I don’t know about everyone else, but I am could really use some holiday cheer this season. The past few months have been challenging, and I find connecting with friends and family really refills me and reminds me of what is good in the world. Holiday parties present their own challenges, of course, as one is tempted to eat too much, drink too much, and stay out too late. I always plan a cleanse for January (see later note on THAT!), but in the meantime here are some tips we can all follow to get through this season with some merriment and without sacrificing one’s health!
- Keep up with regular, healthy habits. As I move towards the end of the year, with the dark and the rain, I find that I can start dropping habits that help keep me balanced — going out to walk in the rain is hard, drinking water when it is cold isn’t very appealing, and it’s easier to stay in bed than get up in the dark to meditate. Try not to throw the baby out with the bathwater and focus on maintaining at least one, if not all, of your regular healthy habits to keep you grounded. For my part, I am writing this while drinking a cup of hot lemon water. Next up: a walk in the rain!
- Don’t skip meals. Skipping meals is easy to do as schedules are more erratic and irregular. Low blood sugar can set up food cravings, and lead to a bad cycle! Focus on eating protein-rich and high fiber foods that release their energy over several hours.
- Watch portion size. When attending a party, give yourself “elf portions”, and if possible, use a smaller, desert plate. You can always go back for more! Focus on eating complex carbohydrates like fresh vegetables, whole grains and beans, and fruit which will keep you full longer and take more energy to digest. If you suspect there will be no healthy options at the party, eat before you go!
- Eat slowly! Remember, it takes 20 minutes for enough food to fill your stomach to tell your brain that it’s full. Chew your food well. It’s bad for digestion to have partially chewed food entering the stomach, and it’s no fun being at a party with a stomachache.
- After you’ve filled your plate, move away from the food table. It is too easy to continue to snack when you’re lingering around the food.
- Stay hydrated! If you drink alcohol, do not drink on an empty stomach, and alternate alcoholic drinks with water. 2 glasses of water for every alcoholic drink is a good ratio.
- Support your body with proper nutrients! Now is not the time to skip your daily vitamin routine. Vitamin D and B vitamins are especially important at this time of year. If you regularly take digestive enzymes, be sure to have them with you when you are out and about. This year in our office we are carrying two new items to help get you through the holidays: “Booze Pax” if you are drinking, and “Food and Drink Pax” for eating and drinking. These party pax are single dose packets of nutritional supplements to help support your body after overindulgence. Keep one in your purse or pocket during the holiday season! Click here to learn more about Dr. Cory’s party pax, and check in with your doctor to make sure they’re ok for you.
- Move your body. Go out for a walk after dinner, or plan a yoga class the day after your big holiday party. Exercise helps your body, mind, and spirit, and is something we all need at this time of year.
- Schedule a new years cleanse. Even with the best of intentions, it can be difficult to stay on track through the holidays. The New Year provides a perfect opportunity to put your health goals into focus and a cleanse program can provide guidance and accountability. Contact us for details on our upcoming virtual cleanse program in January!
I hope you find these tips useful and are able to incorporate some of them to help make this holiday season one of rejuvenation and balance. Happy Holidays to all!