Hello there! Merry Christmas! I hope you're enjoying the sights, sounds, smells, and joy of the holiday season. Growing up, my best friend's mom made candy cane shortbread cookies that tasted like vanilla and peppermint. She would even dye the dough and carefully intertwine the red and white to make them perfectly life-like. I looked forward to them every single year and to this day, I would forsake all consequences to have one of Ellen's candy cane cookies again.
Along with Christmas comes traditional treats, parties, and indulgence. You probably know how quickly a cookie here and there turns into an entire season of EATALLTHETHINGS and how that can lead to some serious holiday hangover come January. Let's just agree to avoid that mess and have a healthy holiday, both in what we eat and how we eat. Here are my five tips to keep your holiday season in check!
1. BYO_______ // If you're headed to a party, ask what you can bring that is festive and enjoyable. Maybe a salad with cranberries, squash, maple roasted pecans, and salmon or perhaps some bacon wrapped dates! If your host insists they don't need you to bring anything, eat a full meal at home and make the best choices you can while at the party. It will be much easier when you're already full!
2. Plan Ahead // Are you headed to a friend's holiday party where you know wine will flow, or maybe your favorite cookies will be there (hello, candy cane cookies!)? Plan ahead and decide what your limit will be; do this before arriving! This will give you accountability to stick to your one glass of wine and one cookie or whatever you decide. If you're the type that needs external accountability, tell your date or friend what you decide on and check in with them once you've had your fill.
3. Water // It's no coincidence that flu season walks hand-in-hand with the holidays. When we sky-rocket our sugar and refined carbohydrate intake and drop our water intake as a result of colder weather and hot cocoa taking it's place, our immunity drops and we're more susceptible to pick up the flu as a holiday gift. Keep your water intake consistent. The formula I recommend is half your body weight in ounces, plus 1.5x more than any sugary or wine-y drink you indulge in. For example, if you weight 140 pounds, your goal is 70 ounces of water per day. If you have 10 ounces of hot cocoa, increase your water to 85 ounces that day. Water is SO important, especially during the holiday season!
4. Sleep + Rest // I know it can be a stressful time, or an exciting time or both! We stay up late, we get up early, and we power through the day to finish finals, wrap gifts, cook for parties, and decorate the house. It's a sure fire way to burn ourselves out! Don't forget about sleep though! Take some time to meditate before bed, turn on some relaxing music, charge your phone in the other room, and rest peacefully during the night. When we stress out and live off peppermint coffee, our adrenals are exhausting themselves which can lead to fatigue, immune issues, depression, and a total burn out. Take time to sleep well.
5. Support Digestion // After a night of holiday eating, it can feel like you're about to bust out of your ugly sweater. Support digestion by enjoying probiotic-rich foods like kefir, kombucha, or sauerkraut, or drinking hot water with organic lemon with meals, or by including hydrochloric acid and/or digestive enzymes with your meal. Chew slowly and eat in peace. This will keep your digestion in tip top shape so you can avoid the bloated feeling.
Some bonus tips are to pass on taking home leftovers, not eat pie for breakfast, and not bringing those sweet treats and candy into your home.
I know it can feel like serious FOMO when you're not eating all the cookies, or drinking all the wine, or dipping all the things, but remind yourself how you'll feel after eating those things and suddenly missing out won't feel so bad.
If you want to start off the new year off with healthy intention, join my Whole 30 group. We begin January 2nd!
be well. healthy and happy holidays!,