- Bring a fiber rich salad (recipes here!) or a quality protein to holiday parties (and fill up your plate with it!)
- Move every day for at least 20 minutes (yoga, running, HIIT)
- Prioritize sleep – 7 – 9 hours is ideal
- Hydrate – water all day long (lemon water, sparkling, herbal tea, green juice)
- Balanced nutrition – avoid the cycle of starving and overeating (this wreaks havoc on hormones and blood sugar!)
We love the holiday season. Everyone seems happier and kinder, there is a chill in the air, and the mix of cozy days and fun nights out. It can also mean less sleep, more stress, guilt and a huge change in diet for some. Most people do the silly season with the ‘all or nothing’ mentality – but there is a way to find balance and still feel amazing when the New Year rolls around.
Sleep is when our bodies detoxify and repair – when you cut your sleep short, you cut the repair time down. Opt for 7 – 10 hours per day, and include short naps, where needed. Going days or weeks without enough sleep can significantly disrupt blood sugar levels and long term can increase your risk of severe chronic illnesses. Doctor’s orders – get those zzzzzzz’s!
Different types of movement work for different types of people. High intensity interval training can aid in weight loss and insulin regulation, however for someone with adrenal fatigue or chronic stress, a HIIT workout could exacerbate their symptoms or condition.
Yoga, walking, jogging, weight training and Pilates are great options. Yoga, specifically, activates the parasympathetic nervous system and is therefore one of our favorite stress busting forms of movement. Stress increases cortisol (even some exercises can be stressful on the body) and can be part of viscous cycle of hormone imbalance. Mix it up and do what feels right!
If you know what makes you feel good (greens, fruits, lean protein, healthy fats etc.), do your best to enjoy these foods for the majority of the time. Filling the majority of your plate, and your day, with fiber and anti-oxidant rich foods, leaves less room for the rest.
If you want to feel and look great, choose foods that support this. It is never too late in the day, or in the meal, to get back on track. Take a deep breath!
- deep breath before eating, and gratitude
- hydration throughout the day
- small meals balanced with a protein (hemp seeds, chicken, eggs, tofu etc.) and good quality fat (olive oil, avocado, sardines, nuts and seeds) to help balance blood sugar
- colourful veg and small portions of fiber rich fruits
- quality over quantity
- don’t skip meals (hormone havoc!)
- don’t arrive hungry – and go easy (or miss) the finger food before dinner
- smart snacking!
Eggs, chia pudding or a smoothie with hemp seeds and collagen is a great way to set up the day.
Nutrition re: Holiday parties
When a holiday party rolls around, go for colorful / leafy green vegetables and a lean protein. The key here is to be consistent – eating good for you foods and lots of water the day of, and supporting your body the morning after. Don’t starve the day of, as this leads your brain to demand quick fuel, which increases the chances of over eating and reaching for carbs and sugar.
Too much bubbly? Don’t forget your B vitamins the night of and lots of water or electrolytes, and again the next day. Have a savory breakfast along the lines of eggs, sautéed kale and avocado which are all incredible for supporting liver detox. Sugar free green juice, too as it is rich in vitamins and minerals to replenish and help the body cope. Here is a great fritatta recipe that you can whip up in minutes, and a golden latte recipe here that is delicious, comforting, and actively supports liver detoxification too.
When it comes to drinking – there are choices. Red wine is rich in the anti – oxidant and relatively low in sugar, but there can also be too much of a good thing. Additionally, red wine has high levels of histamine, which may affect certain people if they have a histamine intolerance (some individuals have an enzyme deficiency that would normally work to break down histamine – see us for more support!). If you notice you wake up feeling not great even after one glass of red, you might be better off with a glass of dry white wine or something along the lines of gin and soda water. Ditch the colorful cocktails altogether – the sugar and liquor combination is a sure way to give yourself a killer hangover / headache.
A healthier take on a gin and tonic is gin and soda or sparkling water. Tonic water is high in sugar, which will also contribute to a hangover. One can has 32 grams of sugar!
Before bed, hydrate with natural electrolytes (powder or coconut water) and B vitamins. Not to be the bearer of bad news, but alcohol is known as an anti – nutrient, in which it robs the body of nutrients – so actively replenishing is key! We love Ultima Replenisher Electrolytes (sold at Supermart).
Our recommendation is to have at least 3 days per week, without alcohol. Buzz kill? The liver needs time to regenerate – and giving it 72 hours consecutively without alcohol, can be incredibly beneficial.
And then find yourself at the beach for salty air and some Vitamin D!