Blog posts

5 Ways to use the Holiday Season to get Healthier and Happier than you were before!

All posts

Go into the New Year, having developed healthy habits that will increase your success, health and happiness, forever!

Imagine going into January feeling good about yourself, instead of feeling like you need to make drastic declarations and resolutions.

I know the usual tips for healthy holidays, such as eating an apple before a holiday party and drinking a glass of water for every alcoholic drink you consume.

Apple Heart For Healthy Fitness

Those are great. However, I have a few new tips that I think you’ll find pretty easy to follow! After all, when it comes to feeling good, you can’t have enough advice, right?

1. ALCOHOL 

I find it a hassle to follow the standard advice of drinking a glass of water in between each alcoholic drink. If you’re at a bar, it could take you 15 minutes to get a glass of water from the bartender. If you’re at a holiday party, they probably won’t even serve water. I have a different suggestion. Drink the water with your drink. For instance, scotch and “soda” (club soda) or water or white wine spritzers. If you like white wine, spritzers are a fantastic replacement for a full glass of wine. They taste pretty much the same as wine, but you’re consuming less alcohol, fewer calories and staying hydrated. Less alcohol also means your lack of inhibition from too much alcohol won’t cause you to overeat (or embarrass yourself at the office party!).

2. EAT FAT

Empty white flour breads, pasta, fries, and other fried foods, will only fuel your hunger. If you add healthy fat (avocados, nuts or seeds (and not oil!) to each meal, along with a large amount of fruits and vegetables, you will feel satisfied longer and be able to…

3. STOP EATING!

Look for every opportunity NOT to eat. If you wake up and you’re not hungry, wait until you are hungry to eat. In the meantime, drink water.

I also suggest you wait until mid morning to consume coffee if you can. That’s because caffeine can make you shaky and hungry – and also need to eat between breakfast and lunch.

If you don’t have an event one evening, make it a point to have a bowl of vegetable soup for dinner (and a salad if you’d like), and then STOP EATING.

Be sure not to eat for 12 hours (in a row) each day (after you have that down, try for 14) and work hard not to snack between meals.Your body develops habits. If you make it a habit not to eat between meals (even if it’s difficult the first few days), your body won’t be looking for food all the time.  Soon, you’ll find you don’t feel as hungry as you used to each day. In addition, this will help you go into a holiday party feeling confident that you can make good choices.

At the party, survey all of the food first and then decide what you can’t live without. Then take a few bites of each and be done with it. Focus on drinking water or a watered down drink after that. Say to yourself, “I came. I enjoyed several treats. I’m done. Now I’m going to hang out with my friends.”

Think of how great you’ll feel about yourself when you get home and when you wake up next day. Or, if you’re tempted to over -indulge, think of how down you’ll feel physically and mentally if you do so. Then, choose YOU. Choose health. Choose happiness. Not cake. You can do it!

broccoli-vegetable-mustache-92313-104

4. LIFT WEIGHTS.

Even if you’re not at your happiest weight, start to lift weights and you’ll soon feel stronger and more confident. This will leak into your eating habits and even how you carry yourself each day. Confident-looking people receive different treatment than the meek. You can truly change your daily life, belief in yourself, and others confidence in you, this way. Pick 2 to 3 times each day you can pick up free weights and do 1 or 2 specific exercises. Be sure to vary them so that all of your muscle groups will work throughout the week. You don’t have to make time to go to the gym. We can all steal 5 minutes a few times per day. For proper form and exercise ideas, see a personal trainer in person or on YouTube.

5. LISTEN TO THIS BOOK! 

The American Way of Eating: Undercover at Walmart, Applebee's, Farm Fields and the Dinner Table | [Tracie McMillan]

The American Way of Eating by Tracie McMillan. This reporter goes undercover picking crops in California, working in produce at Walmart and working at Applebee’s. You will have a new appreciation for fresh fruits and vegetables, their ability to nourish and give pleasure, and your ability to purchase, cook and eat them.

As an aside, I started out listening to books to get me to stop hating doing dishes and cleaning up the kitchen. Instead, I’m rewarded by the pleasure of enjoying a book. I’ve now discovered that some books are even better in audio, because of the depth it can add to the characters. I listened to Orange is the New Black: My Year in a Women’s Prison by Piper Kerman. I can’t imagine that book, or this, without the character’s accents. It almost feels like listening to television. When you don’t have to imagine the accents, it is more relaxing and entertaining to “read”.

Imagine going into January feeling good about yourself, instead of feeling like you need to make drastic declarations and resolutions.

Ready, set, go!

Happy Holidays!

About the author

I make fruits and vegetables come alive for kids and families; You can build a foundation of lifelong healthy habits and attitudes through my Fruit Funshops, Mama's Nights Out, Blog, and Books: The Healthy Mama’s Guide to feeding your family well – Simply and Sanely and its companion cookbook.