Most North Americans throw in the towel when it comes to their health over the holidays. It's often open season for eating cake, drinking too much, not getting enough sleep and saying we're too busy to hit the gym. It's no wonder why most of us create New Years resolutions like starting a cleanse or Junk Free January to help get us back on track. What if we didn't trash our health over the next few weeks? What if we wake up feeling awesome for the first day of 2018? It can be done if you go in with a good game plan!
We don't want to give up the things we love most about the holidays! What we can do is adjust the way we approach these activities. Here are a few ideas that if incorporated into your holidays will help you wake up feeling fabulous in 2018 and if trying to conceive, hopefully more fertile!
For me the holidays is an extremely social time of year. Seeing friends and family is one aspect I really look forward too. Almost all of these social events revolve around food! I try to adjust this by switching it to more events! planning a trip to go ice skating, a hike at a local park or walking around a craft fair are easy ideas. Standing up, walking around and being slightly active instead of sitting at someones house eating too many home made treats for several hours makes a big difference. Even breaking up your visit with a 30 minute walk will help regulate blood sugar levels.
Eating Your Fill
I LOVE all the holiday foods and definitely indulge throughout the weeks of December. Its good to know that you can eat what you want and still stay healthy. Here's the trick! Don't show up hungry! Before going to your next social event where you know the food won't be all that nutrient rich try to fill up before you go. One of my favorite tricks is to make a large pot of vegetable soup. Load it up with as many vegetables as possible. Before heading out to your next event have 1-2 bowls. You will show up without a ravenous appetite so will limit the amount of poor choices you take. You will already have a belly full of nutrient and fiber dense food.
Drink and Be Merry Yet Feel Good In The Morning
Alcohol is often poured in abundance. A rule of thumb is to always have 1 glass of water per alcoholic beverage consumed. This will help your body flush out the sugars and other toxins found in alcohol. Always having a water between each glass automatically slows down the amount consumed. You will stay hydrated and feel significantly better the next morning.
Our bodies are meant to be mobile. Lack of exercise during the holidays is common due to personal time being so limited. There are a few ways to beat this hurdle as well. Like mentioned above trying to combine social time with exercise is a great option. Instead of going for coffee with an old friend go for a hike or something more festive like tobogganing or tubing at our local mountains. Looking for something less time consuming? Try looking on you tube for a quick 20-40 minute class you enjoy. There are hundreds if not thousands of yoga classes, home work outs and boot camps that you can do. The most appealing thing about a you tube work out is you can do it at the time you want and it can be done in your home. No driving, no time packing up to go some place and you pick the exact time you have to get it done.
Make A Plan
This can be the most important part of having success in staying healthy over the holidays. Going through the holidays with good intentions likely won't lead you to feeling the way you want in January. Spending a few minutes to create a daily plan and then following that plan makes this significantly easier. Write out on a day to day basis what events you have scheduled and then find the time where you can get some exercise as well as plan out your meals. In most cases you can control 2 out of the 3 main meals you have. If you have some vegetable based meals on hand it's easy to have a quick meal before showing up to the meal you can't control.
There are ways you can enjoy the holidays yet still feel great. Follow some of the above tips to help you along your way.
Best of Health
Dr. Ryan Funk
Doctor of Chinese Medicine