We often spend weeks if not months preparing for the holidays. But while we make great effort planning our menus, gifts, and agendas, we don’t usually have a strategy on how to stay balanced and healthy.
For most, self-control goes out the door. We not only overindulge in rich, fatty foods, but we end up sacrificing our exercise time to get through our to-do-lists. All in all, it’s a recipe for disaster.
When we consume unhealthy foods we don’t have time to burn off, it makes us feel guilty and sometimes even physically ill. This isn’t exactly an ideal state to be in when you have so many things to accomplish during the holidays.
So what can your family do to have a more enjoyable and joyful holiday season? Here are some of our tips. Even if you only pick a few, you’ll be in much better shape (literally!).
Keep the focus on fun, not food
The holiday season may not feel the same without bingeing on eggnog and gingerbread cookies. Instead of giving in to your yearly cravings, however, try focusing on other traditions not centered around food like Christmas caroling or tree trimming.
Mindful grocery shopping
It’s more important than ever to keep your kitchen stocked with healthy options especially snacks. Instead of focusing on what you can’t eat, promise to eat the five recommended servings of fruits and vegetables per day so you fill up on nutritious foods rather than empty calories.
Keep that water bottle handy at all times. Remember, you may feel hungry when you’re really dehydrated so make sure you drink at least eight, 8 oz. glasses of water each day.
Stock the freezer with healthy meals
This is one of our favorite tips if you can manage it. We all can expect to be overly busy during the holidays. Instead of resorting to takeout or filling up on sweets, stock up your freezer with healthy meals. We love throwing this butternut squash soup or skinny baked macaroni and cheese in the freezer. Just make big batches the next time you’ve got the energy. You’ll thank yourself later when all you have to do is pop a dish in the oven… gives you more time to be merry!
Indulge in only the most special holiday treats
Skip the store-bought cookies and save your calories for homemade treats or fancy sweets that are special to you. Don’t deprive yourself as your willpower may eventually snap, but do exercise some restraint and know what your limits are.
Stay physically active during the holidays
Remember how good you feel after sweating and doing cardio? Or the wellness that yoga brings? All those endorphins and positive vibes you create after exercising is the best possible antidote for holiday stress. Period.
Set realistic expectations for yourself and your family. Overscheduling, often times, is the root cause of stress. As much as we love pleasing others, we also need to give ourselves some TLC. Don’t beat yourself up if you don’t nail that recipe from the Food Network or that centerpiece you pinned on Pinterest.
If there’s anything The Lunch MOB can do to lighten your load during the holidays, please feel free to reach out to us! We’re always open to your suggestions.