The Season of Food is upon us. It starts Thanksgiving Day and carries us into the New Year. But it doesn’t need to be a lost cause free-for-all in terms of food, physical activity and maintaining a healthy lifestyle. If you take a realistic approach to this time of year, you should be able to keep your good habits in practice. Here are some tips to help keep you going along.
- Exercise. Particularly if you already have an established routine, this is not the time to stray from it. As much as possible, keep that part of your schedule consistent. We know that time is scarce this time of year and Live Clean has a great HIIT workout that you can complete in 25 minutes. Regular exercise has also been linked to stronger immunity and reduced stress levels – both especially beneficial for this time of year.
- Add variety. There are plenty of fun ways to get some extra exercise. Try a new winter sport or fitness class, go dancing, do some yoga or take a family walk after a heavy meal.
- Plan. For wiser grocery shopping, take half an hour to plan what you will have for meals for the week ahead; include lunches in your plan too. If you can, try to do some prepping or cooking ahead of time. This will help you avoid last minute eating out because you’re tired and unprepared to make dinner.
- Prioritize. It’s going to happen. You’ll be at a holiday gathering with an enormous buffet featuring everyone’s favorite “must-have holiday guilty pleasure” dish. You do not need to have it all. Take inventory of the offerings, choose 2-4 dishes you really want to taste and add just that to your plate – a taste. Then fill the rest of your plate with vegetables, fruit, and other healthy offerings, which leads us to our next tip…
- Pack your own! When you’re asked to bring a dish to a gathering, prepare something healthy that will offset some of the rich foods you are bound to see. Heading to a party straight from work? Pack some lean protein and fiber rich vegetables to eat on the way, so you don’t arrive completely famished and dive nose first into that cheese ball. Stash healthy snacks you truly enjoy in your desk drawer, so if someone shows up with homemade kringle, you can politely decline without feeling deprived.
- Take your vitamins. This time of year, it’s very easy to get off balance in terms of eating well. Supplements can help make up for nutrients you may be missing. Whenever possible, aim for clean supplements that are free of toxic ingredients.
- Try some tea. Tea has many benefits, and herbal tea is a great way to stay warm and hydrated in the cold weather. Try a variety containing some of the flavors of the season to feel festive without getting weighed down.
- Give a gift! Do you love to bake during the holidays, but feel like it’s off-limits for a healthy lifestyle? Nonsense! Bake, bake, bake, and give it away as gifts! People love to receive something you’ve taken the time to make for them.
- Get your greens. Add as many fresh fruits and vegetables as possible to your diet. Packed with vitamins and nutrients, high-quality juices and smoothies made from organic ingredients are a delicious way to accomplish this.
- Remember every day is brand new. Every day, in fact every moment, is a chance to start all over again. If you stray from your healthy eating or exercise regime, don’t throw your hands up until January 1. Point yourself back to where you want to be, and keep moving forward.
Do you have any tips for staying on track with healthy habits this time of year? Speak up in the comments!