The holidays are upon us, which means it’s time to celebrate the season! Unfortunately, during this time of year many of us have a tendency to undo the healthy habits we’ve worked so hard on throughout the year. Crazy cocktails, endless appetizers, and decadent desserts send us straight into the New Year with resolutions to change our diets and lifestyles. Instead, allow yourself the opportunity to indulge in the simple pleasures of the holiday season while still feeling good about yourself and your health. Here are six tips to feel your best during the holiday season!
Most holiday meals can be heavy on flavor and subsequently salt, which can cause us to feel bloated and puffy. Avoid these unpleasant feelings by keeping your body hydrated all day long. Proper hydration will help flush out any excess sodium, so remember to hydrate throughout the day by always keeping a reusable water bottle near you. For an added burst of flavor add a splash of lemon and honey, or if you are feeling festive add in some seasonal spices like cinnamon, clove and star anise.
After indulging in a delicious holiday meal, you may feel full and flat-out stuffed. It may be tempting to skip your next meal, but skipping meals can actually make you feel tired, cranky, and irritable, and who wants to be around that — especially during the holiday season? When making meal choices, be sure to eat mindfully by eating real, whole foods like fresh fruits, hearty vegetables, and high-quality protein sources and whole grains.
Indulging in holiday foods can throw off your digestion, so during the holidays, go green and fill your plate with more vegetable greens like bok choy, collard greens, kale, lettuce and spinach. When focusing on eating more plants, fill at least half of your plate with greens, a quarter of your plate with whole grains and a quarter of your plate with animal protein sources (if you eat meat).
Choose high-quality protein sources to sustain your energy sources throughout the day such as eggs, leftover turkey from your main holiday meal, quinoa porridge, or a bowl of yogurt topped with nuts and fresh berries. By keeping yourself satiated you will be less susceptible to overindulging in holiday treats throughout the day.
Besides staying hydrated, treat yourself to a mug (or two) of herbal tea. Drinking a fresh, strong tea, like ginger tea or green tea, can really warm you up from the inside out. Plus, a mug of your favorite tea is instantly grounding and can help bring you back to balance, especially if you are particularly busy.
One of the best parts about the holidays are the sweet treats. Christmas cookies, homemade pies and cakes are easy to come by during this time of year. Instead of mindlessly munching, tame your sweet tooth by incorporating more sweet vegetables into your daily diet. Think vegetables like beets, carrots, onions, sweet potatoes and winter squash. Not only will you be enjoying something sweet, but you will also be nourishing your body with filling fiber.