'Twas the time before Christmas when all through the house there was calm, there was peace, and your so helpful spouse (is he/she really making dinner tonight?!). Your fridge is full of the healthiest meals, your stress level is low, could this even be real? Ah, wouldn’t it be nice if this was the case in your home all through the bustling holiday season? Well, it is that time of year again, and sadly many of us spend more time feeling tense and overwhelmed as opposed to enjoying all the season has to offer. Here’s the thing, the holiday season is what you make it. It is up to you to take charge and set yourself up for success (and no stress) rather than end up a frazzled mess, like the Christmas lights you didn’t pack up so well last year. Listen, we are here for you, and have some suggestions on how to keep as cool as the weather this month.
First and foremost, stay hydrated. I know the cocktails are tasty and the wine goes down easy at every holiday party you attend, but partaking in social drinking on a regular basis can leave your cells begging for good old H20. Even if you abstain from alcohol, enjoying soda, juice, or punch more often than you’re used to can lead to mild dehydration. Adults should drink at least eight, eight ounce glasses of water per day to stay hydrated. Now, if you’ve enjoyed a few glasses of fermented grape juice, spirits, or ales, a general rule of thumb is to drink a glass of water for every boozy beverage you consume. Oh, and just because the weather is cooler doesn’t mean we need to drink less water. Regardless of the weather, our body will lose up to 2 liters of water per day via normal bodily functions! If you happen to be traveling by air, you can lose up to 1.5 liters of water on a short flight (https://www.betterhealth.vic.gov.au/health/healthyliving/water-a-vital-nutrient ). Consuming enough water every day improves our mood, cognitive function, lubricates the joints, improves quality of sleep, regulates body temperature, and helps to deliver nutrients to cells. So drink up!
Now, stock your fridge up with easy meal options and loads of healthy snacks. Since it’s very likely you’ll be eating several meals away from home (dinner with friends and family, cocktail hour and appetizers, work holiday party, etc.) a recipe for success is to be sure you have healthy options readily available at home. Make sure to eat a healthy, balanced breakfast, and keep fresh fruits and veggies in the front of your fridge so you can grab them when hunger strikes. You can refer back to our blog, Home Makeover Fridge Edition, for simple ways to organize your refrigerator so you are more likely to grab something nutrient-dense in a pinch! Also, try to keep a stash of nutritious snacks on hand both at home and at work. Our OHi Wholesome Bars are an excellent pick-me-up, loaded with nourishing superfoods that are certain to curb your hunger (you’re also less likely to reach for the frosted holiday cookie if you have one of our delicious bars within reach).
If you happen to be hosting a holiday dinner or party, make an effort to offer healthy options, like a big salad, roasted sweet potatoes, steamed veggies with fresh herbs, or check out any of the amazing recipes we found on this blog:
Attending a holiday party instead? No sweat, bring one of the crowd-pleasing options listed on the blog above! It is also worth mentioning that the common misconception, skipping breakfast the day of a big holiday dinner will ensure that you consume fewer calories, is false! By skipping breakfast, you are more likely to consume higher amounts of carbohydrates, fat, and sugar in the evening hours. So don’t skimp on that morning gnosh!
Next on the list: move your body! That’s right, good old fashioned exercise is crucial during the holiday craze. You’re probably thinking the reason is to burn off any excess calories that you may have consumed. Well, you are correct in thinking that all of those cocktails, fancy meals out (or in), and sweet treats certainly add up - this is not the sole reason you should make a regular sweat session a priority. When we exercise, in whatever way we enjoy, our body releases endorphins. Have you heard of or experienced the runner’s high? Endorphins are chemicals produced by the nervous system to help us deal with pain or stress, they are known as “feel good” chemicals because they boost our levels of happiness. By following a regular exercise regimen, you will be relieving stress, and boosting endorphin production that can help prevent overeating (a common result of stress).
“Remember the ‘me’ in merry”, a phrase that recently caught our attention and we couldn’t agree more. During all of the holiday excitement, set some time aside for self-care. This can be as simple as meditating for five minutes a day, reading a good book for twenty minutes before bed, or listening to soothing music while relaxing in a warm bath. Look, we know the holiday season is all about giving and caring for others, but you can’t do that very well if you haven’t properly cared for yourself. You are as important as anyone else, remember that. Now, go enjoy the season and be sure to keep the tips we offered in your back pocket while you do!