Healthy for the Holidays!

This is my favorite time of year.  Thanksgiving, yummy food, Christmas, yummy food, parties, yummy food, time with family, yummy food……oh and did I mention yummy food?

Now I love the holidays just as much as Santa Claus himself, but let’s be honest, the holidays can be a tough time to keep our health in check.  Here is a familiar scenario – family comes in town (hello wine!), we go out to dinner more often (pass the peppermint ice cream pie Aunt Linda!), the oversized sweaters and pajama sets come out (who doesn’t love elastic?), it’s freezing outside (leaving the cozy warm house to workout? NO WAY) and by the time you know it, winter is over and panic sets in…..now it’s time to diet because spring is here!  Let’s not play out that scenario this year.  Here are some easy, effective tips to help you stay on track so that you can start the New Year feeling your best!

  1. Stay Active & Involve the Family!  There are so many fun outings that will help you burn calories and stay active this winter season.  Go ice skating, sledding, walk the Christmas lights parks, play in the snow, build a snowman or  shovel snow!  One of my favorite healthy activities that has become a tradition in our family is to run the Turkey Trot on Thanksgiving morning!  We always have a great time together and we enjoy the rest of the day knowing we started it with some good exercise! 
  2. Bring a Dish! This is an area where you have complete control of what you bring to a party.  Follow a healthy recipe to ensure there will be something good for you to munch on during the party.  Bring a veggie or fruit tray, hummus/dip, festive sides.  Just google healthy holiday recipes for tons of ideas!
  3. Increase Your Water Intake! For those of us that like to enjoy a drink or glass of wine, alternate a full glass of water between each alcoholic drink. Even if you aren’t drinking any alcoholic beverages, be sure to have at least 8-10 glasses of water a day, including during meals.  If you are dehydrated, you can easily mistake your thirst for hunger, which then results in overeating.  Drink your water! 
  4. Snack Wisely!  If you know you’ll enjoy a large meal, be sure to enjoy a healthy snack before you go.  Don’t fall into the trap of thinking that you’ll “save” your calories for your large meal, because in reality you’ll overeat because you are starving, which also has a negative effect on your metabolism.  Keep healthy snacks on hand in your purse at all times!  A few of my favorites are protein bars, oatmeal slim cakes, grapes or sliced green apples with peanut butter.  
  5. Buddy Up!  I’m a big believer in having accountability to stay on track.  Find a workout buddy to hold each other accountable for your workout sessions, message a friend your goals and check in daily to keep on track or find a group workout challenge to join online or at a local gym!  You may find it easy to give up on yourself at times, but you won’t no show a friend for a workout.  Accountability is crucial, and a lot of fun too!
  6. Self Care!  Can I get an AMEN?  I know as moms it is tough to find the time or give ourselves a reason to have some ‘me’ time, but around the holidays, it’s the best gift you can give yourself.  Get a massage, go see a movie, get your nails done, go for hike, meet a girlfriend for dinner, schedule a date night….you have to MAKE the time and make self care a priority.  Oh, and check your mom guilt at the door and ENJOY YOURSELF.  We all work too hard and worry too darn much about our families to not enjoy a few hours to ourselves every once in a while GUILT FREE.  So this holiday season, be sure to make yourself a priority.  You deserve it!  
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