Holiday Plans: 5 Tips for Healthfully Navigating the Holidays

The Holiday Season is upon us. Days filled with friends, family, food, and fun. But if you're trying to maintain your commitment to healthy eating and exercise, this time of year can also be a minefield of gooey decadent desserts, sugary drinks, and too many indulgences. How can you stay on track, and still enjoy yourself? 

Today I give you five quick tips you can use to keep your commitment to your health, while still taking part in all of the revels of the season. 

1. Make your time for exercise non-negotiable, but be flexible in your approach. We all try to cram too much into our days this time of year, and often our commitment to moving everyday gets shoved to the side to make room for shopping, cooking, and socializing. Don’t let that happen! Make your mind up to keep yourself active even if you need to change up your usual routine, swapping in a walk through the neighborhood in place of your usual trip to the gym, or jump on your bicycle and pedal instead of jumping in the car to run errands. Working physical activity into social events is easy this time of year—plan a skating party, or take a hike through the crisp autumn air with friends, followed up by a casual chili dinner. 

2. Go easy on the booze. Nothing is more detrimental to our new healthy lifestyles than a raging hangover. In addition to feeling lousy for hours, we often try to eat our way out of the pain, which just compounds the damage. Not only did we consume all of those liquid non-nutrient dense calories, now we’re eating crazy home-remedy breakfasts heavy on the starch and grease. If you did have a bit too much Holiday Cheer the night before, rehydrate with water, a little Apple Cider Vinegar and raw honey. Or try some sauerkraut juice, both ACV and sauerkraut have beneficial probiotics and help to replace your electrolytes. Get some fresh air, and a little gentle exercise and you’ll be headed in the right direction. 

3. Sleep. Get some. As I already said, our schedules are packed and we feel like we’re running in a hundred different directions with no time to take a break, but make sure you don’t throw your sleep pattern off too much. When we don’t get enough sleep we are less able to focus, fight off illness, and make good choices. If you know you’ll be out late, try to sneak in a nap earlier in the day and see if you can’t sleep in a just a bit later (no more than an hour) the next day. 

4. Veg out. No not on the couch silly. I’m talking about those holiday potlucks, buffet dinners, and extravagant cocktail parties. When you’re facing a long lineup of tempting foods and decadent goodies, increase your chances of success by filling your plate with veggie dishes first. As long as they aren’t creamed or dripping in cheese sauces vegetables should be your number one choice; they will sate your appetite, provide important nutrients, and leave you little room for all those things you know you’ll be unhappy about if you eat.

5. Take five. Remembering to take a few minutes each day, even if you can only manage five minutes, to just breathe and clear your mind is helpful in managing all the stress we seem to encounter at the holidays. Don’t give in to the idea that you have to do it all, and do it perfectly. You’ll enjoy the season a lot more if you remember that we are all Perfectly Imperfect, as my friend Emily says, and that’s what makes life so much fun. Breathe. Do what you can. It’s more than enough. You are more than enough. 

I hope these five quick tips help you have a Healthy, Happy Holiday Season. 

Remember if you need more specific, personalized help with achieving your goals I offer one-on-one health and wellness coaching. Just contact me here, and we can set up a complementary initial consultation.