We can’t believe it’s HOLIDAY time already!
Clients often ask us How can I have a healthy holiday? They want healthy holiday tips to avoid feeling bloated and unwell while navigating the upcoming festivities. Or maybe you’ve been maintaining healthy habits all year and you really don’t feel like blowing it apart for the last two months.
Parties, baking, and gatherings are all good things. However, there can be a balance where we also don’t need to feel like absolute CRAP (pardon our french) for enjoying!
We’d love to share the following healthy holiday tips that we have found to be helpful.
Focus connection time on activities instead of substances.
Fun festivities don’t have to revolve just around spiked cider and cookies. When that aunt comes to town that you want to see, try connecting over a trail walk instead of cocktails and sweets.</>li
Prep yourself to better process that alcohol.
Before a night of imbibing on cocktails, make sure you consume electrolytes (we love SEEKING HEALTH- berry optimum powder) and hydrate beforehand. Another trick is to take probiotics and B vitamins that day to help process that ETOH.
Take mental health breaks.
As much as we LOVE the holidays, we also know that all the festivities and extra social time can become stressful and exhausting. So write self-care time into the schedule that grounds you and fills your bucket. (Seriously, schedule it as if it’s a non-negotiable meeting, and don’t let that time go!) Of course, everyone is different, but some ideas are: head down to the river for a quick walk, hit your coffee shop for some time to journal (or just stare at the wall!), meet up with a friend that energizes you instead of exhausts you.
Opt for homemade instead of store-bought when possible.
When life feels busy, people tend to gravitate toward prepackaged and ultra-processed convenience foods. Unfortunately, these contain additives that just don’t need to be there. When possible, plan to batch cook and cook extra to freeze during this season so you can have whole food, home-cooked goodness, and less of those nasty additives found in packaged foods.
Think about adding to your plate instead of taking it away.
When you load your plate up with all those goodies, focus on filling a portion of your plate with good fibrous, nutrient-dense foods. This will help fill your belly with nourishing foods and, as a result, create less room for stuff that tends to be less nutritious and vitamin/mineral rich!
Try to stick to your typical sleep schedule.
Healthy habits start with getting enough sleep. Studies show that irregular sleep schedules lead to poor sleep quality, less energy, and more sugary cravings. Of course, sticking to your sleep schedule can be easier said than done with the increased parties and family in town. But, make it a priority and do what you can to avoid the pitfalls by being mindful of going to bed and waking as close to your normal time when possible.
More Healthy Holiday Tips
One of our incredible Functional Nurse Practitioners, Jennifer Nelson, has some additional health holiday tips to share!
Navigating dietary restrictions during the holidays can be tricky! But don’t let it get you down! There are lots of great resources out there to help. Here are some tips and tricks from my kitchen to help you.
My favorite cookbook is Celebrations by Danielle Walker. This cookbook will help you with all of your gluten and dairy-free nostalgic recipes, including cream of mushroom soup, stuffing, and pumpkin pie!
My favorite Gluten-Free bread is from New Cascadia Traditional. I never feel like I am missing out when I bring this bread, and everyone loves it too! My favorites are the Baguette, Italian Load, and the Farmhouse Sandwich bread. It freezes great too!
Christmas Morning, I always make cinnamon rolls. One of my favorite recipes is using the Bobs Red Mill Pizza Crust Cinnamon Roll recipe! It is worth the sugar splurge and can be adapted to be dairy-free too!
By following these tips and some of your own, you should be on your way to navigating a healthy holiday for this season and the next. Leave your healthy holiday tips in the comments. As always, if you have any questions or need additional support, please reach out to your provider at SHIFT! We are here to help and love doing so!