Healthy Through the Holidays…
Article by holistic nutritionist and health coach, Linda Ljucovic, RHN, Oakville
Over the holidays, some of us find ourselves saying, “my diet starts in January”, just a little too often. This comment comes from a mindset we have about life, food and joy.
I am here to challenge you to create a new mindset. A mindset that will serve you instead of deplete you. It will set you up to feel great and alive in your body over a fun but sometimes stressful time.
Your new proposed mantra, “I will nourish my mind, my body and my soul always, even over the holidays.”
Here are some tips on how to ‘rock’ your holiday break!
For our body and mind:
Tip #1 – Eat good levels of protein, healthy fats, and fiber throughout the day — Many people starve themselves on the day of their Holiday feast. Not good! This leads to more unhealthy eating. When you skip a meal, your blood sugar levels drop and then the inevitable ‘food cravings’, usually for sweets and carbs follow, and this creates a cycle of ups and downs. Even worse, your metabolism slows down – your body goes into starvation mode, and then you don’t burn your calories as efficiently. So, on your big feast day, keep those insulin levels stable by eating a carb combined with a protein every 3-4 hours and you will be surprised that you won’t feel the need to eat as many sweets. Click here for healthy snack ideas…
Tip #2 – Get active — Don’t play the…exercise starts Monday (or Jan 1st) game. Ramp up your exercise routine now. Yes, it is busy, but remember that exercise is cumulative — so if you don’t have time to get to the gym, park further away from the shopping mall, run up and down your stairs a few times at home or at work, or if you are watching your favourite holiday movie or during a net-flix binge, do push-ups and sit ups at every commercial break or every 10 minutes. Exercise boosts your mood and your metabolism and will give you that healthy holiday glow without the alcohol.
For our body and soul:
Tip #3 – Indulge and enjoy — This holiday comes but once a year and many of our fond memories are those of baking with gramma or chatting over the dinner table with family and friends. No need to take those moments away…there are so many amazingly nutritious and delicious treats out there.
Give these recipe’s a try:
- Kale, Cranberry and Quinoa Salad
- Mint Chocolate Raw Power Balls
- Black Bean Peppermint Brownies
- Raw Almond Cacao Cookies
- Oatmeal Dark Chocolate Chip Cookies
- Buckeyes – revamped
And, if you choose to indulge in that gingerbread latte, extra whip or and extra slice of pecan pie, be sure to enjoy every last bite without the guilt. Research shows that food is better metabolized when we think positively about the food we are eating.
Tip #4 – Take time to Slow Down — Holiday stress is a great excuse to treat yourself to some ‘you-time’ like massage! As stated by the Mayo Clinic, “some studies have found massage helpful for; Stress relief; Managing anxiety and depression; Pain; Stiffness; Blood pressure control; Infant growth; Sports-related injuries; Boosting immunity; and Cancer treatment.” Not that you need a reason but we love a good statistic.