Staying on Track Over the Holidays

December 7, 2011

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas!

Or at least like winter :)

Staying on track with eating well, exercising, sleeping and overall healthy living can be harder than normal over the holidays and all of the festivities that come along with them.

I think the most important thing to remember is that indulging in the treats of the season is ok! Just choose wisely and don’t overdo it. If you indulge every day, it’s not a treat anymore, it’s a habit.

The traditional tips about how to live in a healthy way still apply. There are no secrets for how to stick to your goals over the holidays. As with healthy living in general, it’s not the ideas themselves that are complicated, it’s actually quite simple. It’s the execution that can be difficult.

5 simple tips for healthy living over the holidays:

  1. Don’t stress out about what you shouldn’t be eating. Focus on what you want to keep in your diet more than what you want to keep out. If you focus on eating a large salad with dinner, you can still eat some of your favorite dishes but the salad will help fill you up on nutritious, fibrous vegetables and you’ll likely eat less unhealthy foods. At dinner or cocktail parties, snack on the vegetable platter and eat a large helping of salad with dinner.
  2. Stay active! Practice yoga, go to the gym, take a dance class, take your dog on extra long walks, make a thermos of hot tea and bundle up your family to go for a walk after dinner and look at the holiday decorations around your neighborhood.
  3. Make sure you get enough fiber every day. Why? It has been shown to increase satiety, lower blood cholesterol levels, and keep our digestive systems in tip top shape not to mention that a diet high in fiber may help prevent colon cancer, type 2 diabetes, and obesity. According to the American Dietetic Association, the average American gets about 14 to 15 grams of fiber a day. Not even close to the recommended 25 to 35 grams.  Good sources include vegetables, fruits, whole grains, beans, peas, other legumes, nuts and seeds. Pretty much the staples of a vegan diet!! Read more on fiber here.
  4. Stay hydrated. Make sure to drink plenty of water.
  5. Enjoy yourself! With the added commitments and responsibilities that the holidays can bring, we need to remember what is really important about them and not let the less important things get in the way of the most important things. Let the stress go and be present.

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