Holiday SurTHRIVAL Guide: How to Survive and Thrive this Holiday Season
The holidays can pose a challenge to even the best of us who are committed to optimal wellness and nutrition. In addition to holiday treats tempting us at every turn, we get less Vitamin D3 and are more prone to catching a cold or the flu, which then sets us back in our performance goals.
So, what’s a wellness junkie like myself to do around this time of the year when the sugar and cheer are about to flow, with no end in sight until after January 1st?
Create some fun family traditions that allow us to maintain our focus on wellness, of course!
After all, gaining 10 pounds and watching my kids get hyped up on sugar isn’t really that fun anyway, is it?
Since we know sugar drastically reduces bodily defenses against harmful bugs, being aware of your sugar intake is the ONE thing I’d suggest you focus on for a healthier holiday season.
Here are some useful suggestions for keeping your holidays as healthy as possible while still enjoying time with your family, friends, and great food.
Tips for Thanksgiving and Christmas
#1 If you are hosting the party, talk about the holiday menu with your family.
Plan out a healthier menu that everyone feels good about. Remember, you aren’t the only ones looking for health and well-being – a healthier menu benefits everyone.
#2 Take a family walk around the neighborhood or go outside and throw the football around after large meals.
#3 Plan family hikes.
#4 Put the food away after everyone has had their first fill (don’t let it sit out for picking).
#5 Look into low-sugar (non-chemically sweetened) desserts.
For example, dates and coconut sugar are excellent sweetening alternatives for this time of year. Dark chocolate-covered nuts and raisins are simple and taste great.
#6 Set a limit for yourselves before going to a holiday party.
In other words, before entering, talk about how many Celebration Foods* would be a healthy choice to have at the party.
*Celebration foods in my program are party foods that I suggest only be eaten occasionally (pies, pastries, cakes, candy, etc.)
#7 Play board games after a big dinner to get your minds off food for a little.
#8 Don’t go to a party starving – you’ll eat more than you normally would.
Eat slowly and enjoy the company before you overeat and feel sick!
#9 Take a healthy dish with you to a party so that you know you have one good option to eat.
#10 Don’t fill up on bread before the full meal even begins.
#11 Don’t get your sugar fill from highly sugared drinks; wait for a small sampling of desserts instead. Consuming both will put your sugar intake over the edge!
#12 Up your intake of Vitamin D3 with a supplement, as most of us are not getting enough, if any, sunshine at this time of year.
#13 Create a vision board for your health goals!
Cut out pictures and words from magazines that inspire you to attain and maintain the level of health you are seeking. We have a tradition of creating our own vision boards as a family every January 1st.
Taking care of your body is a lifelong commitment; take care of your body, and it will take care of you. Healthier traditions or not, we always enjoy what the holidays are really about – family, love, and great food – while maintaining health and staying on track with our performance goals!
Action Steps for the Week
1) Be aware of your sugar intake and choose your desserts wisely.
2) Eat your calories; don’t drink them in sugary drinks.
3) Try a new, healthier recipe this week.
4) Get active with your family after big holiday meals.
5) Start taking Vitamin D3.
6) Create your own “Health” or “Vitality” vision board or set a date on your calendar to do so.
Download my Holiday SurThrival Suggestions
In this guide, you’ll find:
- Successful Holiday Tips
- Turkey Tips
- An Overview of the Emotional Component to Food
- 2 of my Favorite Holiday Recipes