The holidays are around the corner and it is that time of year when, as a health practitioner, I see a lot of changes, both physically and emotionally.From October through January the holidays bring on celebrations, traditions, family visits, travel, as well as emotions, stress and physical challenges.Beginning with Halloween candy in October and moving through Thanksgiving’s food frenzy in November, followed by December’s traditions, celebrations and vacations and the grand finale of New Year’s champagne, up pop the old regrets and new resolutions.The holidays are here for all to enjoy but there is no reason not to live more and weigh less all year long.
Drink plenty of water
Why is it so hard to drink eight eight-ounce glasses of water a day?
Most people are dehydrated which often is mistaken for hunger and leads to cravings. Before the hunger hits-or when it does-grab a big glass of water first.
“Breaking the Fast” is what breakfast is meant to do. Your blood sugar is the lowest in the morning and skipping breakfast will only lead to peaks and drops through out the day. A bit of fruit or a light protein, oatmeal, a smoothie will make sure to keep your mood, brain and body from crashing and overeating the rest of the day.
Eat real food (mostly plants)
This doesn’t mean you have to turn vegan (unless you want to) but when you’re thinking of eating something, read the ingredients label. If it’s a long list of words you can’t pronounce, leave it on the shelf. It is most likely highly processed, has artificial additives, empty calories and lacks the nutrients your body needs. Go for whole foods. i.e., plant-based, high fiber, lower fat, high antioxidants and nutrient-dense.
Chew your food…mindfully
The digestion process starts the minute your food reaches your mouth. Digestive enzymes work while chewing, so giving them the time to assimilate the nutrients, will help your digestive system do its job. By chewing slowly and mindfully – not in front of the TV or computer-you will be giving your brain and body the 20 minutes it takes to register that it has food in it. So eat slowly and savor the moment.
Keep it moving
Move that body each and every day. Find something you enjoy and you will be more likely to stick to it. Every little bit counts so be consistent and it will pay off. Walk, bike, run, take the stairs, classes, swim. Just do it!
Feed your soul
Family, relationships, spirituality, friendships and physical activity are what I call “soul food.” It’s what we all need to balance out our lives. It’s not all about the kale; it’s the “food” that makes us feel balanced and whole. The more soul food we take into our hearts, the less we will crave unhealthy food for our bodies.The holidays are for enjoying so feed your body, mind and soul with healthy foods, activity, play and laughter to stay motivated, energetic, strong and happy, not for just this holiday, but all year long.