Top 10 Tips for a Healthy Holiday
Most of us are getting ready for the holidays or even traveling as we speak. Here are my top 10 tips for a healthy holiday.
- It’s not about the food // Don’t make food the center of your attention, focus, or obsession. Instead focus on what the season truly is about, spending time with your loved ones, caring for others, showing and expressing gratitude, being mindful of your actions, living your “normal” life and days (i.e. you wouldn’t normal over indulge in pies, cookies, or cakes on a daily or weekly basis, why start now just because it’s the “season”).
- Hydrate // With running errands, cooking, traveling, and having one too many cocktails- it’s easy for our bodies to get dehydrated. Drink water throughout the day and even better drink 1 cup of water in between each cocktail. My favorite ways to stay hydrated include: water, 1-2 tbs. chia seeds soaked in water, sparkling water, herbal tea, fresh juice (if I’m on the go it’s a quick stop in juice. Nashville), and my Stripped Green Smoothie.
- Relax // Most of us get to have a couple days off of work to relax… so relax! Enjoy the time away from the busy workdays and enjoy yourself. Also, there’s no need to feel guilty about indulging in foods for one evening/meal- as long as your back on track first thing in the morning, it’s A-Okay!
- VEGGIES! // Oh yesss, the powers of vegetables during any time of year, but especially around the holiday season when you’re eating more dense foods (both digestibility and calorically). Veggies are a great way to create a lot more volume in a dish to make you feel like you’re eating a lot more than you actually are. They’re full of water, fiber, nutrients galore, and taste amazing when prepared in a way you love.
- Be in the NOW // it’s as simple as that. I constantly tell myself daily reminders and mantras of being present, living in the moment, connecting with my true self, and not allowing thoughts of “what if’s”, “to-do’s”, “I need to’s” interfere with daily living. The more you concentrate on being present, the more you’re able to enjoy spending time with family and friends, enjoy the spirit of the holiday season, engage in fun activities, shop, bake, wrap presents, read a book by a cozy fire, and anything else you love doing!
- Stress management // Holidays are known to be one of the most stressful times of year for us, whether it’s a good form of stress or bad. Unfortunately it falls into the latter category more often than not. Beat the stress by taking time out DAILY for yourself for at minimum 10 minutes of stillness, peace and quiet, engaging in something you love to do, yoga, or my favorite meditation.
- Save it for later // Just because friends, loved ones, co-workers, or neighbors bring cookies, cakes, and candies into the office or as a gift for you...doesn't mean you have to consume them. You have the choice of what you choose to put in your body and if those treats don't coincide with your health goals then save them for a later time (I promise, 1 year from now you'll still have access to cookies, they're not going away anytime soon!).
- Mind-Body Connection // This is a crucial practice and should be incorporated as much as possible into your daily life! Whether it is physical activity like weight lifting, yoga, Pilates, ballet bar classes, dancing, or just talking a walk. Harnessing your bodies movement along with a positive mind set will set you up for success, positivity and will also come in handy around food.
- Mindful Eating // Exercising mindful eating is a true practice and power once you’ve gotten nailed down, constantly check in with yourself and ask how truly hungry you are. What is it that you’re hungry for? Is it happiness, sadness, stress, anxiousness, or are you truly hungry for food? We eat for so many reasons in our society, but having a strong mind-body connection will help you tremendously in figuring out what you are TRULY hungry for.
- Plan ahead // Batch Cooking 101 is my secret weapon (okay not so secret) throughout the holiday season when going out, socializing, traveling, etc.; it’s a way to keep your meals/snacks planned a bit ahead of time so you can breathe and create space for other things you enjoy doing this holiday season. No excuses of “falling off the wagon”, you make the choice to either prepare or plan, whether to engage in exercise and the mind-body connections, or to eat something you know is not bringing you closer to your goals and path. So set yourself up with success!
- *BONUS* SLEEP! 7-9 hours. Enough said.
Most of all, HAPPY HOLIDAYS everyone! Have safe travels, enjoy your time, and see you back in the New Year,
McKel Hill, MS, RD, LDN
Nutrition Stripped, nutritionstripped.com