How to Stay Healthy During the Holidays (& Still Indulge)
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Tis the season to be jolly. Or is it sorry… for all the naughty things you’ll be consuming over the festive season?
Like devilish cheese boards, beer, wine, tapas, bubbles, spirits, more bubbles, barbecues, pavlova, ice cream, cocktails, pudding, 5 courses, buffets, seconds, thirds, cake and hangover food… All in the space of about 2 glorious days (okay, let’s be real…it’s gonna be more like 2-4 weeks). It’s no wonder we seek solid tactics on how to stay healthy during the holidays.
While no one wants to be Crazy Christy doing a sneaky vomit at the work Christmas party, you also don’t want to be Strict Susan waving away every platter of nibbles and festive beverages that enter your peripheral.
The good news: there’s a happy middle ground, and you’re invited to let your holiday hair down…and feel good about it (that salon visit didn’t come cheap).
But, how does one feel okay, even good, about consuming copious ingredients typically relegated to the “sometimes” or “special occasion” list? Or splurging a tidal wave of holiday sales cause “this only happens once a year” and because: SALE.
You make a holiday GAME PLAN.
What does that mean?
It means you make a mental note of all the “danger” events, functions, and scenarios where you are likely to face temptation over late Dec / early Jan.
Christmas Lunch at the Parents:
There’s the usual fare and you know what to expect – all things edible at every turn and some pretty pushy Nonnas/Grannies insisting you eat EVERYTHING one minute and commenting that you’ve “gained weight” the next.
The Work Christmas Party:
Platters, canapes, drinks; the perfect combo to wake up with a fuzzy head and some pretty distressing flashbacks involving questionable dance moves and awkward fist pumps.
Department Store Boxing Day Sale:
Enough red SALE signs turn a respectable young woman into an impatient clothes snatching savage.
Now that you’ve mentally braced yourself for what’s to come, you can begin to prepare a Self-behavioural Contract stipulating how exactly you’ll check yo’self, before you wreck yo’self.
What I mean by this is, how will you stay mindful and present amidst the onslaught of champagne flutes and canapes being shoved in your face?
In what mindset will you arrive at an event, and what measures will you take following to prevent yourself from entering the first week of the New Year feeling flat, bloated, penniless and hungover? (Disclaimer: yeh okay, there’s probably no getting around no. 4).
Yes, YOU can start the New Year feelin’ perky and fresh AF (sans Jan 1st) if you follow some simple guidelines to counteract the holiday damage.
How to Stay Healthy During the Holidays | A Guide:
Guideline #1: Indulge in what’s worth it to you. Dismiss what isn’t.
Crazy about cheese, but when it comes to olives you can take it or leave ’em? Pavlova queen, but not so keen on the Christmas Pudding? At every event or function there will be an abundance of food and drinks of all varieties. For some reason most humans react by piling their plates up with one of everything and as much as possible, cause who knows when you’ll see this much edible eye candy again!
But, often not everything takes your fancy, and you end up wasting precious salivaral energy on things that don’t really turn your tastebuds ON. So, if you’re big on brie cheese, salt and vinegar chips and chocolate cake, just go for those and ignore as much as you can of the rest. Really savour the things you find delicious for a truly satisfying experience.
Guideline #2: Ramp up your supportive supplements and superfoods
Turn to the nutritional powerhouses and tonics that work, and ramp up your dosage over the silly season.
- Probiotics everyday, twice a day
- Superfood shots in the am (MSM, maca, cacao) and pm (magnesium, turmeric/pepper, zinc)
- ACV shots and/or digestive enzymes 20mins before meals
- Essential oils in your H2O, diffuser, body oils, etc to support immunity, aid digestion and as a mood booster
- Sneak in green powders and legendary green smoothies for breakfast and snacks at every opportunity.
Guideline #3: Back to basics
- Hydrate with epic amounts of water. If in doubt, scull. Carry a water bottle with you everywhere. Sneak in a glass of water between every 2 alcoholic drinks if you can (or if you’re a hell goodie, every second drink).
- Drink 1-1.5L of water within the last hour of a boozy night. This will CHANGE YOUR LIFE if you’re accustomed to getting horrible hangovers.
- Walk as much as you can. Park further away from the venue, catch the train instead of driving everywhere. Go for a stroll after the family dinner and admire the Xmas lights with a rellie you haven’t caught up with in a while or for some quiet time.
- Find windows of quiet time to meditate – in the uber, in the park, when everyone’s sleeping off their food coma, etc.
- When faced with a smorgasbord of food, top your plate up with the good stuff first: roast veg, fresh salads, good fats, lean protein, etc before getting too friendly with the “pointless” snack / dessert table.
Guideline #4: Dance off the damage #MoveYourBodyGurl
If dancing isn’t your thing (um…how?) find other ways to get physical (wink wink). Okay but seriously, get the dance floor started and make Beyonce proud.
Over the holiday break you’ll also have extra time to exercise, so take advantage and book some classes ahead of time (yoga, boxing, Pilates, Crossfit, etc) with friends to keep yourself accountable. And get outside in the sunshine with activities like running on the beach, swimming, mini hikes and water sports. Just. Do .It.
Guideline #5: Screw the rules! This is a no-guilt zone.
You’ve worked damn hard this year and they don’t call it the “Silly Season” for nothing. Don’t put too much pressure on yourself to be perfect. This is the time of year to be a little irresponsible and La trashy chic. Trust your body to tell you when to move and when to kick back and groove.
Revelry. Festivity. Celebration.
Channel these and you will prance into the new year with a big phat smile plastered on your sweet drunken face.
Cheers to the new year b*tches!