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8 Tips to Overcome Holiday Pitfalls - Blog Image

8 Tips to Overcome Holiday Pitfalls

BY: Andrea Nakayama

DATE: 2018-11-20

Family gatherings that bring mixed blessings

For decades, Thanksgiving was the holiday my parents claimed, calling all west coast family members to feast at their table. Back in the day, when they lived in Colorado, my late husband Isamu and I would stuff our bags with sweaters and prepare for the mixed blessings of a family gathering.

There was always the comfort of being in the folds of my parents’ home. In the early years of my and Isamu’s relationship, there was also the nervousness of bringing my then boyfriend into the mix. There was the fun of planning and preparing an extravagant meal, the satisfaction of eating the homemade goodness, and the inevitable tension around clean-up time. A holiday pitfall that would arise due to my dad’s propensity to run a tight ship without necessarily informing anyone of his plan-of-action.

My mom and I are now both widows, but as the years have progressed, I still love to return to the comfort of being in the folds of her home for the holidays. I rise to the exciting challenge and fun of helping to prepare an extravagant meal to meet the differing dietary restrictions of everyone about to convene around the table. 

Standing in the kitchen, rolling out gluten-free pie-crusts and creating the designs on top of a pumpkin hazelnut tart with my niece, it’s impossible not to be brought back to those memories of holiday’s past. Isamu was the best pie edge crimper I’ve ever known. And his love for food was so sensual that I was always grateful for the opportunity to cook for him. Those memories that I savor are ones of starting and building a family—of something that felt like spring in the midst of autumn.

Today, I look forward to the satisfaction of what I’m sure will be a meal prepared with love and gratitude and, most importantly, shared with those who have been part of my past, present and future Thanksgivings. I even think we figured out how to skirt one of our biggest holiday pitfalls…the holiday dinner clean-up. For that I give thanks!

Lead with love and gratitude

This Thanksgiving I celebrate life, as Isamu did, and as I know he would have wanted his family to do. I celebrate my dad, who used to tend to the turkey with so much love and attention, and in whose memory we will carve with the utmost care. And I celebrate you, and all the steps you have taken this year to support your own true vibrancy and improved health.

I hope your plate is filled with the blessed patterns that holidays can offer:

  • the return to tradition (old or adapted)

  • faith in life and those around you

  • the bounty that surrounds you (no matter how big or small)

  • the promise that the year ahead holds

  • sweet remembrance of the people whose bodies no longer grace you at the table but whose presence is collectively held

  • and the gratitude that a meal shared with family and friends, or even chosen solitude, can bring

Before you turn your attention to the festivities, take time to read, post or share these special tips to overcome holiday pitfalls from the whole Functional Nutrition Alliance team, collected just for you!

Download 8 Thanksgiving Tips to Tackle Holiday Pitfalls

Wishing you warmth, gratitude and holiday wishes!

Andrea Nakayama

By: Andrea Nakayama, FxNA Founder & Functional Medicine Nutritionist

Functional Nutrition Alliance provides the comprehensive online Functional Nutrition training in the Science & Art of the Functional Nutrition practice. Learn to address the roots of your clients’ suffering with client education, diet & lifestyle modifications.


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