In the past few weeks I have seen countless articles about how to avoid gaining that holiday weight. To be honest, I haven’t really read any of them. The health basics don’t change during the holiday season so as long as you stick to what you know, use common sense, and listen to your body you should be just fine. But, since it is easy to forget some of the little things in the midst of holiday merriment I thought I’d take some time to come up with a few simple tricks to keeping you happy and healthy over the next few days.
1. Eat Breakfast
Starting off the morning with a good breakfast is so important. A good breakfast will make sure you start off on a positive note and have filled your body with at least a a few good nutritious foods before the day begins to pick up. It will also fill you up so you’ll be less tempted to be grabbing at the cookies all day. Try a green smoothie like this one or perhaps some hearty morning oats. This apple pie oatmeal is one of my favorites when I’m looking for a warm healthy treat.
2. Cleansing Breathing
Before you even eat breakfast begin your day with some cleansing breaths and with a few twists to help clear out toxins and stimulate your digestion. Try lion’s breath and breath of fire for some great breathing exercises. Also try a few basic yoga twists like this.
3. Healthy Snacks
Stock the house with some healthy snacks. Make sure you have some healthy options laid alongside the holiday treats. Try veggies and hummus, mixed nuts, dried fruit, or these superfood holiday biscotti’s
4. Get Moving
Plan to get out and get moving. Go for a family walk, play a game of flag football, go sledding, have a slowball fight, go ice skating, whip out the old playstation and play DDR or Wii Sport. Maybe even find a jazercize video on YouTube and get everyone to join in.
5. Drink Smart: Plan and stay hydrated
Plan ahead of time how many drink you will have. It’s always fun to splurge a little bit during the holidays, so maybe allow yourself one more drink than usual, but make sure you stick to this number. Planning ahead is a healthy drinking practice anyway, but it’s especially important during the holidays when you are more likely to throw all caution to the winds. (And please make sure if you do drink you don’t choose to drive. Taxis are great!)
Also make sure you drink water or tea throughout the day. It’s super easy to fill a big pitcher of water with fun fruits such as lemon, orange, cucumber, strawberries, apples, even cinnamon, for a fun and delicious way of staying hydrated. Tea (unsweetened) is also a great option. I get cold super easily so I usually prefer warm beverage in the fall and winter. Chamomile, chai, ginger and green tea all have great health benefits and have great cozy flavors. Any tea will do though (although try not avoid drinking too many highly caffeinated teas unless you’re trying to be the life of the party. Black and green tea can easily have just as much, if not more, caffeine as coffee).
6. Eat Lunch
Also super important. Don’t skip meals in order to “save calories” for the dinner party. Eating consistently will make sure your metabolism stays vamped and will be ready to go come dinner time. It will also make sure your blood sugar doesn’t drop to low making you eat more than you need to at dinner.
7. Healthy Deserts
Bring along a health desert that you are actually looking forward to eating. For example, these cherry tarts
look fantastic! I’m planning on making those to bring to our Christmas party.
Make sure you sleep enough to recover from the festivities. This is probably more of a reminder for myself. I’m one of those crazy people that wakes up with the sun so regardless of what time I go to bed I’ll be up around 7am. If you are like me and wake up earlier than you’d like to just set aside some time in the afternoon to take a nap. I’ve discovered that naps can work wonders! Sleep masks are also great. I’ve completely embraces that sometimes I get to look like a food with the big old eye mask, but getting that extra hour or so of sleep in the morning makes it worth it.
9. Be Thankful
I know Thanksgiving already passed, but it’s still super important to take some time to be thankful and to count your blessings. The holidays can be stressful and too much family time can sometimes mean short tempers and bickering, but if you take some time in the morning and throughout the day to realized just how blessed you will totally change your attitude and put you in a great mood.
10. No Regrets
And last, but certainly not least, don’t regret anything. Maybe you do go back for a second helping of desert or have one too many glasses of wine, but remember that the holidays are first and foremost a time for celebration. It’s important to treat yourself and what better time to do so than during the holiday season. I guarantee you that as long as you pick up your normal healthy routine again after all the parties have ended that there will be no personal damage.