Oh, the Holiday Season… that time of year when our smarter, more consequence laden selves battle it out with the never ending temptation to indulge in the holiday snacks and drinks that seem to appear at every turn.
We all look forward to the ugly sweaters, rich food and merry drinking over the next several weeks, but we know, in the back of our minds, it will come with a hefty price tag if we aren’t careful. Bloated tummies, food comas, hangovers and the dreaded holiday weight gain are all too common during this time of year.
Here are some tips that can help you during the holiday festivities:
1.) Water! Drink lots of water throughout the day, this keeps you well hydrated so it will help soften the hangover blow, as well as keeping you fuller throughout the day, so you won’t be snacking on all the food preps and can actually have a good appetite for the main event!
2.) Digestive Enzymes – recently a huge hit with many nutritionists. Overtime our stomach acid becomes more and more underactive due to many factors (diet, environment, lifestyle). Because of this, our body cannot properly digest our foods or properly absorb the nutrients. And since most foods will be heavy, rich and mainly protein based, digestive enzymes help to increase your stomach acids and break all the food and nutrients down. You should feel less bloated and uncomfortable after you dig into your meals. It is recommended to take the enzymes 20-30 minutes before your meal, so plan ahead!
3.) Chew Your Food! One of the most important things in the book. Digestion begins in the mouth. Chewing your food will help support your stomach in processing these foods, helping to prevent the uncomfortable feelings after the many helpings of Christmas dinner! A part of chewing your food also brings in mindfulness. These dinners take hours of preparation, and we tend to finish everything in less then 15 minutes! We never get to really experience the full variety of flavours, appreciate the ingredients and all the love that went into our meals. Take your time to enjoy every bite and savor it! Slowing down, chewing and savoring your food also allows you to recognize when you are full before you overeat. It’s win-win!
4.) Use Your Brain When You Booze! It’s easy to overindulge during the holiday season, especially when it comes to our booze, and holiday hangovers can be some of the worst! It’s easy to get carried away in all the excitement -or maybe you just needed a lot to wash the taste of that horrible fruit cake away – either way, the next thing you know you’ve mixed wine, rum, eggnog, beer, cider, scotch and champagne all into one evening. To help counter morning regrets, implement Tip #1 and drink lots of water – it will help! Drink a bunch of water before you start the festivities, then try to squeeze in a glass between your higher octane beverages throughout the evening, and finally be sure to drink a big glass of water before you hit the pillow. All this water will help slow down your consumption of alcohol throughout the night and will combat the dehydration that can lead to pounding headaches the next morning.
5.) Don’t Stress! – Enjoy these times with friends and family and don’t allow yourself to constantly worry about your diet throughout the Holidays. This only happens once a year, and although you might feel a little less optimal then when you were juicing kale everyday, it’s a great time to get together with all the people you cherish and let loose. Food and drink brings people together and we should be grateful and enjoy every moment while we can. In a way, taking a break from following a strict eating plan can also help you reset and increase your motivation for healthy eating afterward. Don’t stress out too much about eating less then “clean food”. Life is all about balance, so enjoy the festivities but remember that juicing and blending are just a button away!
6.) Exercise! To help get your lymphatic system moving, flush out your holiday toxins, and burn some of those extra calories you’ve consumed, continue with your pilates and yoga classes! Getting a class in regularly through the Holidays will help flush out those bad leftovers from overindulging, rev up your metabolism, support your body in the digestion process (goodbye bloating!) and keep you feeling and looking great. You might want to skip out on class after attending that Christmas party the night before, but you know it is always worth the extra effort to get to the studio. You will thank yourself after!
Want to get started on that New Years resolution now!? Try your first class free this holiday season or purchase your first 4 weeks of unlimited Pilates or Yoga mat classes for only $49.00! Sign up now!