Do you have any advice for helping me stay on track over the holidays? My work gets flooded with sweets and with holiday parties –I end up gaining weight and not feeling great.
For many people their health habits slide over the holiday season. It is important to be mindful of your choices and take ownership of steering the ship. The holidays can be a time of socializing and hustle bustle but can also be a time of rejuvenation and homemaking. While I ultimately think all things in moderation, I also value paying attention to choice and being empowered. The holidays often remind me of something a patient told me … it went something like this … people spend 11 months making up for the choices they made in December. Rather than looking at December as out of your control, incorporate a few strategies to help you navigate common land mines. Look at the holiday season as a time to enjoy yourself but also as a time to nourish your needs.
- If your exercise plan is falling by the wayside due to holiday commitments then get creative in how you keep yourself moving. For example, break your workout into a couple shorter sessions such as during a lunch break and after work. Be active when you are commuting –take the stairs, and where possible, ride or walk to work and activities. If the weather is poor then consider attending an indoor drop-in class or heading to the local pool for a swim (or water run).
- Contribute something healthy to the ‘holiday work buffet’ and ask your holiday host(s) if you can bring something to share when you attend a social engagement. This way, you can make sure there is something to eat that suits your needs and balances other indulgences.
- Remember too much can be too much. Be aware of what you are eating and drinking. The top nutrition compromises of the season are too much sugar and too much alcohol.
- Drink your water. It has been said that the solution to pollution is dilution. While I don’t believe this is totally true, hydration helps set the grounds for good health and vitality. Keeping your water up is a good way to circulate nutrients and flush impurities.
- Take some time to make a weekly batch of homemade vegetable soup. Vegetable soups are a great way to enhance your well-being by delivering the vitamins and minerals, phytonutrient and water contained in vegetables. Salads can be less appealing during the colder fall and winter months, and soups offer a warming cascade of nourishing nutrients. Combine organic vegetables and herbs to create a broth-based soup and enjoy at least a cup a day.
I hope these strategies help you beat the bulge while enjoying the holiday bounty.
“Health from the inside out.”
Dr. Kimberly McQueen BSc, ND is a Naturopathic Physician in Victoria, BC. In addition to her clinic work she has been a consultant to the Pacific Institute for Sport Excellence, Camosun College, Rugby Canada and Rowing Canada. P:778.433.4935 and www.kimmcqueen.com. Kim McQueen is one of the Co-founders of the nourishing Supershake, Rumble.