‘Tis the season for lots of holiday activities and tempting treats! It’s really hard to stay on track with sticking to a diet when there is so much to do. It’s hard to eat healthy when we are busy. It’s also hard to stay healthy and keep your immune system strong when there is so much activity and stress just trying to keep up and get everything done in time for your holiday celebrations. Let’s face it – there are presents to be bought, wrapping, food preparation, lots of parties to go to, in addition to all your regular daily activities of living like kids’ sporting events, laundry, cooking, as well as that all-important thing called work.
Winter is often the season of the year when we tend to feel more stress, anyway. The cold weather (if you’re lucky enough to live up north), lack of sun, higher heating bills, having to drive on bad roads – all of these additional stressors can throw your body into a slump. You may feel tired, depressed, and just plain stressed. Stress causes your body to secrete more cortisol which can cause many problems such as weight gain, disrupted sleep patterns, and metabolic imbalances. All this disruption causes your body to enter a cycle of less than optimal health, often leading to lowered immunity and illness. Have you ever noticed that you get sick right around the holidays when you just have no time for an illness?
Here are some tips to help you maintain optimum health during the busy holiday season:
- Have your Vitamin D levels checked. Most of us don’t get enough Vitamin D in the winter season and need to supplement. If you have a naturopathic doctor in your area, this is a great place to start. He or she can recommend the correct dose to keep your levels where they should be. Vitamin D is vital to maintaining a healthy immune system.
- Eat healthy as often as you can. Try to eat lots of leafy green vegetables and drink lemon water in the morning. Sip green tea throughout the day. Get your fruits and fiber. Avoid those processed foods, and refined carbohydrates. Try to stick with healthy treats like dark chocolate, red wine, and dried fruits and cheese in moderation. If you are eating healthy most of the time, you won’t need to feel bad when you do indulge in a special holiday treat. When you do indulge, take just a little bit. Eat it slowly; savor every bite. Make it COUNT! And…don’t feel guilty!
- Learn to say NO! You don’t have to attend every holiday gathering. Only say yes to the events that are really important to you. If you don’t want to go to the work party, don’t feel obligated. You can politely decline stating that you have another committment. You do have another committment – to yourself!
- Keep your exercise routine as consistent as possible. If you don’t have an exercise routine, this might be a good time to start one. Try a nice walk outdoors. The fresh air will do you good!
- Try a detox bath. This is a great way to de-stress and eliminate toxins from your body. Here’s how – draw a tub full of very warm water. Be careful if you have high blood pressure not to make it too hot. Add 2 cups of Epsom salts (I love Dr. Teal’s Epsom Salts with Lavender), and 1 cup of baking soda. Soak for at least 20 minutes to get the full effect. This will allow your body to draw in the magnesium from the Epsom salt as well as draw out the toxins your body has accumulated. When you get out, wrap up in a warm bathrobe to hold in the heat. You will notice that you continue to sweat, removing even more toxins. Be careful, you may feel a little woozy when you step out of the tub. This is just your body’s reaction to stirring up the toxins. This is a good time to sit down and drink a cup of warm lemon water. This is also great for relieving body aches. If you really want to relax, you might try lighting some gently scented beeswax candles while soaking. Self care is so important for healthy living!
Stay tuned to The Healthy Rainbow for lots of great information on how to eat well, and live well! For more information about this subject, or on my coaching practice please contact me for a FREE consultation. Wishing a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to all of you!