like during their right before their like through there i do tend to recommend magnesium citrate supplement is a powder from a brand, i really like called vitality natural calm, where you just mix it with warm water, but thats also really helpful for maintaining,

But its also because magnesium acts, kind of seem like aches and pains from like lugging heavy bags or youre. Just feeling stressed out in tents and youre holding it in your muscles. I need all of this seriously. I feel, like every time i talk to you, i get a grocery list of things. I have to get on amazon because its so interesting house. So much of your mood, your bodily functions, everything stems from what youre eating nutrients, lack of it and how it could be quite easy to fix. If you just if you just have some of the right thing. So just thank you so much for all of your advice before i. Let you go since youve been on the show before and our wonderful listeners know about you, id love for you to share an update of what youre up to these days, so many changes, but on the positive ends of the spectrum. You know i mean im still at my practice has been growing its been wonderful. I have a virtual private practice and i just i love helping my clients simplify their routines and feel great and just come around food and fitness, but im also working on a book. More details to come about that yeah january 2020 should be out there in the world and im really excited to share more about that as it becomes becomes available. But we cant wait to support you and have you back on the show next year to talk more about it, tell our listeners where they can find out more about you, youre coaching service and stay uptodate about the book. So if you visit my website jessica, cording nutritioncom, you can find out more about me and my services. The book is it you know, is if we reveal more clouds up there and you can sign up for my newsletter im just at jeff gordon. So i would love to connect with you, hear what youre working on and how can help wonderful and we end all interviews, but this final question. So please fill in the blank youre, not getting any younger. So hydrate like its your side hustle. I really appreciate having you thank you for having me so great to talk to you again