6 Tips for Staying Healthy During the Holidays

1.Put Yourself to Bed

The holidays can make it easy for us to get out of our routines -staying up a extra hours or eating chocolates and cookies right before bed, but these few seemingly harmless actions can lead to a host of downsides. While we sleep, our bodies are working hard to keep us healthy. Maintenance items like; rebuilding our immune system, regulating hormones, building new cells, eliminating toxins, reducing inflammation, and keeping our brains healthy all happen while we’re asleep. On the other hand, when we’re sleep deprived, we become insulin resistant before even eating breakfast (basically making us temporarily pre-diabetic), cravings for sugar and carbohydrates skyrocket, our immune systems are suppressed, and cortisol spikes. Getting good quality zzz’s is my number 1 priority for staying healthy during the holiday season.

2.Enjoy Alcohol, But Do So Smartly

If you consume alcohol, chances are, your consumption goes up around the holidays. No need to feel guilty about enjoying the festivities with a glass of champagne! Instead, I help my clients navigate the never ending holiday parties by choosing clear liquors and avoiding fruit-y mixers. Clear alcohols contain less congeners, which is a toxic byproduct of the fermentation process. For hard alcohol tequila, gin or vodka are my go-to’s. When it comes to mixers, its important to consider the stress you’re putting on your liver. Why double down on alcohol and force your liver to metabolize all that fructose too? Take a load off your liver by mixing with soda water and a fresh squeeze of lime or lemon. Dirty martinis, tequila sodas, good quality wine (bio dynamic, organic or dry farmed ideally) are some of my favorite options.

3. Pick Your Treat!

 

I would never be the health coach to tell you not to eat a single one of your favorite Christmas cookies. Instead, I like to be more strategic. Instead of having a free for all and starting a hardcore diet or cleanse January 1, I like to explain the science behind blood sugar and its compounding effects. When we consider blood sugar and the reasons we want to keep it balanced, it’s easy to see why I encourage my client to pick one refined carbohydrate at the party. The one they will enjoy most. Is it having your mom’s famous pie crust? Or is your jam enjoying the crowd-pleasing spinach artichoke dip with crusty sourdough? Pick one, don’t deprive yourself, and enjoy it. And that brings me to my next tip…

4. Add More To Your Plate

Focus on what you can ADD to your plate, not what you can’t have. Is there a protein you can add? Protein has the highest satiety effects out of all the macro nutrients. How can you add some protein to your plate to help you feel full and calm? Is there a healthy fat? Can you add some extra virgin olive oil to those roasted veggies or salad? Lastly, how can you bulk up your meal with fiber? Are there some cruciferous vegetables like broccoli or Brussels sprouts you can add to your plate? The combo of protein, healthy fat, and fiber will help balance blood sugar so you feel full and satisfied without feeling overly stuffed and heavy.

5. Contribute & Share

If you’re worried about there being healthy options at your next holiday party, offer to bring a dish you know you can feel good about. Roasted brussel sprouts with organic, antibiotic free bacon, or a beautiful salad with avocado, nuts, seeds, and lots of fresh chopped veggies are delicious options that any host would be thrilled to put on the table.

6. Give your Gut a Boost!

Taking a daily synbiotic (prebiotic and probiotic) will give your gut the extra support it needs to combat the added holiday stressors (alcohol, sleep deprivation, sugar, travel and the family member that shoots your cortisol through the roof). I’m a big fan of the brand Seed. This isn’t sponsored, but I’ve seen the results first-hand. They’re scientifically proven to shorten the duration of the common cold and increase efficacy of the flu shot which is ideal since our immune systems can be compromised during the holidays. The research also proves, and again, I’ve seen this first hand with my clients, that it helps prevent alcohol induced gut permeability, supports digestion and healthy, regular bowel movements. My clients have noticed since taking Seed daily synbiotic clearer skin, better bowel movements, less bloating, stronger immunity, and mitigating the negative effects of a hangover.