Skip to main content

How To Maintain Healthy Nutrition & Optimal Physical, Emotional & Spiritual Health During The Holidays

By November 11, 2013August 7th, 202320 Comments

I’ve got news for you people.  Like it or not, the holiday season is upon us.

That special time of year when we tend to overeat, overspend and simply overindulge in everything across the board, all in the name of celebratory merriment.  When we’re not charging it on the card or spread paper thin desperately trying to fulfill all the expectations presented, we find ourselves weathering an unnatural battery of social engagements, not to mention the myriad of emotionally hyper-charged landmines presented by extended family get togethers.

The result?  A massive and unnatural outpouring of energy that leaves us utterly depleted — spit out the other side physically and emotionally exhausted to the core, all too often overweight and riddled with unnecessary debt.

What if we could approach and experience the holiday season differently?  What if we could revel in the pure joy of the season and emerge in January not just intact but truly enriched — optimistic, feeling great and energized for all the challenges and adventures presented with the birth of a new year?

Today on the show, Julie and I sit down to hash out all things holiday season with a focus on providing helpful, experience-based strategies to assist in managing the financial pitfalls, dietary challenges, precarious social environments and heightened emotional states presented by this unique time of year.  In my experience, these are issues common to us all.  And yet issues we go to great lengths to avoid dealing with internally, let alone discussing outwardly — typically out of fear, shame or simply a profound need to keep up appearances — all of which ultimately leaves us feeling alone and isolated in what for many can become a state of true emotional crisis.  In truth, the exact opposite of what the holidays should be all about.

So rather than deny or repress, let’s talk about it.  Get it all out in the open.  And work on a strategy for a different, positive and uplifting experience.  On today’s agenda:

    • How to avoid spending money you don’t have;
    • How to maintain a healthy PlantPowered Diet throughout the season;
    • How to experience gift giving with children in a different way;
    • How to navigate and avoid emotional landmines with extended family;
    • How to say “No” to certain social obligations; and
    • How to nuture and preserve your physical, emotional & spiritual well being under pressure.

In honor of this week’s episode and the commencement of the holiday season, we will be publishing a new post each day over the next several days, including the below listed holiday recipes discussed in our conversation.

So make sure you continue to drop in throughout the week for the good stuff.  Here’s the schedule:

We hope you enjoy the show!

Photo Credit: Maclay Heriot

Podcast Piano Composition: Tyler Piatt



  • Wendy LaPointe says:

    Thanks for the tips and validation as a whole. Holidays can be amazing, but they can also be an unfortunate fountain of stress.
    On a personal note, we are going to cut back on our enagagements for the holidays this year, and in light of my husband’s recent job loss, we are focusing on a smaller monetary budget without sacrificing the spirit of the season.
    Whether it is out of necessity (as is certainly the case this season!) or preference, I know scaling back on “consumerism=happy holiday” is a GREAT idea and benefits the family.
    Thanks for the recipes, especially the mushroom gravy recipe. I have been looking for a flavorful gravy that was plant-based/vegan and it sounds like this will fit the bill:)

  • lynn kale says:

    Rather than nori or a seaweed, you might want to try using swiss chard to add saltiness to your stuffing. Chard is high in natural salt and really enhances the flavor of any savory dish you add it to.

  • richroll66 says:

    Great tip Lynn. We use chard quite a bit for this very reason, plus nutritious! Happy holidays, r

  • Phil says:

    Hey Rich – is something wrong with your podcast feed? I’ve had to come to the site to listen to the last couple of episodes. I’m not complaining – just thought I’d flag it. Love your work.

  • richroll66 says:

    Hi Phil thanks for the heads up. A couple people have made the same observation. It seems like everything is working on my end so not sure what is up but looking into it – thanks!

  • Rich Martinez says:

    Hi Rich. I love the creative and collaborate approach to “gifting”. I’ve heard it before but it’s a nice and timely reminder. I simply love the holidays. i will use your and Julie’s tips to help the people in my life have a little joy this year. ps: Julie seems so relaxed and easy going in this podcast.

  • BYOL says:

    hey guys, great podcast. Bob’s Red Mill offers a non-gmo polenta that I typically use. I’ve also found organic polenta in the bulk section at whole foods before.

