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  • Carol Aranos

Eat, Drink, & Be Healthy

Carol Fastrich Aranos health coach cutting up fruit for a smoothie

The stockings are hung by the chimney with care in hopes that St Nicolas soon will be there. Well, that’s the fairy tale version.

In reality, the stockings are strewn all over the floor with the rest of the holiday decorations that aren’t up yet. You are still cleaning up from Thanksgiving dinner, shopping for gifts, prepping for five holiday gatherings, baking cookies, and reliving the nightmare of your cat knocking down your Christmas tree.

Win the Food Fight

Making healthy choices can be hard on a day-to-day basis. The holidays not only add the extra pressure of sweet treats and holiday parties but grabbing fast food in an attempt at keeping up with a busy schedule can be a real problem. A little planning will go a long way in winning the food fight.

When going off to a holiday gathering, eat before you go. It might sound counterintuitive but if your belly is full, you will have better resolve to avoid the goodies that surround you. You will make better choices and really enjoy the holiday treats you select. Another caution during a celebration is to limit the alcohol. Alcoholic beverages are simply empty calories. Too much may result in a decrease in your willpower and lead to a regretted overindulgence.

When planning to shop ‘til you drop, take along a snack like nuts or fruit. When the hunger pangs start to come, you can take a quick break to satisfy your stomach. If your feeling satisfied, you will reduce the chances of stopping for fast food and getting home to eat a nutritious meal.

As always, focus on drinking water. On a daily basis, we should be consuming 64 to 72 ounces of water. There are endless benefits of proper hydration, including improving the quality of sleep and mood – allowing you to better handle your cat knocking down your Christmas tree again. More importantly, it improves digestion for those times that you overindulge.

Make Time Blocking Your Friend

I use time blocking to help me follow a balanced schedule. I pop in my non-negotiable obligations like work and exercise but I also include family dinners, church, and dates with my husband. Each Sunday evening, I look at what is happening and block out each of these areas so nothing important gets missed. The remaining times can then be filled with social commitments, self-care, cleaning, and rest.

This might be too regimented for you and that is okay. For me, if I don’t have my time blocked for exercise, for example, by the end of the week, I find that I’ve skipped it completely.

As the holidays approach, try to maintain your schedule, however you choose to do it. For example, if you attend yoga every Tuesday night and Saturday morning, make a date with yourself and keep it. Continuing a regular healthy routine will help you maintain balance and manage stress.

Focus on adding a bit of self-care by taking five to thrive. Enjoy a cup of tea, snuggling with your kiddos, or calling a friend to say how much you appreciate them. Shopping, social obligations, and cookie baking can be accomplished at another time.

A final note is to be willing to say no. While the holidays are undoubtedly hectic, be realistic in how much you can accomplish. Focus your time on the non-negotiables and be ok with letting go of the things that are just not important.

Stop back for more holiday survival tips so you can Eat, Drink, and be Healthy.