It’s the most wonderful time of the year!
And for many, the most challenging when it comes to staying healthy.
The holiday season doesn’t have to equal spiraling out of control and falling out of healthy habits. You can enjoy yourself and still feel healthy and well. It just takes some effort and practices to prevent unhealthy habits from taking over.
Here are five ways to stay healthy through the holiday season:
1. Start your day with a low-sugar protein smoothie to stabilize your blood sugar.
Stable blood sugar levels are your best friend when it comes to staying healthy. The main reason we find it so hard to stay healthy during the holidays is the excessive amounts of sugar everywhere.
Unstable blood sugar levels fell like the worst roller coaster ride you’ve even been on. The quick up and downs and the need for more excitement leave you feeling awful.
What you eat first thing in the morning sets the tone for your entire day; make sure it’s low-glycemic for stable blood sugar.
I suggest a delicious, low-sugar smoothie that contains protein, healthy fats, and fiber. The extra hydration and nutrients in your smoothie will help set you up for a better day.
2. Don’t “save calories” for later before a party.
Instead of eating less, eat better. Skipping meals can slow your metabolism, which is the exact opposite of what you want to happen. Intermittent fasting—a method of fasting where you restrict your eating window to 8-10 hours a day—can be healthy. However, skipping random meals without thought into how you are fasting can slow your metabolism down.
Thirty minutes before you go to a party, enjoy a low-sugar protein smoothie to prevent eating the entire dessert table. Arriving at a party hungry on an empty stomach is just asking for unbalanced blood sugar over the next 12 hours.
Instead of “saving your calories for tonight,” eat a healthy low-glycemic breakfast and lunch, then go to your party with stable blood sugar levels so you can enjoy a bite of the snacks without needing to inhale eight plates of bacon-wrapped dates and mini cheesecakes.
3. Drink peppermint tea after dinner.
What says holiday flavor more than peppermint?
Peppermint tea has been used for centuries to aid digestion. Studies have shown that it helps relieve gas and bloating, and can reduce heartburn and indigestion as well.
It’s also a delicious post-meal treat with no sugar, excess energy to burn off, or caffeine so it makes a wonderful after dinner health ritual. You’ll be helping your digestion, hydrating your body, and nourishing your senses. Many people find this post-dinner habit really replaces cravings for sugary desserts.
Organic peppermint tea can be found at most health food stores or online at great price. I like Traditional Medicinals Peppermint tea and buy it on Thrive Market at a really good price.
Be sure to read the ingredients and choose a peppermint tea that contains only peppermint (or a blend of natural herbs if you’d like). Also, be sure it doesn’t contain any additives or caffeine. Drink it straight up—no sugar added—for the most benefit.
4. Stop participating in gossip or low vibration conversations.
Your health is so much more than what you eat.
Everything in the universe, including people like you and me, is made up of energy vibrating at different frequencies. One example in humans is our heart energy. An EKG can measure the electrical signals from your heart that extend outside of your body (which in this case is about eight feet around you, BTW).
Your vibration can’t be seen but it is definitely felt by everyone and everything around you. When you hear people talk about “good vibes” or “raising your vibration” it’s not just some kind of woo-woo hippie thing. It’s actually the science of the frequency that you vibrate at and what you attract. Like energies attract each other.
Things like gratitude, kindness, giving, dedication to health, and genuine interest in other people are high vibration activities. These things increase your vibration and feel good.
Things like negative self talk, worry, degrading words, and gossip are low vibration, meaning they lower your vibration and bring you (and the people around you) down.
Gossip is always low vibration, and it’s especially rampant during the holidays. Resist the urge to join in. Choose to engage in more high vibration activities to keep your health in tip-top shape.
5. Recover like a rockstar.
If you do happen to overindulge, don’t beat yourself up about. Negative self-talk just perpetuates the unhealthy cycle. If you feel like you overindulged, use this one-day detoxing food plan to get back on track:
- Upon rising: 30 ounces of purified water before anything else
- Breakfast: within an hour of rising, have a smoothie with 1 serving of healthy protein powder, 1 serving of psyllium husk fiber (fiber is the broom that sweeps out your digestive system!), 1 small banana for the electrolytes, 1/2 cup of berries, and 1/4 of an avocado for the good fats and extra fiber
- Take a multivitamin, probiotic, and extra vitamin C supplement with both breakfast and dinner
- Lunch: Something veggie-based. A big salad, vegan vegetable curry, or a big bowl of veggie soup will do your body good
- Move! Do something (anything, really) to get your heart pumping and blood flowing. Even 20 minutes can make all the difference
- Snack: A big mug of bone broth/chicken stock will up help you hydrate and fill you up
- More water! Keep up with the filtered water. Add a pinch of high-quality sea salt to your water to increase your absorption
- Dinner: Have a combo of a lean protein, healthy fats and more veggies. Either salmon with Brussels sprouts or a chicken & veggie burrito bowl would be great.
- Go to bed early. Have some kava tea or take a melatonin supplement if you need help falling asleep
- Say a gratitude prayer that you took care of yourself today, then wake up again and repeat tomorrow
And finally, my best advice as your health coach is always to be more gentle with yourself. No person is perfect, and berating yourself for not being perfect isn’t helping anyone. Choose to look for areas of improvement and set a goal for progress. Be kind and gentle with yourself.
Wishing you a wonderful (and healthy!) holiday season!