Wait, don’t click out yet.
While yes, I do think drinking more water and fitting in exercise are great advice for the holiday season, I’m not going to list out all the tips you’ve undoubtedly heard before. My former health coach self remembers being trained to give out advice like “eat before you go” and “fill up on vegetables” and though that certainly isn’t bad advice, it isn’t exactly the set of “rules” I follow.
Instead, here is what works for me during this crazy time of year.
FYI, this was yesterday’s lunch- this kale salad doctored up with dried cherries, goat cheese and roasted pumpkin seeds. Do it.
Ok, first things first.
I manage my stress level. Stress is a sneaky thing that can manifest itself in so many different ways. I find when it sneaks up on me that my quality of sleep tanks, my desire to say screw it lets eat out skyrockets and my consumption of wine steadily increases. It all adds up to feeling pretty lousy if I let it take over.
So what to do?
I eliminate stress.
Ha. Just kidding. Like that’s possible when the behavior state of these two cuties matches the chaos of our poorly decorated, disorganized office.
This was me trying to send a quick email yesterday morning. And yes, that Minnie is “singing” at a decibel level that should not be allowed in toys.
However I do monitor my stress more closely and essentially baby myself to manage it. If I feel the level of pressure/anxiety rising, I prioritize stress-reducing activities. That includes exercise (even if it means having to hit up a different class time than my normal to fit it in), going to bed early or letting laundry piles sit (I’m looking at you unpacked suitcases) in favor of Disney Christmas movie watching or ice skating around the house with the girls to the Glee Christmas station on Pandora.
I can’t do it all this holiday season. Instead I prioritize my list and be sure to include wiggle room for just enjoying this time of year.
I don’t bring the party food into my house. Well, unless I’m throwing the party. But otherwise, I stick to business as usual on the grocery front. Meal planning helps me organize healthy meals for the week when I’m in a sane/satiated state of mind.
Once I hit the grocery store, the peppermint bark pretzels and decadent dip samples are ready to lure me in, but armed with a list, it’s easier to resist.
I interrupt this post to show you a cute picture that has nothing to do with the content.
I love this kid.
Ok, maybe I could caption this with get the kids involved? It’s certainly always a good piece of advice. In fact, it rings true this time of year too, as I’m ever-growing more aware of the habits I’m demonstrating for the girls. I hope they learn moderation, like I learned from my mom.
Ok, my final guideline for the holiday season?
Eat the party food that actually excites you. Unless your social life is much more packed than mine (likely), you will only encounter the party foods on occasion. When you do, pick out what really lights your fire. For me, cheap cookies with red sugar do nothing for me. But a fancy cheese and sausage combo? A homemade piece of fudge? All the heart-eyed emojis!
Here’s the thing, you don’t have to try everything. Instead, I pick out the foods I don’t normally buy that excite me. Then I enjoy them. The end.
By following these guidelines, along with some of the classics like exercise (bootcamp 3-4 times a week, drinking water, etc), my weight and pant size stay steady through New Years. I still feel like I’m indulging because I am. This past week I enjoyed homemade pecan and pumpkin pies with whipped cream, Moscow mules, chili with sour cream and Fritos and more.
But now I’m home with a restocked fridge, feeling excited to eat it.
This time of year is crazy enough as it is. Dropping the need for perfection in any aspect has really helped me embrace and enjoy it. Plus, it’s given me time for what I really want to remember from this time of year, like taking another loop around the neighborhood to hear the girls squeal at the Christmas lights <3
How do you stay healthy during this holidays?
Any tips to share?