  • Steve T says:

    Enjoyed the podcast. You guys covered a broad spectrum; from food to drama.

  • Shannon Grinnell says:

    Loved this podcast! The two of you are so amazing. So inspiring. So giving of your time, energy, expertise, and passion. I’m the sole parent of 2 boys and recently reality smacked me in the face – if Rich can run an Ultraman, powered by plants, then maybe i can work, commute, prepare healthy meals, clean house, love, laugh with, and care for my boys, and still find the time and energy to be healthy! I’ve been listening since September on my drives to and from work, have devoured your content, become fully vegan, have been logging more km on my way to running a 30 K race in March, (having only run a half marathon once before). And, you’ve inspired me to become the me I believe I was meant to be. Thank you both for the incredible work you’re doing, for sharing your ideas, opinions, perspective, for your valuable and helpful suggestions on bettering one’s health and fitness, one’s self and one’s life.

  • Wendy LaPointe says:

    That is wonderful, Shannon! You are setting such a great example for your kids. Keep up the good work!

  • Elyse Gregor says:

    I seem to remember Julie talking about a type of “meat”loaf (obviously meatless) that could work as a main dish instead of turkey. Is that in her cookbook or was that something new? Thanks 🙂

  • Darth Drummond says:

    Grate Podcast! Are you going to share the recipe for the tempeh loaf?

  • Monique says:

    Rich and Julie, another great episode. Thank you so much!!

  • Tricia Duffee says:

    Hi Rich and Julie!!! Your book and podcasts have changed my life and I am forever greatful!!! I have tried to pull up the holiday blend and green juice and can’t get the recipe to show. Hope it comes up soon, can’t wait to try it. Thanks, Tricia

  • Karen says:

    “If you think you’re enlightened, try spending two weeks with your relatives. See how that goes.” So Julie, you’ve met my family? I’m still laughing about that one.

  • maggiesavage says:

    This is an amazing podcast Rich and Julie! I can’t believe the free content you’re offering here – thank you so much! I loved Julie’s advice for dealing with someone who is normally hard to get along with. And then there’s the free recipes you passed on! You guys rock. Thanks so much for all you do.

  • Aimee Lykins Lawson says:

    Hi, it’s Aimee in Takoma Park, MD and just wanting to recommend the work of Nancy Poer on death and death care for family…she is a Waldorf
    educator in CA and I always find her work so beautiful. Love your work…thank you!

  • Becky says:

    Hi, I too would be interested in the Tempeh Meatloaf recipe please! Julie, why are you not a fan of onions?! Love the podcasts! :o)

  • Kai says:

    Another wonderful episode. Thank you two so much!

    I am sure you are being told every day what an impact you have had on peoples lives, but maybe it makes you just as happy and as “high” (like Khalil Rafati said) to hear one more: I am a 27yo surgeon from Germany and you helped me to find myself again. I was smoking 2 Packs a day and had a BMI >30 for over 10 Years.

    Exactly one year ago I started running, green smoothies and all of the good stuff. In this past year I ran numerous marathons and my first Ultra. I lost 30kg, live fully plant based and am hooked on the ultra “fever” (next one ist a 65k Mountainultra in 3 Weeks 😉 ). Your story of going from one extreme to the other called to me… the current state is by far the better “extreme”.

    It is interesting how underrepresented the findings of “The China study” etc. are in the daily medical practice, but that´s a different story.

    I am so thankful for all the great podcasts. Please, both of you, never stop sharing the experiences of yourself and others.

    Peace and Plantpower loaded greetings from Bavaria, Germany


    P.s.: You mentioned a green smoothie before you leave your home into an uncertain food situation… my goto is to always have a bunch of dates/figues/bananas in my car to prevent the McD drive-in hazard 🙂

    P.p.s: How about a affiliate link?

  • Zack Maddox says:

    Another outstanding podcast…and perfect timing, too. Everything Julie said is spot on. I especially like what she says at the end about evolution over tradition. Most of my family members are tradition-bound, and so it’s hard to suggest even taking baby steps to them. You’ve given me some serenity to help get through the holidays and some inspiration to cook more vegan recipes. Thank you both for everything you do. I’m grateful.

Leave a Reply