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Everyday Healthy Holiday Tips

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Everyday Healthy Holiday Tips

As the end of the year approaches, these everyday healthy holiday tips are essential to help avoid sickness, over-eating, and fatigue. They look pretty simple, yet they can be easily overlooked, so take note and keep them in your awareness during the holidays.

 

Wash those hands.

This one may be easy to forget; however, it’s important to remember that most acute illnesses are due to poor hygiene and the easiest way to avoid this is to wash your hands with soap and warm water. 

Keep hydrated.

During the holidays, we tend to drink more sugary drinks – hot chocolate and egg nog – which, in moderation, is fine, but we usually forget to drink water. Have a pitcher filled with water in the fridge or counter. My family uses a Berkey Water Filter, and this filter ensures and encourages more water drinking. However, if water doesn’t sound exciting, infuse the water with slices of oranges and lemons to add some zest and flavour or perhaps make a pitcher of iced herbal tea.

Here is a family favourite:

Place 5 to 8 Hisbicous herbal tea bags (depending on the size or container) in a glass container and fill it with water. Add 2 to 4 cinnamon sticks and place in the fridge overnight. In the morning, take the tea bags out and enjoy!

Think colour and protein.

When preparing meals, think about whole colourful foods. Protein helps satiate us for extended periods; this keeps our blood sugar levels balanced(i.e., no crazy mood swings) and helps prevent over-snacking. Colourful ( whole ) foods provide us with nutrients that our bodies need during the holidays. A few December seasonal foods include apples, avocados, kiwi, cauliflower, broccoli, and sweet potatoes. Try adding pomegranate seeds to salads, apples and nut butter as a snack, and sweet potatoes to smoothies!

relax & meditateTake time for yourself.

This one may be the toughest yet the most important. One of my health non-negotiations is movement, which is even more critical during the holidays. Get up early each morning and begin your day with some exercise – a brisk walk, yoga or a trip to the gym. Even if it is only 15 minutes, it sets a good tone for the day. Plus, the morning is a perfect time because exercise is one of the last things we will want or find the time to do as the day gets busy.

A great book.

I adore Michael Polland's books, mainly In Defense of Food and Food Rules: An Eater's Guide. My kids enjoyed the latter as it was a quick read and made them laugh and think about food. You can check out his books here on Amazon. You can pass it around the dinner table; it will bring up great discussions, lead to new food questions and bring more significant awareness to the foods everyone eats.

Ask this question: 

What did you eat for breakfast, and how did it make you feel during the morning? ( energetic, sleepy, stomachache?)

Lastly, below are a few more healthy holiday tips to remember when opening the fridge and heading to the grocery store.

  • Eat foods that you enjoy and make you feel good
  • Eat foods that are mostly plant-based.
  • Eat foods that are organic and gmo-free
  • Try to eat as many local and seasonal foods as possible
  • Stop eating before you are full
  • Avoid foods that cause any unpleasant symptoms: gas, bloating
  • Avoid eating when stressed ( do 10 jumping jacks, sun salutes or take a quick walk around the block)
  • Always, always be grateful for the food you have

 Happy Holidays,

dr. heather

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