How to stay healthy over the holidays

How to stay healthy over the holidays - Happy Holidays from AWSCHappy holidays! It’s the most wonderful time of the year. We know it’s not the same due to the Covid-19 pandemic and that this year is different but we can still find things to be grateful for and help get us into the holiday spirit! Time is just as valuable as money and while finances may be tight due to Covid-19, volunteering may be a nice alternative. Spreading kindness is always free.

For many of us, the holidays are associated with lots of eating and drinking. We tend to overindulge as we celebrate the holidays with our loved ones. A few weeks ago we talked about starting your New Year’s resolutions now to help kickstart your goals and get you on track for 2021. This week we’d like to give you a few tips on how to stay healthy over the holidays.

1. Start the day with a healthy breakfast. Breakfast is the most important meal of the day. Over Thanksgiving, we talked about ways to not overeat and eating breakfast is key. It may be tempting to skip breakfast to “save up” for the main meal on a holiday, but in the end, that is an unhealthy option. I like eating avocado toast with eggs. It is a nice healthy option for me to start my day. The eggs can be cooked anyway you prefer and there is so many variations to make it to your liking!

2. Stay Hydrated. It is a fact that the amount of water we need to drink daily is half our weight in ounces. Two ways to stay on top of our water intake, is to drink a large glass of water first thing in the morning and to also drink one glass 30 minutes before each meal and snack. Use a reusable bottle that has measurements so you can track how many ounces you are consuming.

3. Snack on healthy foods at the right time. It is best to avoid starchy and sugary snacks and stick with snacks that are loaded with healthy fats to keep you feeling full for longer. Plus they won’t spike your insulin levels. When are insulin spikes and then drops, we can feel tired and lethargic. It is best to eat 5-6 small meals a day. This will keep our insulin levels steady and will help prevent overeating and choosing less healthy food options. If you do host or are going to a holiday party and want to eat healthy snacks, I’d recommend some type of Mediterranean Platter. When I make it I like to serve: Olives, artichoke hearts and roasted peppers, nuts, hummus, cucumber, cherry tomatoes, grapes, cheese and pita slices. It is super easy to make, looks beautiful, and is a healthy option.

4. Prevent a hangover. Alcohol and caffeine depletes our body of water so we need to keep that in mind as we sip our coffee and wine! One tip when drinking caffeine and/or alcohol is to have a “sipper sandwich.” Sipper sandwich is drinking a glass of water before and after an alcoholic or caffeinated beverage. It’ll keep you hydrated and help you feel better in the morning!

5. Start a new morning routine. There is no time like the present to make a change and with the holidays here, it’s a little easier to change because we may be reflecting on our year and thinking about what we’ll do differently next year. One thing to consider changing, if you don’t already, is to spend a few minutes in the morning on some self-care. Take a few minutes in bed to stretch. You can start with a full-body stretch (to do this, extend your arms out above your head, pushing them up towards your headboard/wall, and push your feet downwards toward the end of your bed. Hold this position for a few deep breaths then release. Repeat this a few times.)

Follow this up with a hamstring stretch. Lie down on your back keeping your hips level (to do this stretch bring your right knee toward your chest, keeping your left leg on the bed. Holding your leg with your hands, slowly extend your right knee to stretch to your tolerance. If the hamstrings are tight, you can use a towel. Breath deeply and hold the stretch for 10-30 seconds; repeat on the opposite side.)

Sit up and take a few deep breaths. Perhaps even meditate and think about what we are grateful for before we rush throughout our day. Starting the day with gratitude is a beautiful way to begin our day.

6. Get right back on track. If you happen to overindulge, don’t fret! Every day is another chance to turn it all around. Hydrate, eat well, rest, and start fresh tomorrow.

We wish you all the best this holiday season and are looking forward to the new year!

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