8 Naturopathic Tips For Staying Healthy Over The Holidays (2019 Edition)
8 Naturopathic Tips For Staying Healthy Over The Holidays
December marks the end of a year. Take a moment to notice not only the changes that happened around you, but also the changes that happened within you. It is a time of reflection for the past year while also working to think about new goals for the year ahead.
December is also a time of lots and lots of yummy food and treats that are readily available. Whether it be food at holiday parties or snacks in the lunchroom, it is all incredibly tempting! In today’s post I will provide you with 8 tips on how to ensure you remain healthy over the holidays while still being able to partake in the festivities around you and not feel left out!
The holidays bring extreme joy and excitement with more social gatherings, outings and parties. It can also be a stressful time for many of us. There are more time pressures, social obligations, financial constraints, disruptions in sleep and dietary changes. Delicious food is all around us - baked goods at home, pastries around the office, loads of alcohol at work parties or family gatherings, chocolate given as gifts and candy used as decorations. All these just make it so tempting and easy to fall into unhealthy eating habits.
We all wish to make the most of this wonderful time of year but it’s important to still stay close to all the work you put into your health over the past year. It is possible to put your health first while still enjoying the festivities around you. This holiday I challenge you all to not let yourself fall off the wagon and stay on track for the next 2 weeks! Keep reading for the 8 tips to keep you healthy and happy this holiday season!
8 Tips To Keep You Healthy This Holiday Season
1. It Is All About The MINDSET
You have worked super hard this year to stay on track with your health goals. Don’t let these next 2 weeks be any different!
Before any holiday event, make sure to do a quick breathing exercise. An example would be 4-7-8. Breathe in through your nose for 4 seconds, hold your breath for 7 seconds and exhale through your mouth for 8 seconds. Do this exercise 3 times - it takes less than 1 minute! During this exercise, remind yourself of all the hard work you put into your health this past year, stay focused on your health goals.
When you focus on your breathing, the brain rewards you by making you feel happier and ready to take on the party you are about to attend!
2. Back To The Basics – Hydration
Both alcohol and caffeine are very dehydrating. If you are headed out to a holiday party in the evening make sure you stay hydrated during the day.
Upon waking have a glass of room temperature water with half a squeezed lemon and a pinch of himalayan salt! This provides hydration while also providing some electrolytes for increased energy! While at the party, make sure to drink at least 2-3 glasses of water. Not only does this prevent you from reaching for the salty or sugary snacks, but it also helps to lessen the severity of hang-overs the next morning!
It is very easy, especially over the holidays with everything that is going on to forget to hydrate yourself. So, make sure not to mistake thirst for hunger and hydrate, hydrate, hydrate!
3. Don’t Go To A Party Hungry
Going to a party hungry is like going grocery shopping while you are hungry! It is a bad idea. You end up coming home with a bunch more food items than you had initially intended for.
Some people think it's easier to fast all day so that you can “save your calories” for the party. However, often times this results in over-eating and makes it easier to devour anything in our site - which most often are the unhealthy options.
You are more likely to make poor choices when you are hungry so aim to eat a snack before you leave that combines complex carbohydrates, healthy fats and some protein. Try any of these options: apple slices with some nut butter or whole grain chips with some hummus and a handful of nuts!
4. Make Room For Vegetables
When you attend parties, it is very easy to focus on all the delicious simple carbohydrates on the table. This is fine to do, so long as you remember to eat your veggies too! Making room for vegetables will ensure you are keeping yourself full with the fiber and antioxidants that vegetables can provide. It also allows you to indulge less in unhealthier food options.
5. Consider Bringing A Healthy Snack To Your Party
Most people will always bring either a glass of wine or a dish when attending a holiday dinner. So, instead opt for bringing a healthy dish! It can be a snack, side dish or even desert!
With this you know that if there are no other healthy alternatives at the party, you always have one option that you can indulge in and so can others! Make sure to pack it with nutrient dense foods like vegetables, bright coloured fruits and some healthy fats.
This ensures you still participate in eating while staying committed to healthy eating over the holidays and parties!
6. Stay Active and Socialize Away From Food
Most gatherings over the holidays have to do with food! Whether it’s catching up with a friend over coffee or going for dinner.
It can be hard to make it to the gym during the holidays, so finding a way to still stay active is crucial! Fitting in exercise can be easier when you engage in physical social activities. Instead of meeting your friend at a coffee shop where there are so many tempting Christmas pastries around, opt for something fun and active! Plan an outdoor activity that involves lots of walking and being outside like skating, or making snowmen! These kinds of activities help to take the focus off food.
Being active during social get togethers ensures you are maintaining your activity levels during busy times that may prevent you from heading to the gym.
This tip is especially true if you felt that you overindulged at a party last night! Staying active the next day can help to ensure a healthy metabolism!
7. Stress Management Regimen
The holidays can be very stressful. Cortisol, the stress hormone can cause issues with insulin regulation which can impact blood sugar storage. This can lead you to feel hungrier and even more stressed. So find some time to keep your center calm during all the hustle and bustle.
It is important to practice some form of mindfulness. Even if you are not a regular mediator, this time away from the day to day physical aspect of life, can help you cope with all the holiday stress.
Try some free apps like Headspace for 15 mins a day or find some other activities that can help to regain your peace.
Stress also goes hand in hand with making sure to get enough sleep. Getting a restful sleep is so important to prevent yourself from overeating the next day and having enough brainpower to get you through stressful events. Force yourself to stay in bed later if you are getting into bed later. The holidays are for spending time with your family but also for yourself.
8. Last But Not Least, Make The Most Of The Holidays
Remember, the holidays are not just about good food and eating. It is about spending quality time with loved ones and really practicing gratitude for good friends, family and everything that you have accomplished this past year. So don’t lose sight of these positives in the midst of holiday chaos!
Above all, be kind to yourself. As much as this time of year can get stressful with everything going on around you, don’t forget to enjoy the relaxation and time to catch up with loved ones. Moderation is the key to maintaining healthy habits over the holidays. Life is all about balance. I hope reading these tips make your holidays less stressful and more enjoyable. Stay safe and Happy Holidays!
** Disclaimer: The advice is in this article is for informational purposes only. It does not replace the care of a Naturopathic physician.