It’s that time of year again, warmer weather, Christmas parties, meeting up with friends, food and drinks galore. With all of this on the horizon I wanted to help you out and advice you on some easy ways to keep your health in check. Holidays are the perfect time to relax, unwind, eat lots of delicious food and spend time with your family and friends, however it can also be a time to go over-board on many things. As a nutritionist I would recommend practicing the art of moderation.
Keeping your health in check is important if you want to be looking and feeling your best, so here are some ideas that will help keep your health on track. Even if you can’t manage them all, try a few of them, they will make a huge difference to your overall wellness.
1. Sleep – probably the most important one! This time of year can be overwhelming, proper sleep and relaxation will help keep your immune system strong, as well as relieve stress. Aim for 8 hours each night if possible.
2. Be prepared – take healthy snack options with you to avoid choosing unhealthy food when out and about. I like to keep my chocolate bliss balls in my bag, or veggie sticks with hummus, nuts and seeds are also a great option.
3. Get Creative the Kitchen – if you enjoy cooking or baking, take action! It’s your time to shine, come up with some new fun, easy and healthy recipes that you can take to dinner parties. This way you know you have a healthy option to turn too. If you want something sweet, try out my Raw Chocolate Vegan Pie or Raw Chocolate Mousse.
4. Exercise - no matter what form you choose. It helps to keep the metabolism pumping, helping to remove and eliminate toxins from your body. Exercise also releases endorphins to make you feel good, this can also help to distress and relax you. Aim to move your body for 20-30 minutes each day, yoga, pilates, weights or a walk around the block are some great options.
5. Make Healthy Food Swaps – be conscious of what you are putting on your plate, choose salads over pasta, chicken, fish or red meat over processed deli meats, vodka, fresh lime and soda over cocktails. Try to avoid fruit juices, white foods and greasy fatty foods.
6. Stay Hydrated – it’s easy to confuse thirst with hunger, leading to mindless snacking. Aim for 2 litres each day (filtered if possible), herbal teas are another great option, or add lemon or ginger to your water for extra detoxification.
7. Love Your Liver – it’s your body’s main detoxifying organ, during the holiday season it can get overloaded, partially from alcohol and sugar. Try consuming more leafy greens, cruciferous vegetables (broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage), onions, garlic, carrots, beetroot.
8. Limit Alcohol Consumption – it’ll overload your liver with toxins which will not make you feel your absolute best. Opt for healthier options such as vodka, fresh lime and soda, or stick to 1-2 drinks a night, and try to get a few alcohol free nights in each week.
9. Beat Sugar Cravings – by ensuring you add additional protein and fat to each of your meals. This will ensure your meals are balanced and you stay satiated for longer. Protein rich snacks are also a great way to go, try snacking on bliss balls, nuts and seeds, boiled eggs, veggie sticks and hummus or try my Detox Green Smoothie for breakfast or an afternoon snack.
10. Practice Self-Love and Forgiveness – Don’t be so harsh on yourself if you overindulge. Rather enjoy the moment, give yourself permission to enjoy the indulgence guilt-free, and remember to get back on track with your healthy eating routine the following day. Stress causes an increase in cortisol (your fat storing hormone), your body doesn’t need the additional stress. Instead being forgiving of yourself and others around you has shown to lower cortisol, which will help improve your mood, weight loss and hormonal balance.
Wishing you all the very best, and a happy safe holiday!