Episode 21: Simple Tips & Tricks for Healthier Holidays: Stress Less, Enjoy More. & Let Go of the “Weight Gain” Fear. Shocking Statistics Inside This Conversation with @SheChangesEverything

According to a recent survey –  88% of Americans report feeling “stressed out” for a multitude of reasons around the holidays.

We hope to inspire you to cut yourself a break (& those around you) so you can enjoy every moment of your Holidays, without missing a beat of your new version of ‘Healthier Holidays’ this year.

We’re diving into the most commonly perceived stressors around holiday traditions and gatherings to make things a little easier on you. & We’re here to empower you with personal stories and advice to remind you that you’re not alone.

Shocking statistics around weight gain and the diet industry inside this episode. Don’t let family conversations derail you. & Don’t miss out on the traditions of the day.

Relax, Let Go, Take a Deep Breath & Enjoy the time with your family and friends while you can.

Listen to Episode 21 on iTunes, Spotify or play directly below.

Topics we tackle in this episode:

Perceived Weight Gain,  Shocking Statistics about the Diet Industry, Food Rules, Food Allergies, Family Opinions, Food Cravings, (Letting Go of) Meeting Expectations for Others, Food Cravings, Breaking Free from Traditions (if that’s what feels right),  & stress management techniques you won’t want to miss.



The holidays are such a dichotomy – they are both the most wonderful time of the year and the most stressful time of the year. It’s no wonder most of us admit that we get “festive burnout!”

Here’s the one way you can avoid burnout this year!

The One Thing That Will Change Your Holiday & Prevent Holiday Burnout!

If “healthy holiday eating” seems impossible, that’s because we are all chasing a mythical version that doesn’t exist! Jennifer smashes some myths and re-simplifies it in this blog:  

Eating At the Holidays Will Be SO MUCH EASIER After You Read This!

New to having food allergies? Here is some simple ways to enlist your holiday hosts help to create allergy-friendly favorites so you can enjoy some holiday favorites!
Here’s the number one thing that can help prevent holiday burnout and keep your holidays healthier! 
And the girls have put together 25 simple sustainable, healthy, ethical ideas for a holiday with meaning and impact. You can see if any of them resonate with you for this year! 


  • The diet industry has created the idea that people gain weight that they’ll need to lose around the holidays to convince you you’ll need to “detox and diet” at the start of the new year to reset. THIS ISN’T TRUE.
  • It’s been proven that the average weight gain is ONE measely pound. It’s a few days of indulging and enjoying comfort foods we don’t regularly eat. Enjoy yourself and let go of the idea that these foods will ruin everything.
  • If you have food allergies or sensitivities – stay strict about it and avoid them for your well being. Otherwise, we suggest you let go of the rules and indulge a little if you feel like it.


  • Don’t restrict your calories in preparation for binging later in the day
  • Eating inconsistently will set you up for sugar cravings and mood swings
  • Eat a well balanced diet  throughout the day so you can focus on something other than food when you arrive to any event.
  • Cortisol increases inflammation and signals weight gain when you finally do eat because your body has been “starving”
  • Stabilize your blood sugar with well balanced meals (including proteins and fats)
  • High carbohydrate foods are MORE available this time of year. That’s ok. Just be mindful of stabilizing your blood sugar with an even mix of protein and healthy fats


  • 97% of all diets fail (we talk about this in detail in the episode)
  • You have the right to eat calories every single day. Shift your mindset and focus in on nutrients instead.
  • Stop looking for the QUICK FIX.
  • Start putting in the time & effort it takes to adapt to and appreciate the benefits of a new, sustainable way of living.
  • Food is not rules.
  • There should not be any guilt or shame around the food you’re eating (it’s created by the industry)


  • Do what works for you, do what feels right
  • Inspire your family to get outside, travel, explore, doing something different than just focusing on food and gifts.
  • It’s ok to bring up the conversation earlier in the year and suggest a new way of doing things & discuss the traditions you’d like to see changed
  • Other people might be & most likely are feeling the same way you are – it’s just that no one is speaking up about potential change


  • Take a deep breath – your body has a gas pedal (sympathetic nervous system) and a brake pedal (parasympathetic nervous system) that you can override by shifting your breathing
  • Stress Kills. ;Literally.
  • When you take a deep breath, it allows your body to take it’s foot off the gas pedal and release it’s stress response – just a little, each time.
  • Count, inhale deep to a count of 4, exhale to a count of 8 and signal your brain that you’re in control. Seriously, try it right now – you’ll suddenly feel more focused (and relaxed!).
  • Own that piece of power within you when you feel external stressors becoming overwhelming (cue everything else we talked about above.)

Last but not least, You have full permission to enjoy the holidays.

You have the right to say ‘no’.

You have the right to honor what works for you, your body, your life.

Stay true to you.


thanks for being a part of the conversation.

It’d mean the world to us if you helped us spread the word. Be sure to leave a rating & review on the iTunes app, take a screenshot of the episode or quotes from the show notes and share it with your friends on social media. Tell your friends and family what you’ve learned.

Be the change you wish to see in the world.


We’re here for you.


your host, Briana Reesing @CriticalConversations

Heather Young & Jennifer Klotz  @SheChangesEverything



Episode 16: Is It Willpower, Or Is It Your Microbiome? Discussing The Foods & Lifestyle Habits That Are Effecting Our Gut Health On A Daily Basis – with Brigid Titgemeier

Gut Health is one of the major key factors we should all be aware of when it comes to learning about our long-term health & we’re only just beginning to understand  – as a society – how intricately related the balance of our microbiome is to our mood, our energy and even our immune system.

Listen to this episode on iTunes or Spotify, or play directly below.

Did you know that your microbiome actually begins to develop before you’re even born, while you’re still in-utero?

There are many factors we can’t control – such as the  health of our mothers before giving birth, whether or not we’re born via c-section or a regular vaginal delivery as well as what type of foods we’re raised on and exposed to throughout our life. However, there is still so much within our control that we’ve been overlooking for too long & we hope, that with this episode – we will encourage you to take your power back – before it’s too late.

In this episode:

Antibiotics, processed foods, refined sugar, prescription medications, pesticides covering conventional produce & all of our community parks, sterile work and home environments, as well as a lack of exposure to the outdoors, fermented foods, willpower, calorie counting, prebiotics and probiotics that all play a role in our long term health.

Continue reading “Episode 16: Is It Willpower, Or Is It Your Microbiome? Discussing The Foods & Lifestyle Habits That Are Effecting Our Gut Health On A Daily Basis – with Brigid Titgemeier”




Link available below to start listening today. (keep in mind) … We just received approval from iTunes to officially release the podcast – so although we know it’s there – it might still be difficult for you to find without this link.

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Don’t forget to Subscribe, Leave us a 1-5 star rating and write a review if you’re feeling extra supportive 🙂

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Introducing The Critical Conversations Podcast

Once you click the link and choose SUBSCRIBE – the podcast will be available & easy to find in your podcast episode library. … You can send that link to your friends & family via text message as well to help us build our audience 🙂

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… we’re working on releasing on spotify and other platforms as well – we understand not everyone has iPhones & we want to make it easy for everyone!

Hang in there with us as we iron out the details.

We aren’t computer people – but we are figuring out ways to make this happen – only because we are so passionate about preventative health & trying our best to simplify it for you!

x, Laura & Bri

We will also be uploading each episode to our website with show notes for easy refrence in the future.

Check back soon for updates!

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– we can’t thank all of you enough for helping motivate us to make this happen! Our hearts are so full.