11 Dec 3 Healthy Tips (that no one has told you) for Getting Healthy in 2019
You know what goes through my mind on New Years Eve, when the ball drops and I raise my bubbly gold liquid and smooch my hubby at midnight?
Tomorrow, I gotta get back to it. (Can I get an AMEN?)
Now, I’m not saying that it’s the most important thing in the world. Being present in those moments a high priority. I enjoy every second of the holidays and I work really hard to find the sweet balance between knowing when to feast and knowing when to fast. It’s really the way we should all operate during seasons of celebration. But. The holidays bring so many decadent smells, savory side dishes and snuggly afternoons. There tends to be a Christmas waltz that we do with indulging and enjoying. These moments can also bring a refreshment and restfulness that we haven’t experienced since the summer. I really believe that there’s a season for everything. The holiday season is one that — as long as we are operating from a mindful but not restrictive place— can be transitioned back into healthful, nourishing daily living with ease.
If I’m honest, my house is probably unique. We have been on a clean-eating journey for the past 10 years. My family (including my little boys) stick to a refined sugar free, real food diet. Maple syrup, raw cheese, paleo cookies, homemade coconut milk hot-chocolate, and herby light cocktails still add up. By January 1, my body needs a break. Hear me, though. It needs a break, pause, rest. What it doesn’t need (both emotionally and physically) is a crash diet, juice fast, radical plastic surgery. The truth is, when we do those things to our bodies after a season of celebration it can actually drain our bodies even more. It can have the opposite effect on us and take a heavy toll on our bodies.
I’ve been thinking about some practical ways that you can care for your body this holiday season that you haven’t heard before. I know you see those Pins that say “lose 10 lbs in 2 hours” or “5 things you can do to melt fat.” I hope you know by now that it’s all crap. What you need to know is how to rest and nourish your body after seasons of celebrating so that your body can bounce back; so that you can start the new year feeling healthy and full (with sweet memories instead of guilt). This list might look different than other lists you’ve seen. But. Those other lists don’t really work, so what do you have to lose?
Tip #1: 80/20 Holiday Plan
Before the holidays even begin, you need to take a look at all of the parties and events you have coming up. Seriously though. Get your calendar and pen out.
When you look at your holiday plate, you need to imagine splitting your servings into 80% nourishing foods / 20% celebratory foods. Notice how I didn’t call the 20% “bad foods” or “guilt foods.” I really think the way we look at food needs to change completely (I will save that for a different blog). The fact of the matter is—when we choose to say “bad” or “guilt” we end up actually wearing those around as words that can shape how we see ourselves. When, in fact, it’s just about nourishment. It’s about foods that serve your body and trying to crowd OUT the foods that don’t serve it with the ones that do.
Here’s an example of an 80/20 holiday plan:
If you know that you’re having a holiday gathering for one of your meals, you do your best to choose extra nourishing options for your other two meals.
Breakfast: Scrambled eggs, turkey sausage & sliced tomatoes or maybe a green smoothie packed with extra spinach and a wholesome protein powder
Lunch: Salad, hard boiled eggs, grilled chicken or veggies
HERE IT COMES: The Holiday Feast.
Choose 8 servings of wholesome, nourishing foods. Yes 8 servings. You can eat them at any time you want during the celebration.
Example: 2 slices of turkey (two servings), Cheese & grapes (2 servings), Veggies (1-2 servings), fresh fruit or chips and salsa (1-2 servings). You get it.
Choose 2 servings of celebratory foods, such as:
- 1 glass of wine + 1 piece of pie
- 1 cookie + 1 cup of your favorite savory trail mix
- 1 dinner roll + 1 beer
If you go into the meal knowing what you are choosing to do, it will help you succeed and not leave the party feeling terrible.
Tip #2: Move Your Body in LOVE
A lot of people beat themselves up over the holidays for not doing their normal vigorous exercise routine. GRACE, sister. GRAAACE. (Also, I’m saying this to myself in the mirror right now, too!). I think we can put so much pressure on ourselves when the holidays are already extremely pressurized. Our bodies are in fight or flight (which super charges our adrenals) during this season of celebrating, shopping, being at, serving, caring for…all of the things. Also, remember that 20% of your overall healthy lifestyle can be attributed to your body’s movement. The rest is what goes in your mouth. SO BREATHE.
I would encourage you to get out that pen and paper again and jot down the times you are going to move your body. But can you do me a favor? Don’t move unless it’s because you love your body. I’m not kidding. When we move out of hate and as a way to punish ourselves for that cookie we ate or extra glass of wine, we can actually hurt our bodies. You end up stress-exercising. Which actually takes a toll on your adrenals, mental health, and nervous system. When we move our bodies out of love and self-care, we maximize the benefits and end up serving our bodies. That means, less fatigue, less “drained” feeling, less striving (amen), and less stress.
I tell my classes and clients: your body works hard for you, be kind to it.
If you don’t hear anything else. Hear this. This holiday season, be mindful of the work it’s doing for you and repay it with movement that loves it that says, “you rock. I love you.”
Tip #3: Be Present.
This tip might be the most important one. I think when we are present, we will notice that the two other tips kind of find their place and balance naturally.
If you look at your current calendar going into December and think, “I just need to push through,” then you may want to decide ASAP if a few cancellations or healthy “no’s” need to happen. We can go from event to event and lose sight of so many things. It’s just like our addiction to the cell phone these days. When we are distracted by the things in front of our faces and we bury our noses in the endless lists and calendar events, we totally miss those sweet moments to be present.
What does it look like for you to:
- Start a big puzzle instead of playing games on your phone or scrolling FB. (We recently did this and it’s amazing how it draws people together around our table every night after dinner for family fun!)
- Use recipe books instead of Pinterest.
- Shop at local places for Christmas gifts instead of ordering on Amazon.
- Going out on a Christmas Light scavenger hunt instead of binging Netflix shows.
- Hang out at home with your PJs on with hot cocoa instead of going to that obligatory calendar event.
- Hand write Christmas cards instead of doing online photo cards.
- Take a walk-in the cold and eat dark chocolate instead of…haha anything. I’m not sure why but chocolate tastes so amazing in the cold so you should just do it.
Whatever it is, choosing to be present for these moments will help you to be more present in your daily life. Presence keeps on giving even after the holidays if you let it.
In closing, self-care should be a high priority. Remember to declare that you are enough this holiday season. If the Christmas season is hard for you because of life circumstances, you are not alone. Don’t forget to declare that you are also loved and valuable, because you are. You’re freaking awesome.
Happy Holidays, girlfriend!