We all love this holiday time of year — the decorations, the music, the social gatherings, the baking, the cooking, etc. The air is simply charged with a sense of contagious excitement. But, there is a flipside to all the fun… I’m talking about the wear and tear on our health. The assault of toxins, sweets, fats, calories, alcohol, stress, all add up to a veritable sin-city of challenges to our wellness! And by the time we reach New Year’s Day, and the reality of our folly sets in, with Winter upon us, we then often resolve to detox and commit to a pristine way of living to shed the excesses of the holiday season.
So how can we avoid going down that road, again and again, and again while still enjoying ourselves?
Perhaps one of the hardest words for any of us to utter is the simple word NO. Nancy Reagan figured it was simply a decision, with a little Nike “just do it” flair, she coined “Just Say No.” But it really should not require such extreme discipline typically associated with denial and deprivation– which for many of us is, and let’s be real here, just not going to happen.
But what if we were to pause for a moment? Consider when we are saying “no” that we can transform “denial” into a “strength” by recognizing we are in fact “giving” ourselves the opportunity to get one step closer to that place of Wellness.
Set Healthy Limits
Setting limits will allow you to better enjoy the holiday season. For the simple reason, there will be no regrets. Rather, there will be a feeling of empowerment. I like to remind myself when I reach for the next glass or mouthful, I will always see this again. There will be another celebration and another reason to enjoy and indulge.
Another important part of learning to say no is also to be proactive rather than reactive. To be proactive, requires planning ahead of time to ensure that your needs will always be met.
Here are some simple proactive ways to help you achieve Wellness at this time of the year.
Don’t go to a Party Hungry
If you have time, eat a light meal before heading out to a holiday party. When I know I’ll be partaking in holiday cheer – I like to pre-load with a plate of cut up raw vegetables and a little protein/fat combination such as hummus or egg salad. This will not only fend off the unwanted portion of the buzz, but will help fill your belly with healthy food for strength.
Take your own snacks to the Mall
Avoid the long lines and pitfalls of mall food.
Fill a sandwich bag with cut up raw vegetables and grab a to-go container of hummus or guacamole.
For easy access protein and fat, take 2 boiled eggs or 4 slices of fresh roast turkey breast or beef in a red or green lettuce leaf with a little mustard and organic mayonnaise.
Cavemen Did It.
There is no shortage of carbs to tempt our palates at this time of the year so think Paleo when you’re taking a mid-afternoon break. This could be a protein powder you can simply stir into iced water or protein bar (be careful, many are glorified candy bars loaded with unhealthy ingredients. Try to choose one that has about 20 grams of protein and no unhealthy sugar replacements.
Here’s a muffin recipe that I make to freeze and take with on journey’s as I need. This muffin is high protein, high fat and high fiber without the sugars and carb.
Take a moment out of your schedule, avoid the caffeine and enjoy with a cup of herbal tea. You will be well-nourished and energized and again one step further to your wellness goals.
Carrot Zucchini Muffin
- Coconut Flour 1/2 cup
- Desiccated unsweetened coconut 1/2 cup
- Coconut butter 1/3 cup, melted
- Eggs 6 large
- Sweetener – maple syrup, honey or Lyle’s Golden syrup 1/2 cup
- Vanilla 1 tsp
- Baking soda 1/2 tsp
- Cinnamon 2 tsp
- Grated zucchini 1 cup
- Grated carrot 1 cup
Melt coconut butter and mix with eggs, cinnamon and vanilla.
Fold in coconut flour, desiccated unsweetened coconut, zucchini and carrot.
Put into muffin cups and bake at 350°F for 20 minutes or till done. You may need to bake for longer.
Enjoy and Be Well!
Our nutrition expert, Peta Cohen, M.S., R.D., has been a clinical nutritionist and metabolic specialist since 1996. Peta specializes in examining the root causes of complex and chronic health issues, and helping clients prevent the diseases caused by lifestyle choices, environmental influences, epigenetics, and aging. With her extensive clinical and research experience, she's been invited to share her knowledge at seminars and conferences worldwide. In Peta's articles for the BoomSpot, the blog of the online store theBoomShop.com, she gives practical tips on how adults 50+ can improve their health right now. Learn more about Peta at PetaCohen.com.