Healthy Holiday Habits

The holidays are officially in full swing and ‘tis the season for gathering with loved ones along with a whole lot of festive cheer. It is also the time we start thinking to ourselves, “Come January 1st I will go back to the gym” or “I really need to go on a diet come the new year.” So, why are we so accustomed to throwing our health out the window over the holidays?

Letting go of your health routine leads to fatigue, a loss of mental clarity, and higher levels of stress. Not to mention that dreaded holiday bloat that almost seems to have become an additional December tradition for so many of us. Unfortunately our body, mind, and spirit aren't designed to flourish with a yo-yo diet routine. We are our happiest, healthiest, and most connected to our bodies when we take the time to make our health a daily ritual.

To be healthy over the holidays doesn't mean avoiding the dessert table or that glass of eggnog, though. It simply means taking the time to give your body what it needs, so that when you are in a moment of indulgence, you can be present and enjoy it guilt-free. Health is all about balance. Taking care of yourself daily and still enjoying every aspect of festivities with loved ones will leave you feeling happier, more physically fit, and mentally present in each moment.

Here are five daily holiday practices to keep you healthy long before that resolution date.

Start every day with a glass of pure room temperature water with lemon squeezed into it. Although acidic in nature, once ingested, lemon is one of the most alkaline foods you can put into your body. Not only that, lemon water is the most simple detoxification tool you can include in your daily routine because it supports and helps purify the liver.

Don't let your tree be the only greenery in your life. Society today is often brainwashed into thinking that eating a plate high in protein is a healthy choice. Although protein is certainly a staple in a balanced diet, you should also make it a personal challenge to get vegetables of all colors into every meal. Just add a simple handful of spinach to your morning smoothie or enjoy an enormous salad for lunch.

Add good fat to your meals. Contrary to popular belief, good fat doesn’t make you fat. In fact, it does the opposite. Healthy fats like avocado, nuts, nut butter, oils, and salmon actually bind to free-floating hormones and excrete them from your body. This helps control weight gain, PMS, fatigue, and water retention.

Work up a sweat for 30 minutes a day. No, I am not talking hours in the gym or some unattainable routine that puts you physically in pain. I am talking 30 minutes of exercise each day involving something you love to do like taking a walk in the park, participating in a hot yoga class or playing a sport. Whatever you love to do to work up a sweat, just do it!

Slow it down. Whether or not you meditate as a daily practice, I’m challenging you to slow it down over the holidays. Whatever you are thankful for, focus on that while you breathe and slow things down for a few minutes. Gratitude attracts more abundance and makes us stop to realize what’s important. That's a holiday ritual none of us can do without.

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