Wednesday, December 9, 2009

A Healthy Way to Navigate the Holidays

I love the traditions of the holidays as much as the next person. I look forward to the annual rituals, the special foods that get to be enjoyed around family and friends, and a busy calendar full of lots of celebrations of the holiday season.

Last year, I got to celebrate Chanukah with my family while in Pittsburgh for that half of my family's Christmas celebrations. The fun and memories were amazing and special, and I'm sad that I won't be making it to Pittsburgh again this year. I am looking forward to the holidays at home though!

There's always one thing that gives me a bit of stress - trying to fit my normal exercise and eating routine into my jam-packed schedule. I know that I'm not alone in facing this. In fact, almost every magazine, food blogger, and many segments on the news devote ample time and space to this very topic.

I'm not going to get in to the easy-to-find tips, but I wanted to share a few things that I learned from my "Holiday Thriving" class at my local Lululemon store last night.

Keep these 3 different eating styles in mind at big holiday meals and parties:
  • Painter: just as a painter puts many colors onto his pallet, take small bits of a variety of foods to sample. Once you've figured out what you really like, then you can go back for seconds of those foods.
  • Cow: chew your food well! I've never been a quick eater, but many folks who are don't get to savor all of the flavors of the food they're eating. Chewing also secretes enzymes that enhance the digestion of what you're eating!
  • Kids: when kids have finished eating, they move on to thinking about what they're doing next. They never dwell on what they've just eaten - they only move forward! Don't dwell on anything you've just eaten - the guilt can actually make the food go straight to being stored in / on your body instead of being properly metabolized!
I also learned that your body craves sugar 1st because your brain is fueled by glucose. This doesn't mean to go crazy with the M&Ms, but to try to think of foods that are naturally sweet but won't give you that sugar crash after you've eaten them.

Also, green veggies alkaline your blood system and over time, help decrease your cravings for sugar!

A few energy-boosters for the winter season (I love doing all of these):
  • get outside, especially when the sun is shining! Bonus points for walking in the sun!
  • Spend time with the people who you truly enjoy being around!
  • Clean out your space and get rid of old stuff laying around! The holidays are a great time to make donations to charity and clear some clutter out of your home!
I hope that these tips are somewhat helpful and a bit unique. I really enjoyed my class last night and am excited to apply some of these tips to my own holiday celebrations over the next few weeks!

Happy holidays y'all!

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