It's that time of year again. The holidays are upon us, and for many, that can mean more social obligations, more indulgent meals, more booze, and less time for exercise. I get it. That's why I’m here with my 5 top holiday wellness tips to help you stay healthy during the holidays. I hope you have a fun and festive season!
Stick with healthy routines as much as possible. You gotta eat something between all of those festive meals. Whenever possible, have a balanced meal. Your body will feel best when you fuel it with a range of plant foods, so try to make sure plants dominate your plate. Your north star goal is to eat a half plate of veggies with lunch and dinner. The other half of the plate is divided equally between your protein portion and your starchy portion (ideally, whole grains or starchy veggies). Then you can accent your meals with plant-based fats. Additionally, most people benefit from two servings of fruit per day, which is often easiest to incorporate at breakfast and snack.
If you need some meal inspo, I’ve got you! My latest e-book was designed to help you reboot your eating habits with the lowest investment possible. For just $24.99, you’ll get 4 weekly meal plans and loads of recipes (more than 60, in fact), including brunches, soups, salads, mains, snacks, and desserts. You’ll find plenty of delicious and healthy food to eat between your holiday feasts.
Meanwhile, healthy routines include more than just what you eat. Are you squeezing in some movement? Even if you don’t have time for a full-length workout, try to do a condensed version (10 minutes is more than okay!!). Make sure you’re drinking plenty of water and taking steps to manage the stress of the holiday season. Even if you’re not dealing with holiday drama, your schedule may get disrupted, and your body can perceive that as stress.
Also, tend to your sleep habits and ensure you’re getting enough sleep throughout the holidays. It’s literally one of the best holiday wellness tips to help you stay healthy!
Make it easy to eat veggies. Veggies give your body the raw materials it needs to optimize your health, so they deserve a lot of attention. But, very few people are in the habit of regularly eating veggies. Fortunately, I’ve developed a cheat sheet filled with 2-ingredient veggie dishes. Basically, you cook some veggies (don’t worry, I’ll tell you how) and pair them with an easy flavor booster, such as cheese. I’ve got 14 ways to uplevel your veggies here. Once you see how easy and tasty it can be to eat your veggies, you’ll look forward to your next veggie-packed meal.
Stay present when choosing food and eating. These are tenets of mindful eating, and they’re among the most valuable wellness tips during the holidays and beyond. One part of this process is to tune into your body’s hunger and fullness signals. Then, honor those signals by eating foods and amounts that feel good.
Also, when choosing foods, consider what you’re in the mood for–from both a health and taste perspective. It’s okay if taste leads here. That’s why I offered tasty veggie pairings above! Finally, when you sit down to eat, it’s helpful to silently name some of the things you’re enjoying about your meal. Is it creamy, crunchy, salty, hot, cold, or the perfect blend of textures? This helps you get more enjoyment out of your meal and can help you eat in line with your hunger levels. I 10/10 recommend you practice using these tools. If you need a little help, my e-book is packaged with a quick crash course (3 modules) to give you more guidance.
Decide how much and what types of foods would be comfortable to eat. This is part of staying present when eating, but it’s so important that I mentioned it twice! Here’s what I mean by this: Think about things like whether it would be comfortable to eat one or two scoops of mashed potatoes. Or, how does it feel when you balance out your plate with some healthy foods compared to eating a plate of many rich dishes? Consider factors like your energy, your digestion, and how pleasant/unpleasant you feel when you’re finished eating. There’s no wrong way to do this. By thinking about it, you’re creating awareness, so you’ll make deliberate choices.
One thing that can be helpful is to set an intention based on how you want to feel after eating. This is like setting a goal; the intention serves as a reminder of your desires/values, so you stay accountable to them. This is one way to help honor your hunger/fullness and stay present when eating. I shared some potential intentions on Instagram, so take a look.
Be kind to yourself. Even if you practice these tips, you may overeat at some point. That happens! Maybe you got caught up in conversation with a dear friend or relative, or maybe the food just tasted so good, it was hard to stop eating. Give yourself a pass for being human! It’s 100% okay, healthy, and normal to overeat sometimes. Remind yourself that you’re doing the best you can, and think about the other routine health behaviors you’re participating in, whether that’s drinking enough water, getting enough sleep, cooking most of your own meals, connecting with friends and loved ones, or eating a variety of plant foods.
I hope these holiday wellness tips help you stay healthy, and most importantly, I hope you have a wonderful holiday season!