Stay Healthy During the Holidays

Stay Healthy During the Holidays

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The clock is ticking fast towards the holidays…a stressful time even for the most Zen of us. I’ve been thinking about this as I stand in line purchasing supplies for next week’s Thanksgiving meal.As fun as the holidays are, they also disrupt our routines. Our food choices, our exercise options, our ability to manage stress—all of this gets a true workout over the next six weeks.Great news, though: you already have the skills to manage it, beautifully! Let’s break it down into each area:QUIZ: Feeling Stressed? FoodCan you already smell the turkey cooking, the butternut squash soup simmering, the stuffing baking…mmm?  It’s so tempting to want to try everything, and maybe just a bit more.  After all, tomorrow’s another day, right? Wrong!  Keep it simple; keep it smart:1)    Use A Smaller Plate: Grab a salad plate instead of a dinner plate. This will help trick you into thinking you’re eating more, when we’re really eating less. And don’t graze!MORE: Recipes to Eat Pretty This Holiday2)    Load Your (Small) Plate With Color: From squash to greens beans, the most Thanksgiving tables are full of nutrient-packed fruits and vegetables. They’re fiber-packed and will help you feel fuller, faster, not to mention looking gorgeous on your plate.3)    Snack! A healthy snack, that is! Scarf down a protein-packed bite before the big meal so you’re not as hungry (think: a handful of almonds).4)    Desert Dessert: Cut yourself just a sliver, or avoid all together (load up on those healthy veggies so you’re too full for it!). Sugary treats will cause your blood sugar to spike and then quickly plummet, making you hungrier again, quicker.ExerciseWorkouts are often the first thing to go, especially with late nights, lots of activities and increased fatigue…all the more reason to exercise!  How to manage:1) Get Creative: If you’re traveling, get creative: most hotels have fitness rooms, and if not, what better way to get in your 10,000 steps than walking those long halls?MORE: Fit Fitness Into Your Day2) Make it A Family Event: Spending time with family? Include them on your walks, or maybe start an annual hike or football game or scavenger hunt. If your kids are home on vacation, include them too! Bring them to a kid-friendly class, or find a program on TV or show them who’s the expert on Wii sports (my fave).3) Put Some Shop in Your Step: Running a lot of errands? Try to shop where you can get a lot of steps in, perhaps a mall or super-store.Stress ManagementWhat better time to practice deep-breathing than waiting in line on Black Friday? The next six weeks are really stressful, who are we kidding?  Seeing family and friends, shopping (and more shopping), it can be tough to remember what the season is all about in the first place.This is the time to be grateful; in fact, cop an attitude of gratitude and you’ll be surprised how much easier it is to wait in that long line. When all else fails, take a deep breath: if you can, remember to take four deep breaths (with a breath in between) several times a day…you’ll feel more in control, stronger, and able to handle the stress.COLUMN: 10 Holiday Eating TipsHappy Thanksgiving! May you and yours have a wonderful holiday next week.