"Mirror, mirror, on the wall, what's the most indulgent season of them all?"
We're right in the middle of it. From the sugar-laden stockpiles of Halloween to mountains of turkey, stuffing, and pie for Thanksgiving, all the way to December's holiday feasts, the stretch of time from the end of October to the end of December is an indulgent one. It's also a time when we're more likely to be lax with our health consciousness. These are some good things to remember and a couple of suggestions to help as the season gets into full swing.
It's okay to live deliciously. Human beings are, however, healthiest when they maintain lifestyle balance. This can be difficult when we're surrounded by friends, family, food, and drink for two months. This becomes not only more important but can become more difficult as we age. Luckily, there are some ways to maintain this balance while still enjoying one’s self.
- Make time to exercise. Exercising is one of the best things we can do for our overall health, especially during this indulgent and often stressful time. Several studies have found that exercise is a natural remedy for stress and anxiety, which are known to be on the rise during the holiday. Also, on the rise during this time is calorie consumption. You shouldn’t swear away the good food and drinks, but you should be mindful of your consumption and make time for physical activity. Eat that cookie or drink that holiday drink, just make sure your working up a sweat at least 3 times a week. It can be hard to fit in activity with the extra company, Christmas parties, and Christmas shopping, but doing so can improve your holiday experience and keep you healthy. Some things you can do without going to the gym: park in the farthest spot, take the stairs, walk to the farthest bathroom, take a walk with your family or pets, garden & yard work, or try one of the workout circuits from our Pinterest, here.
- Indulge, but not too much. The holiday season has a lot of activities with friends, family, and co-workers and usually these activities involve eating and drinking. It’s the time to celebrate with your loved ones and sometimes that leads to eating or drinking a little too much. So give yourself a break, just don’t let that break last the entire holiday season. After a big night out or in preparation for one, eat a salad for lunch (with a light oil based dressing) and hit the gym for 30 minutes. Just do something to combat the indulgence, and make sure you don’t overdo it.
- Try swapping ingredients in your favorite holiday meals for healthier options. Making Spaghetti or lasagna for a holiday party? Use your favorite recipe and swap the ground beef for ground turkey, and the noodles for zucchini. You can cut zucchini flat for lasagna or you can turn it into zoodles! Love meatloaf? Try the recipe below that uses feta cheese, zucchini, and ground turkey! Just click on the names.
*Can substitute ground beef for ground turkey for a lighter meat.
*Add a dash of cinnamon and brown sugar for a sweeter taste
*Substitute the bread crumbs for almond meal (I do half panko and half almond meal)
The majority of people treat the holiday season as extended family visitation time, which is totally fine. It becomes not fine when you're sacrificing your physical and psychological health to be everywhere, cook everything, and make sure everything is just so. This wears on even the most experienced planners. Your health and sanity matter this holiday season, so set boundaries. Feel free to join, host, and plan the merriment, but make sure you know when to say no and kick back for some necessary you time.
You could try meditation or yoga to clear your mind and relax. There are a lot of videos on Youtube guiding meditation and yoga sessions for beginners, or look up yoga classes at your local gym or yoga studio.
Scheduling gets pretty hectic during the holiday season. Between family time, shopping, and traveling, certain things can slip through the cracks. Keeping up with your medical supplies is obviously important to remain healthy, especially when there may be stock and availability limitations at medical supply stores. This is also a very hectic time for shipping companies, so your shipments could get delayed. Be sure to contact us to get a jump on acquiring what you need before your schedule gets too wild. *note deductibles start up again in the new year, if applicable, get your reorder in this month to avoid being hit with your deductible right away.
It's not overly complicated to stay healthy this holiday season, but it's easy to get lazy and shrug things off until the new year. Your health shouldn't be a New Year's resolution, it should be a daily one. Keep yourself balanced every day and don't let a holiday food coma lull your health consciousness to sleep.