By Megan Faletra, MS, MPH, RDN
The holidays are one of the most exciting times of the year, but this year especially, they can also come with unwanted stress that can leave us feeling depleted at times. Luckily, with a little planning, you can fully enjoy the holidays from beginning to end. Protect your health and keep your stress levels low this year by following these five simple steps to a healthier (and stress-free!) holiday season.
1. Plan Healthy Meals and Snacks
While there’s an abundance of delicious holiday food around at all times throughout the holidays, you shouldn’t forgo your usual healthy meals and snacks. One of the worst things you can do during the holidays is skip meals, as that will leave you feeling ravenous and incapable of making mindful choices. Instead, make a promise to continue feeding yourself well throughout the holidays by planning regular meals and snacks that keep you full and satisfied. This will help you make healthier choices that aren’t fueled by uncontrollable hunger when you’re exposed to holiday indulgences.
2. Practice Mindful Eating
Holiday spreads are hard to navigate, especially if you’re trying to continue healthy eating practices throughout the holidays. Rather than putting limitations on what you can and can’t have during the holidays, try practicing mindful eating habits like these:
• Have a satisfying snack before the holiday meal so you make better choices once you’re dining.
• Tune into your cravings and choose what you truly desire during the meal, versus what’s sitting in front of you.
• Eat slowly and save the alcohol for when your stomach is full, so you can enjoy a holiday cocktail without it impacting your eating choices.
3. Support a Healthy Gut
Nothing puts a damper on the holidays like getting sick, so it’s especially important to support your digestive system during this time. Since 70 percent of your immune system lives in your gut, keep it feeling it’s best by adding Vanilla & Greens Essential Blend to your daily wellness routine. Loaded with plant-based protein, digestive support, essential minerals and antioxidants in one easy-to-use mix, it’s a great way to boost your nutrition and support your gut at the same time.
4. Prioritize Sleep
While the holidays are busy, this is not the time of year to skimp on sleep. Getting enough sleep will help keep your immune system healthy and make it easier to stay motivated to continue your mindful movement and healthy eating habits throughout the season.
5. Add Adaptogens
Lastly, adaptogens are a great addition to your daily wellness routine throughout the holiday season (and beyond!), as they help the body adapt and respond to external stressors that help it maintain a state of balance. A simple way to incorporate adaptogens into your day is by adding a teaspoon of maca powder to your morning smoothie or mixing it into your oatmeal.
With these tips in mind, you will be well on your way to a healthy, happy holiday season. Click here for more super easy superfood holiday recipe favorites.