Movement and Nutrition For A Healthier Holiday Season
The holiday season can quickly become a sprint to the finish line. In the hustle and bustle of the season, it’s easy to get overwhelmed. It is important to nourish your body properly and to condition it for the long run with some simple exercises. In this short guide, we will give you tips and tricks to keep connected to your body during the holidays.
During the holidays, it can sometimes feel hard to manage what food we are eating. With all of the sugary snacks and the large portions, it’s easy to overeat. Instead of feeling a sense of guilt about what we are consuming, we can empower ourselves to eat well while still eating healthy.
Set an attainable goal for yourself: “I am going to consume less sugar. I am going to eat vital foods that sustain me!” How can we accomplish this goal? It’s more straightforward than you might think!
Reduce your consumption of inflammatory foods (especially sugar): You are welcome to bite into a cookie and enjoy the taste but remember, when sugar consumption gets out of hand, your body can feel bloated, and your mind can feel sluggish. Practice “sugar moderation” a few bites is all you need to satisfy that sweet tooth. Avoid sugary drinks and snacks. Foods like wild-caught salmon, berries, raw chocolate, green tea, sweet potato, kelp, ginger, and garlic can reduce inflammation and offer the savory sweetnesses and the flavor you crave!
Eat more whole foods: Avoid processed food or food that contains several additives.
Fill up naturally: Try increasing your intake of vegetables and fruits. These healthy food items can help fill you up and also provide you with the nutrients your body needs.
Understand the alternatives: When you’re preparing holiday meals, use my Healthy Alternatives Handout to help you learn where you can replace ingredients with healthy alternatives.
Eat mindfully: My simple guide to mindful eating will help you enjoy and savor each food item you eat!
When you set an attainable exercise goal, it can help you connect with your body and can help structure your day. Exercise is so beneficial. It can help reduce stress, help to maintain weight, and promotes general bodily and mental health. Strive for 30 minutes of exercise per day, or if that feels like too much, try for 30 minutes every other day. Remember, this regime does not have to be break-neck. Start slow. I’ve gathered up a few simple exercise ideas to help you get started on developing a simple exercise plan:
Take a walk: Just going for a simple stroll on weekdays or a short walk on the weekends can be a fantastic way to get your body moving while enjoying the outdoor scenery. If you feel up to it, feel free to incorporate lightweight hand weights into your walking routine. Start with 1 lb. and work up as your arms build strength.
Move joyfully: Yoga, pilates, or jazzercise can be amazing ways for you to move your body. Think about the things you enjoy, and try to incorporate that into your exercise practice. If you’d like to take things a bit slower, try restorative yoga, which is heavily focused on relaxation through stretching the body.
Remember, the holidays do not have to be a time of over-indulgence. You can enjoy all foods, but be mindful of how much you are consuming and ensure that the foods you eat are helping, and not harming, your body. I wish you so much joy and hope you find comfort in good food, delightful holiday experiences, and in moving your body in an exercise practice that renews you!
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Brandy Lane Hickman, NBHWC
2B Well Integrative Health Collaborative, Owner Inspired Nutrition, National Board Certified Health Coach, Kitchen Therapy
Board President, Missouri Nutrition Alliance Non-Profit