How To Handle The Holidays - 101
Here we are already in December with Holiday Season in full force. Each night seemingly offers a different function to attend, whether that be a gathering of friends, watching your favorite team at the bar or… the infamous corporate Christmas party. There is no doubt that these get-togethers are fun, but to what extent do they affect your health. In aims of maintaining your healthy lifestyle and keeping those fitness goals in check, I have compiled a list of “How to Handle the Holidays 101” from food and drink, to stress and sanity.
FIGHTING THE FOOD INFLUX
First things first, everyone blames their excess weight on the holidays… and that is an age-old cop out. Staying fit is doable, it just takes discipline.
• Let’s start with the copious finger foods available in the grazing style fashion of many of these soirées. The easiest way to avoid picking up that next handful, is to simply eat a high-fat snack before going out. Try a handful of mixed nuts, avocado slices, or even a spoonful of coconut oil. The fat content will keep you satiated longer, helping to avoid those grazing tendencies all together.
• Make yourself an actual plate of food, as opposed to grazing through the platters, bowls, candies and dips. This visual will most definitely help you with portion control.
Now to the nitty gritty… what should you drink? Without a doubt, more people indulge during the holidays than any other time of the year. While all alcohol is not necessarily bad, not all alcohol is created equal.
• A standard rule of thumb is that the lighter the alcohol, the less calories. Therefore most hard liquors hover around 90-100 calories per 1.5 ounces (which is the size of shot). What adds up calorically are the mixers, so instead of sodas, juices or tonic, opt for club soda as your zero calorie counterpart.
• Wine, both red and white, hovers around 120 calories, while sweeter wines can run up to 165 calories a glass.
• Beer can range from 100 to 300 calories, so make sure you pick a team (wisely) and stick to it.
• Finally, I am very happy to announce that champagne is low-cal, at 85-97 calories per flute! So that is reason enough to cheers with some bubbly!
• Most importantly, in order to avoid hangovers there are three naturopathic tricks that I will share. The first is taking a B-complex prior to drinking, as those vitamins help your liver detoxify the alcohol quicker and more efficiently. My next suggestion is to have 1 glass of water for every 1 alcoholic drink. Not only will this help you stay hydrated but it will also fill you up to where you drink less over the course of the night as well! And if you are really wanting to impress your friends, try adding in some electrolyte powder to these waters, too!
CHRISTMAS BALLS, NOT STRESS BALLS
We all know just how stressful forced encounters with family members and coworkers can be, no matter how prepared you think you are. Here are some helpful tips for navigating those moments.
• Download a guided meditation app onto your phone, either Calm.com or Headspace. Getting into the "Zen Zone" prior to gatherings is key. Also know that you can easily excuse yourself to go into another room, or even the restroom, if you become overwhelmed and tap into one of those quick 3-5 minute meditations.
• Try creating a mantra when you wake up for each day of December. Be thankful for your employment or job position. Appreciate your family for who they are and how they have shaped you. And be grateful that you are able to go home to your own safe space after all is said and done
• As always, exercise is the best stress reliever of all. It can be as simple as a 20 minute walk to clear your thoughts, or as spiritual as a fabulous yoga flow class. Or if you are more my speed, you feel best after a full out sweat session at the gym. Whatever movement suites you, the benefits of releasing endorphins is unparalleled.
SLEEP IS EVERYTHING
Lastly, more essential than anything I have written about thus far, is the importance of sleep. It. Is. Imperative.
• It is okay to miss a few parties this month. It is also okay to show face for only 30 minutes and then leave early. No one will be mad at you, and to be honest… the show will go on with or without you.
• So respect yourself and your body and when you are tired… rest. Your body, your skin, your friends and your partner will thank you, because nobody likes a grumpy guest.
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HAPPY HEALTHY HOLIDAYS
- Love, Dr. Lana