Ready or not the holidays are here! It's a time of reconnecting, celebrating traditions and amazing meals. It's also the time of year I see clients and friends lose months of training progress due to poor diet and exercise. Can you relate? Believe me, I get it. This holiday you can stay on top of your health and eat your piece of pie too!
1. Drink Water Before A Meal
Drinking filtered water before a meal or your morning joe is extremely beneficial to your inner ecosystem. The ph in our tummies is highly acidic. So acidic, in fact, it would burn your hands if you touched it (thankfully, it's tucked away safely). By drinking 20-30 minutes before a meal and not during or immediately afterward, you're allowing the stomach acid to work as it should. Drinking during a meal lowers the acidity in your digestive system which makes it harder for your liver to break down that heavy thanksgiving meal or holiday treats.
2. Eat Your Greens First!
If your Thanksgiving table looks anything like the one at my mother's there will be a salad, bowls of mashed potatoes, baskets of bread, turkey, stuffing and a lot of pumpkin pie.
Eat your veggies first, friends! Especially the leafy salad or dark greens such as asparagus and broccoli (casserole doesn't count but nice try). These vegetables act like a broom in your digestive tract and aid your body break down and accelerate the cleansing process.
3. Have an Attitude of Gratitude
Thanksgiving is a wonderful time to sit down, reflect + share what you're most thankful for. An attitude of gratitude also helps boost happiness instantly. My family asks that we each write down what we're thankful for and place it in a bowl. After the meal, we pass around the bowl and read each other's comments. It's a special tradition in my household + I love hearing what's new and good with those I care for.
4. Limit Your Sugar Intake
While I'm all about not depriving yourself, please stay mindful about how much sugar you consume in a sitting. Sugar is highly addictive + extremely harmful to the brain + aging process on top of mood swings, weight gain + depression. Most times, that second slice of pie a la mode is simply not worth it.
5. Share a Sweat
Exercise boosts your mood and energy. It also helps you speed up metabolism + sleep sounder. If you're like me and tend to become a grinch when you don't eat well or skip a workout, put the sugar cookie down and go for a walk, hike or make that morning kickboxing class a higher priority. If you're injured or protesting exercise, do your best at staying hydrated and eating well balanced meals this holiday.
6. Stay Mindful of Self-Love + Care
So often we get caught up in gifting others presents and making sure so-and-so has her gluten free stuffing that we forget (or simply ignore) to take care of ourselves. Taking time for you isn't selfish, it's a must.
If you tend to reward yourself with food/drink (i.e. "I survived holiday shopping today, so I'm going to go buy grande pumpkin spice latte with extra whip) you're going to crash from the sugar in a matter of time. Instead, treat yourself to a bath soak, foot rub or essential oils (lavender is my fave!) and allow your body to unwind from the day.
My tools for Self-Love:
Dry Brush: Every day before my night-time shower or bath I dry brush. In tiny circles (moving upward toward the heart) I brush from my feet to my collarbone. It's not only fantastic for improving circulation and removing dead skin, it also helps with cellulite and detox. You can find them at most Whole Foods and Markets. Just remember to brush lightly + gently and make it a part of your daily routine.
Lather Up without Loading on Toxins: I love yummy soap + lotion but I make sure mine is fragrance/chemical free. Our skin absorbs everything we put on it. The perfume, lotion, shampoo eventually travels into our bloodstream so choose yours wisely! When I want a little bit of fragrance, I add an essential oil, like lavender, + treat myself to a nice foot rub after a long training day.
Set Boundaries: If you could do it all and still have enough for yourself, you would! However, if you stretch yourself too thin this holiday season you'll end up exhausted, sick and/or resentful. That's no way to bring in 2016! Remember it's okay to say no and set boundaries.
Lots of love,