LJ could feel his heart rate surge as he got closer to the house, “One-half mile left, and I am home free.” He dug deep for the last push and made it just under his last time.  A few minutes later, while showering, he hummed along as Jose James sang, My favorite Things. He heard Annie in the kitchen, “perfect because I am starving.” After dressing, he found her putting the finishing touches on a breakfast salad. “What’s cookin good lookin?”

Annie smiled as she shook her head, “good morning, sweetheart. You got out early this morning.  Here’s water with lemon. The vitamin C from the lemon will help with digestion. I am making a Shredded Brussels Sprouts Salad for breakfast. It includes hard-boiled eggs and avocado. The eggs are for protein, and the avocado is a healthy fat

“Thanks,” said LJ as he sipped. “You know the day after a holiday is probably the best time to push a reset button for healthy eating, especially between Christmas and New Year’s Eve. We could spend this next week eating mainly low carb meals as a way of bouncing back from all the overindulging.”

“Well,” said Annie. ” there’s a healthy way to push a reset button during the last week of the year, according to Carolyn Williams, Ph.D.

“The absolute worst thing you can do right now is cut calories, skip meals, or go on a very low calorie fast or detox plan in an attempt to undo damage. Extreme diet “fixes” only set you up to slip up again.” (“How to Bounce Back After Overeating on a Holiday | Cooking …”)

She recommends no wallowing in guilt because it doesn’t motivate you to get back on track. Rather than going to after-Christmas sales, go grocery shopping with a seven-day meal plan in hand. The timing is crucial because it leaves no room for excuses, and it acts as your north star to get ready for the new year.

The grocery list should include:

Fruits and vegetables such as collard greens, spinach, kale, beets, avocado, citrus fruit, and apples; all have nutrients that cleanse.

Whole grain, high fiber like quinoa, oats, brown or black rice for digestive health

Eggs, soy, and fish, healthy protein sources

LJ nodded. “I would add stay away from the scale and keep a food journal. Boring, maybe, but it’s only for a week, and again it helps you greet the new year in a good place.”

“And have ready-made snacks in the fridge, so you don’t have time to get hangry,” added Annie. Healthy snacks manage hunger, stabilize blood sugar, and prevent overeating. The low-cal snacks should include fiber and protein

“That is a good idea. I’ll do my part by prepping spinach and kale, so they’re ready for a salad and have baked salmon in the fridge to go on the salad as a protein,” mused LJ.

“We can’t forget to drink water too. Even though it is cold outside, drinking a cup of water before a meal and regularly drinking throughout the day helps cut bloat, lessens hunger, and makes you feel good.”

Annie made a note on the grocery list, “it looks like we have a good game plan. The week between Christmas and New Year’s is optimal for resetting eating habits for the coming year, however, I read recently, it’s not what you eat between Christmas and New Year’s that’s most important, but what you eat between New Year’s and Christmas, so this will help us establish a good routine for 2022.”


Annie and LJ are a fictional couple, and their storyline promotes healthy eating and earth-friendly practices.

Andrea Breaux is the Founder of Healthy Healing Eats. She writes about food-as-medicine and earth-friendly lifestyle practices. Find her weekly blog, recipes, and products at healthyhealingeats.com.


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