Since when did holidays need a SURVIVAL GUIDE?
What have we done as a society that has changed a holiday season of fun, relaxation, and time spent enjoying social connection around beautiful food to a time of stress, financial burden and at times overwhelming obligation?
What do you think of when you hear the word “HOLIDAY”?
Now, what do you think of when you hear “CHRISTMAS HOLIDAY”?
The Christmas holiday season is a time of CELEBRATING LOVE AND RELATIONSHIPS with family and friends, an opportunity to stop and share time together. It was never meant to be about gifts or money, busyness or even decorations.
Let’s TURN BACK the focus these holidays to love and the celebration of the relationships that matter in our lives. When this becomes our focus, we don’t need ‘survival guides’, we need reminders on how to THRIVE!
When it comes to healthy eating whilst celebrating with family and friends being mindful about the food we are eating and when can make all the difference between unhealthy choices that leave us bloated, tired and uncomfortable, and even gain holiday weight.
Research suggests the holidays are the hardest time of year to stay on track with our health goals. The average Australian gains between 0.8 and 1.5kg over Christmas, which in itself isn’t too bad however researchers have identified holiday period weight gain is rarely lost and small weight gains over a period of time can cause major problems. The average Christmas dinner has typically 5200 calories, or 3 times a woman’s daily intake and 2 times a man’s daily intake. Over-indulging with food and drink, poor food choices, and lack of sleep due to late nights can derail the best of intentions when it comes to health.
HERE are your tips to THRIVING these holidays:
Be mindful – slow down, breathe deeply and take time to just be in the moment. Drink responsibly, eat mindfully, and be present in all your interactions
Keep up your daily routine – start the day with a healthy breakfast and get your exercise routine in early so that you maintain your physical activity even over the holidays
Sleep – high quality, regular sleep is essential to health and energy especially over the holidays when you might be tempted to stay out late more often than normal. Also be mindful not to eat too late in the evening as this can disrupt a good nights sleep as your belly is still working hard
Eat before you go to parties, so you are not starving and find yourself reaching for the savoury processed snacks or sweets
Stick with the basics – protein, healthy fats, and load up on fresh vegetables not sweet treats or snacks
Eat normal portions, and use a smaller plate, it is easier to go back for seconds if you need more than over indulge to start with
Keep up the water and watch alcohol consumption – sip and savour your drinks and slow down, avoid the festive cocktails as these are often laden with sugar
Bring a dish like a healthy dessert option to share with family and friends
Start a new holiday tradition – walk to Christmas parties, involve everyone at family get-togethers in a game after dinner or lunch, or go for a walk
Enjoy yourself – focus on connection and not food. Enjoy the company, play with the kids or help clean up. Be happy and grateful.
Remember, quality of life is important, it is not about deprivation or guilt, it is about making healthy conscious choices.
Don’t beat yourself up, starve or over exercise afterwards, holidays are meant to be enjoyed.
View over-indulgence as a bump in the road not a major detour.
Keep an eye out for the next Blog Post in a few days’ time as I share some delicious HOLIDAY RECIPES I have discovered for you.
May you and those you love have a safe and blessed Christmas with many new memories to treasure.