The Holidays are upon us along with all the joys of the season. Joys such as seeing family and friends, watching silly movies, giving and receiving gifts, and partaking in all sorts of scrumptious foods and beverages. Sharing homemade treats and sipping spirits with loved ones is a warm way of bonding which holds a dear place in the heart of our culture. Heading into the holidays with a plan of deprivation and restriction is highly unlikely for most of us. So, why not approach the healthy holidays with a spirit of moderation and, above all, mindful enjoyment?
The following are some tips to keep in mind while the parties, family meals, edible gifts, and travel plans mount up over the next few weeks:
Sweets and Treats
- If you have a very favorite dessert or treat during the holidays, then absolutely partake in it. BUT, serve yourself a small portion and take the time to taste and savor every bite. Use your other senses as well: the sound of family laughter, the beautiful holiday lights, the warmth of a fire or candles. Make your consumption a full sensory experience, then continue to enjoy your surroundings without reaching for seconds.
- Do not feel guilty for eating your favorite treat. Instead feel grateful to enjoy healthy holidays.
- Do not eat sweet treats that you don’t like. Sometimes we feel the need to partake to be polite to someone who made a treat. If this is the case, take as few bites as possible with a big smile!
- Do not make dessert your breakfast. Leftover pie or cookies are easy to reach for in the morning but are an unhealthy way to start your day and will lead to a blood sugar crash well before lunch.
Parties and Gatherings
- Bring a dish that is flavorful and healthy, or finger foods to add to the feast.
- Fill 75% of your plate with protein and veggies, fill 25% with carbs.
- Eat slowly, chew your food, enjoy the conversation.
- Wait until after you eat to have an alcoholic beverage.
- Choose lower calorie alcoholic beverages: dry champagne, vodka sodas, red wine.
- Fill your glass with water between alcoholic beverages.
- Bring a bag of your own favorite herbal tea to have toward the end of the night.
- Use a ride share service or a cab to get home if you’ve had more than one drink.
- Whether flying or driving, drink lots of water.
- Avoid alcohol and extra caffeine.
- Wash your hands frequently.
- When waiting at an airport, walk around, don’t sit. Walk from one end of the airport to the other at a brisk pace if you have the time.
- On the plane, be sure to stand up every thirty minutes. Do some simple stretching in the aisle.
- Do gentle neck and shoulder rolls while seated every ten to fifteen minutes.
- Bring your own healthy snacks: nuts, fruit, veggie sticks, etc.
- If driving, use rest stops to stretch and do small bursts of exercise.
Enjoy your healthy holidays and stay tuned for future posts on detoxifying, as well as more health advice in the New Year! Call (512) 442-2727 to schedule an evaluation with the Medical Practitioner at our South Austin, Texas location.