How to Stay Healthy During the Holidays
How many times have we read about eating healthier around the holidays? We get all prepped for New Year’s resolutions to exercise, lose weight, and feel better; then we find ourselves in March still eating pumpkin pie for breakfast. It's hard to stay healthy during the holidays with cookie exchanges, office parties, and family gatherings filled with grandma's famous desserts, but there is hope. Here are the five tips I give my clients each year during the holidays that will allow you to stick to your health plan while still having fun and enjoying the Christmas season.
Make an eating plan for the holidays and stick to it with an accountability partner.
As a health practitioner, I have these conversations with people every day. The goal is success, not feelings of condemnation and failure, especially if you’re trying to restore your health. Make a plan with a friend, your spouse or roommate and hold each other accountable. It works much better! So what are your goals for the holidays? Here are some ideas:
Choose the good over the bad: Every Christmas feast is just that, a feast! Believe it or not there are lots of incredibly good, healthy choices and there are of course all the bad ones. Choose the good and feel happy about your good self-control. If you can stick to the turkey, vegetables and fruit for the majority of your meal, you will feel much better.
Avoid the breads, rolls and baked goods: Yes, this could be a toughie, but the processed grains are truly what makes us feel worst after meals. Being hard to digest, this causes the bloating, gas, sore stomachs, extreme fatigue and brain fog of the post-holiday meal blues.
Choose to have ONE exception: This works great for many people. Can’t resist grandma’s pumpkin pie or the apple pie with vanilla ice cream? Choose to have ONE dessert and stick to it. If you do that, you still are successful. If you say you will eat no dessert, and proceed to cave into eating two or three, here comes the feelings of guilt and all the baggage along with it.
Make Christmas the exception, not the entire month: Ok, this is a huge one. If you indulge on Christmas day, you may not feel great for a day or two. If you indulge for the ENTIRE MONTH, you could set yourself way back on your health journey. Choose wisely!
Change Your Perspective for 2016 in December: Hit the ground running January 1st by thinking through your health goals and how to honor the Lord with your body in December. I know ideas on nutrition and health can be confusing and filled with mixture of truths and non-truths. Here are some ideas from a Christian perspective.
Health is found in the scriptures.
When choosing what to eat, honor God. God is Genesis 1:29, eating His creations of fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, beans, legumes, fish, eggs, etc. This brings life. It is not consuming soda, candy, cheez-its, doritos, pizza, pop tarts, fast food and the thousands of other man-made items that damage the body. If Christians never wake up to the truth that what we eat matters, we will continue to live in bondage to sickness and disease.
Live for God and others, not for yourself.
When we live an indulgent lifestyle, with food, entertainment or anything else, we are choosing self. When we eat excessively, and eat all the wrong things, and we know it, we are choosing self. Maybe this year you choose God and others. Health in the body brings FREEDOM to live for God and serve others! Sickness and disease in the body is bondage that cuts short our purposes that God would have for us.
Set realistic goals based on God’s design.
There are many ways to heal the body and in January’s issue we will focus on some specific ways to get back in line with how God created our bodies to function. Ask the Lord where He would have you focus your lifestyle changes.
Health truly comes from choosing God and the things of God. There is no way around this. May we choose with wisdom to love God, love ourselves and love others by aligning with the source of all truth, the light of the world, Jesus Christ.