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Here at Casa de Suna, you probably know we’re all about having a good time.

From creating a gorgeous space to entertain in to putting together the perfect party canapés, we believe that every occasion is worth celebrating, from the big deals to the small moments. But with that joie de vivre comes the need for balance: we’re not immune to the feelings of overwhelm and overindulgence that can accompany some of these celebrations.

Because we know we’re far from alone, we decided to bring in an expert, holistic nutrition coach and author of new book FROM WITHIN, Meghan Swidler, to talk us through how to stay healthy and happy during the most fun and most stressful time of the year.


Question 01

First, tell us a little bit about yourself! How did you get to where you are today?

I’m Meghan, a Canadian native (and Montrealer!). After I graduated from Cornell University in 2013, I took a job at a hyper-growth tech startup. On paper, everything seemed great, but the reality was that I was feeling disconnected, lethargic and anxious. After seeing a naturopath that changed my life, I was inspired to adjust my habits and make lifestyle tweaks to transform my body and mind. In early 2021, I decided to leave my corporate career behind, which meant rejecting a job opportunity in venture capital in favor of becoming a full-time holistic health coach. I also recently published a book called FROM WITHIN.

Question 02

Any advice on staying healthy while traveling?

I personally follow an 80/20 lifestyle, and find it works well for me. Focus on high-fiber, plant-based whole foods – fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, legumes, whole grains – 80% of the time. That way, you can use that 20% of the time to indulge in all your favorite holiday treats, without worrying you’re not getting your nutrients in.

A few quickfire travel tips:

Staying with family

  • Offer to grocery shop & propose some healthy recipes you can make for everyone.
  • On that shop, buy all the fruits & vegetables you’d like & stock the fridge!

Staying at a hotel

  • If there’s a place that sells juices, smoothies, or salads nearby, pick some up upon arrival.
  • Most hotels have yoga mats–ask the front desk if they can bring you one and commit to 20-30 minutes of movement or stretching each day.

Staying just about anywhere

  • Go on long walks to explore wherever you’re traveling.
  • Pack and continue taking your key supplements. Personally, I like probiotics and magnesium.

Most importantly: enjoy your trip and live in the moment!

Question 03

Do you have any tips for those who struggle with the overindulgence/restriction cycle during the holidays? We’d love to hear some tips for mindful eating and creating a relationship with food free of guilt and shame.

If you feel like you struggle with tuning into your body’s natural hunger/satiety cues and often alternate between overindulgence and restriction, first of all, know that you’re not alone.

My favorite way to move through this cycle is to proceed from a place of empowerment. Whenever an intense craving comes up, consider whether you’re actually hungry (and, if the answer is yes, eat!). If you’re not, try seeking emotional fulfillment elsewhere and revisit the craving after. If you still want whatever was on your mind after doing any of the below, by all means, treat yourself.

  • Call a friend
  • Play with a dog or cat
  • Look at a favorite photo or video
  • Dance to your favorite song
  • Do breathwork
  • Take a brisk walk outside
  • Have a warm bath & a hot cup of tea
  • Light some scented candles
  • Read a book or watch a good TV show

It’s important to remember that this requires attention, awareness, and effort, especially in the beginning when you’re trying to move away from more rigid, mindless, or restrictive eating habits. Be patient and gentle with yourself.

Question 04

Lots of people overindulge during the holidays and feel “off” for a while afterwards. Any tips for getting right back on track, without being too restrictive, in the New Year?

My first piece of advice: don’t be too hard on yourself!

But if you feel “off,” especially with regards to digestion, your gut may be in dysbiosis. Let’s talk about ways to bring your gut back into balance.

  • Fiber is your friend. Eat a variety of fresh fruits and vegetables, legumes, nuts, seeds, and whole grains. Fiber is the preferred food for your good gut microbes (probiotics inside your body waiting to be fed), helping them grow stronger and become energized.
  • Fermentation is key. Consume fermented foods (sauerkraut, kimchi, etc.) on a daily basis and/or take a daily prebiotic and probiotic supplement. You can get prebiotics and probiotics through real food too.
  • Healthy fats for the win. Consume healthy unsaturated fats in moderation, like avocados, avocado oil, raw nuts, raw seeds, olives, and olive oil.
  • Hydrate! Drink more water every day.
  • Get moving. Move your body regularly.
  • Rest. Aim for 8 hours of sleep per night. If you don’t get a good night’s sleep, that’s okay. You’re human–but it’s a good goal to target.
  • Shop locally. Buy local, organic, seasonal produce whenever possible.

For more like this, check out Meghan’s book, FROM WITHIN.

This interview has been edited and condensed for clarity.

This article is for informational purposes only. It is not, nor is it intended to be, a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment and should never be relied upon for specific medical advice. To the extent that this article features the advice of physicians or medical practitioners, the views expressed are the views of the cited expert and do not necessarily represent the views of Casa de Suna.


If you used any of our tips for feeling your best this holiday season, be sure to tag us on social media using #casadesuna

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