The Holiday Guide: Have Fun & Feel Good
The holidays are here! For many, all the festive fun might also go along with a tightly packed schedule, increased anxiety, questionable nutrition choices, and over indulgence - leading to feeling tired, bloated, and overwhelmed. Sleep quality goes down the drain, and daily energy and moods become erratic. But we’re here to help.
Here’s my philosophy: Nutrition, food plans, and wellness regimens are only effective if they are enjoyable and sustainable. During the holiday season, this is a time to eat, entertain, and not feel guilty about enjoying yourself!
The key is moderation and self-awareness.
To help you stay in moderation and support your body while you enjoy the end of the year, there are simple practices and methods that you can apply to help you have fun and still feel your best in the morning.
Here are a few of our favorite holiday health hacks to help you manage the indulgence and still feel happy and healthy after the table has been cleared.
1. Don’t go to a party or big buffet meal hungry. May sound counter intuitive, but you make smarter food choices when your not starving. Have a large leafy salad or some sautéed veggies before you head out. You’ll feel full, won’t be eating on an empty stomach and that second dessert won’t have quite so much appeal.
2. Don’t skip meals. Granted the day after a big celebratory dinner, you won’t want much for breakfast, but an egg and a cup of tea is not high calorie and will prevent eating too much at lunch or dinner that day if the celebration is continuing.
3. Take digestive enzymes! Take with a big meal or when you’re drinking more than one alcoholic beverage. Pop a digestive enzyme or two (or even three if it’s a long night of fun ahead). Helps with bloat and may lessen your hangover the next day. I like enzyme mixes that contain ox bile and Betaine HCl, though simple mixtures like papaya enzymes can be helpful too. Whole foods and most pharmacies have good ones. Online – through Fullscript – I like Pure Encapsulations Digestive Enzymes Ultra. Have one during a meal. If the meal is large, have two.
4. Practice portion control. Have everything, just not A LOT of everything. Try to follow the 70/30 rule. Fill your plate with 70% of those yummy vegetables, and 30% with protein, and some of the starches. Keep those starches down to a minimum if you can.
5. Use the dessert plate for your main course. If headed to a buffet, use the dessert sized plate for your main course. You can always go back for seconds, but it’s an effective way to eat less, but not feel deprived.
6. Manage stress by increasing endorphins. Family gatherings can lead to stress, which can then lead to grabbing another drink to deal with it. Make sure to increase those endorphins daily, to avoid increased stress levels. Head to the local gym and exercise. Most gyms have guest passes for out-of-towners, so take advantage. Use my favorite app AAPTIV to guide you through a workout on one of more than eight types of equipment, in anywhere from 10 minute workouts to a full 60 minutes.
2. Get balanced. Take a local Yoga class. It will get you out of the house, and stretching and breathing are clinically shown to reduce the effects of stress.
3. Above all, take some time to yourself. Personal downtime can sometimes seem rude when you’re visiting relatives, but try to sneak in some quiet me time in the morning or late afternoon.
4. Go for a walk. A nice way to aid digestion, reduce stress, get some alone time, or get the family doing something active together!
5. Meditate. Once again – an app to the rescue – try the 10 day free trial on Headspace and spend 10 minutes in blissful stress free downtime.
6. Breathe. Take three or more deep breathes in a row when feeling overwhelmed, or even just tired. This is proven to reset the most wound up nervous system, take you out of a flared up anxiety rise, enrich your body with fresh oxygen, and bring you back to balanced.
Holidays are to celebrate being together with your friends and family, but also to celebrate YOU. It is a time to be grateful for your health and your body. Make sure to enjoy yourself, in as many healthy ways as possible, and be kind to yourself.
Happy Thanksgiving, from our family to yours.
For a personalized health and wellness plan suited to your own holiday season’s schedule, make an appointment and we will make sure to cover your goals, along with personalized health hacks and treatment plan to keep you feeling festive, healthy, and balanced.