I love the holidays, and I love to eat, so holiday dinners are my favourite! Buttery potatoes, juicy roasts, colourful trifles… you name it, I’m all over it!
The problem is that I often find myself going overboard, especially at a party. At best, I end up with a tummy ache afterwards, and at worst I find myself getting sick days afterwards. This year, I plan on sticking to a plan so I don’t end up with that awful rolling-on-the-floor feeling. Here’s how:
Have a pre-party snack before going out, to curb any tendency to overeat. Choose something that has protein in it, like yogurt or nuts. Protein requires more time and energy from your stomach to break down than other macro-nutrients, so you feel a little fuller for longer.
Eat and be merry
Stay hydrated by drinking lots of water during the day of and the day after a holiday event. During dinner, have a non-alcoholic drink between glasses of alcoholic beverages, like soda, juice, or water. Your throat and your head will thank you!
When filling up your plate, choose the best-for-you foods first (like vegetables) before moving on to other, richer offerings. Don’t hang around the buffet table during appetizers. Grab what you like, and then move to another area where you can socialize without the urge to constantly graze.
Don’t skip meals to compensate for a large dinner or extra drinks. It’s important to continue to consume vital micro-nutrients to help your body recover and stay on top of your health, so have a balanced breakfast such as a spinach and mushroom omelette.
A smoothie is another great way to get your nutrients in. What I love about them is that you can throw almost any fruit or vegetable in and it will taste delicious. If you want to really level up on the nutritional benefits, you can add one scoop of a whole food supplement and mix it in so the taste of it is practically invisible! (If you choose one like Green’s First, it also tastes great on its own!)
I hope you’ve found these tips helpful. Happy holidays, and bon apétit!
By Courtney Chan, Chiropractic Assistant
The holiday season is a happy time, and is also a busy time.
As the urgencies pile up, so do the emotional, physical, and chemical stressors. Shopping, meal planning, financial strain, cold weather, and the increased intake of alcohol, sugar and fats are all examples of stress factors that negatively affect our wellbeing. Here are a few pointers on making the most of your holiday season.
Don’t overdo it
Whether its binging on stuffing or working extra holiday hours, watch out for overconsumption. For example, alcohol may feel like it decreases your stress, but having too much actually acts as a chemical stressor and puts your health at risk. Decide on your limits ahead of any event, and remember that it’s okay to say “no” when someone offers you something.
Anticipate potential problems
“If you fail to plan, you plan to fail.” Think back to what you did last year, and come up with a plan to avoid any of those same pitfalls. Give yourself extra time for everything, from gift shopping to meal preparation to travel. Make lists and recruit family members or friends to help you with errands. Don’t sweat the little things – just focus on the big picture and what really matters: spending time together with loved ones.
Stick to your healthy habits
When our to-do lists grow, we often forget to take care of ourselves. This leaves us more at risk for catching a cold or flu, or old injuries being aggravated. Doing your weekly amount of exercise, maintaining a full nutritional diet and getting adjusted regularly are all part of preventing illness. Sleep for a full 8 hours and get a good night’s rest to prepare you for each busy day. Take a walk to blow off steam if you need to. Make time for yourself.
Thanksgiving isn’t the only time we should find gratitude. Don’t forget about the good stress that comes at this time of year! Seeing loved ones again, enjoying winter activities, and giving others gifts are all types of stress that contribute to your personal growth. Savour those moments.
Most of all, remember to take everything in stride and enjoy your holidays! It’s the end of the year – you deserve it.
By Courtney Chan, Chiropractic Assistant