As summer fades to autumn, marking the beginning of the holiday season, we may find that more than just the leaves are falling. Time and attention spent on eating healthy and working out may drop as our holiday schedule and to do lists fill up. And yet, from Halloween to Thanksgiving, Christmas and Hanukkah to New Year, this tends to be the time we would benefit from exercise and proper nutrition the most!
Now more than ever we need to make time for our self-care. Our stress levels, waist-lines, and overall health and well-being will thank us. The problem is, how do we balance it all?
- Don’t Skip Meals — Don’t punish yourself before or after overindulgence by skipping meals. This will wreak havoc on your metabolism plus make you feel tired, cranky, and stressed. Listen to your body, and set a strong nutrition foundation.
- Remember to Take Your Vitamins — Many people on the Standard American Diet are deficient in vital nutrients. Furthermore, consuming a lot of sugar further depletes nutrients. Food isn’t always enough, and you may benefit from a high quality supplement. Important vitamins and minerals include vitamins B, C and D, omega-3 fatty acids, calcium, chromium, and magnesium. Always consult with a professional if you have specific concerns. Bonus: getting adequate levels of key vitamins can boost your immune system!
- Be Picky and Learn to Say “No” — ’Tis the season for holiday treats and cocktails, but that doesn’t have to mean we go completely off the rails. From Halloween candy to Thanksgiving pie, Christmas cookies to New Year’s Even champagne, you can enjoy the holiday season and still be mindful at the same time. Be picky with what you choose to indulge in. Stick to what’s really special to you, and enjoy it mindfully. Another tip: pair each indulgence with something healthy. This ensures you are still getting the nutrients you need, and will help fill you up so you are less likely to eat as much of the unhealthy stuff.
- Drink Enough Water – Dehydration has been shown to make you feel more hungry and negatively impact mood and energy. For special events, try alternating cocktails with a glass of water to stay hydrated.
- Support Digestive Health – Did you know that gut health has been linked to mood? It also plays a role in our food cravings. High quality probiotics and bone broth are a great addition to most peoples’ nutritional plans. Bone broth is chock full of amino acids and collagen, and has been found to repair gut lining. Probiotics replenish healthy gut bacteria. Together they make a winning combo with many benefits!
- Adapt, Modify, Plan, and Prioritize – Especially your workouts, stress management, and healthy eating! If you find your schedule is limited, try working with a personal trainer to condense and maximize your workouts into shorter time slots. Remember that working out is going to help keep you on track with your goals, while managing the stress that is often synonymous with the holiday season for many. Commit to yourself, prioritize at least 2-3 workouts every week. Make a list of healthy essentials to stock up on each week so you have a strong nutritional foundation. Many foods freeze well for use throughout a busy week.
- Remember Your “Why” – Why is staying healthy and in-shape important to you? Health and wellbeing, stress, confidence, energy, physique, setting a positive example for your children, dig deep for your why – especially when you’re feeling low on motivation.
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