Well last night was interesting to say the least!!
Eric and I waited for my CTV News Interview to air at 6pm. We waited, and waited, and waited, and then it was over without my interview being aired. I guess they got their wires crossed with the air time. Around 10pm on Sunday, I got an email from a reader saying that the interview aired in British Columbia!!! lol. We checked the 11pm National CTV News as well as the 11:30pm Toronto News, but there was nothing. I am guessing it will air tonight in Ontario at 6pm!? I’m still waiting for confirmation. I will Tweet about it today when I find out!
How To Stay Healthy Over The Holidays
For many people, the last few weeks of the year are often the most indulgent in terms of snacking, big meals, desserts, and easing up on the exercise routine. For years, I struggled with trying to find a balance between enjoying the pleasures of the holidays while still feeling healthy and energetic. I finally feel like I am at a place where I can find a good balance during the holidays and I’d like to share with you some of my favourite tips!
1. Stick With Your Exercise Routine
If there is one thing I try to always stay consistent with, it is exercise. Exercise sets the tone for the day and helps me make healthier decisions all day long. As soon as I feel like I have fallen off the wagon, I want to drop exercise and all other healthy intentions like a bad habit. It is easy to fall off the wagon, so I try to stick with it even when traveling. I will often call ahead to a nearby gym and see if I can get a free trial pass for a few days when I am away and I always bring my workout clothes, sneakers, and a workout DVD wherever I go. Most of the time I get up before the rest of the family is awake and I squeeze my workout in. Other times I ask family members to join me!
However, some days I won’t be able to get in my normal workout and that is understandable! If this is the case, I will try to do just 15 minutes of activity like a simple walk around the block or strength exercises like Whittle My Middle. Some exercise is better than no exercise. It all adds up and gets the endorphins flowing!
2. You Don’t Have To Attend Every Event
In previous years, Eric and I have committed to more holiday events than we really had time for. This resulted in an overbooked calendar and not enough time to just kick our feet up and unwind. What works for us now is to pick one or two holiday parties to go to. This year, we decided that we are going to host our own party and that is it. My advice is to only commit to what you can and what you really want to attend. Less stress means that I will tend to make healthier food choices which is always an added bonus.
3. Get Your Sleep
The amount of sleep I get builds the foundation for how healthy my day will be. I always try to get around 7.5-8 hours of sleep. When I am fully rested I don’t get as many cravings for high calorie and high fat foods and I have more energy to workout. If I get less than 7 hours of sleep, I know it is going to be a tough day to stick to my routine and I can pretty much guarantee I will be reaching for nutritionally void carbs all day long no matter how good my intentions are.
4. Bake Healthier
This was a tip I gave in Self Magazine. I always try to make healthy swaps when baking traditional recipes. This year I will probably make my Vegan Pumpkin Pie and Vegan Sweet Potato Pie for Christmas. I will also be making some healthy cookies and lots of Glo Bars to share with family and friends.
5. Fill Up The Tank With Fiber
When I am at a holiday dinner, I try to eat a lot of vegetables. They are high in water and fiber. I love filling my plate with vegetables and crunching away. The fiber in them won’t fill you up for a long time, but they will carry you from cocktails to the dinner table without feeling too famished. I try to aim for healthy foods to make up 75% of my plate and splurge foods 25%. If I am going somewhere I always try to bring one healthy option with me.
6. Pick Your Poison
Sugary drinks give me killer hangovers so I try my best to stay away from cocktails and margaritas, no matter how delicious they look. I try to stick to red wine or light beer and drink a glass of water in between each drink that I have. This keeps me hydrated and headache free most of the time. However, even with the best intentions I overdo it with drinks, and this leads to Backup Plan B. ;)
7. Bring A Food Stash
Whenever I travel somewhere, I always pack a food stash. Healthy options can be far and few between, especially at gas stations or in remote areas.
On trips, I always pack: Vitamins (Vitamin C, D, Calcium.Magnesium, B12), Glo Bars, apples, bananas, almonds, Mary’s Crackers, Amazing Grass Powder, and Sencha Green tea. No matter where I am, I know that I have a healthy option on hand.
8. Don’t Deprive Before Or After
In the past, I used to deprive myself in the meals leading up to a big holiday dinner and in the meals following a big dinner. This resulted in a couple things: 1) It made me grumpy and irritable, and 2) It led to over-eating. I have now learned to just eat normally before and after holiday meals. I eat my regular sized breakfast and lunch. I no longer feel that I have to deprive myself just because I am going to have an indulgent meal. The bigger deal you make out of the holiday meal, the more stress-inducing it will be. Just treat it was any other meal and enjoy it!
9. Eat Whatever You Want, But Eat Slower Than Normal
During holiday meals, I always eat what I want and how much I want, but I try to eat slower than usual. I am usually a fast eater, so if I try to enjoy and appreciate the food, I find that I notice my ‘full signal’ much sooner. Eating slower during a social gathering is usually very easy since I am usually engaged in conversation anyways!
10. Lose The Guilt
Even with the best of intentions, I typically always over do it at least once during the holidays. ;) I have learned that the best way to get over it, is to just accept it for what it is and carry on with my day as normal! I try to get in a good workout first thing in the morning and guzzle a Green Monster and I am usually feeling back to my old self by lunch time. As I mentioned in Tip #8, I don’t deprive myself after a splurge anymore. I just carry on as normal and try not to think about it. It really isn’t the end of the world if I get off track for a day or two. The sooner I realize this, the happier I am!
11. Lose The All Or Nothing Mindset
All those years, I was sabotaging myself by saying, ‘Don’t worry, on Jan. 1st you will get back on track.’ I realized that this was the classic All or None Thinking. I needed to stop seeing the holidays as black or white or good or bad. I learned that I could still make healthy choices throughout the day even if I was going to have an indulgent meal. Just because I had two slices of pie and half a box of chocolates doesn’t mean the rest of my day or week can’t be based around healthy decisions. Remember, each decision is a FRESH decision!
What part of the holiday season do you find the most difficult to stick to your healthy behaviours?
Have you learned any tips on how to stay on track?
I’m off to bake…for those of you who have been asking, holiday orders started to ship out last Friday. I will be shipping them out in the order that I received them. You will receive a tracking number when your item ships out to confirm everything.
I have a special visitor from someone this week!!! Any guesses?? :)
Last week of Project Feed Me is up- 2 bags of rice!