Staying Healthy Through the Holidays

by naturalkidz on December 26, 2012

Written by Dr. Gina Caserma

There’s no doubt about it – the holiday season is the most challenging on our health. All the family get-togethers, the mall-hopping, and hustle and bustle of shopping decrease our workouts and distracts us from the things that keep us health.  This increases the chances that we’ll make poorer choices for ourselves and our families.


At Your Home

“There’s just too much to do to without worrying about eating healthy, too!” Is that what you’re thinking? Well, if it is you’ll be surprised to learn that with just a few simple modifications in your busy schedule, eating healthy can be the least of your concerns.

  • Turn your Sunday afternoon into “Preparation Day” and prepare your menu for the week.
  • Pre-cut vegetables
  • Bake or BBQ chicken for lunch
  • Wash, cut and bag your lettuce
  • Prepare baked meals and store them in the refrigerator or freezer
  • Make homemade soups, giving your children healthier snack options
    • Go to your local grocery store and get a fresh roasted Rotisserie chicken and a bag of pre-cut salad and have a healthy meal.

No matter what your schedule looks like, with a few healthier options you and your family can be eating healthier and feeling better.


At a Party

If you’re going to attend holiday parties, here are some healthy ideas:

  • Before you leave for the party eat a small amount of protein. A piece of baked chicken, a handful of nuts, or a small portion of cheese will help decrease cravings for the carbohydrate appetizers sure to be offered
  • Offer to bring a veggie platter with hummus or a soy based dip
  • Alternate every alcoholic drink with a glass of water before and after; this will help to eliminate a majority of the empty calories found in most alcoholic beverages.


At the Office

Do you work in an office where the holiday treats just keep pouring in? It’s difficult to resist what’s so readily available. Here are some ideas for the workplace:

  • Make sure that you have access to protein items by keeping slices of cheese, a piece of chicken, hardboiled eggs or celery sticks and a jar of peanut butter in the employee refrigerator; the protein will fight off the carb cravings while the snack takes the edge off the hunger.
  • Keep a bowl of apples next to the treats, providing you with a healthier option
  • If vendors annually gift you with sweets then post a sign at the front desk: that while you are grateful for the boxes of goodies and the recognition, you are considering the health of your employees and would ask that instead they:
    • Bring a coat for the local homeless shelter or the Salvation Army,
    • Bring a new unwrapped toy for Toys for Tots,
    • Or bring a gift card from the local grocery store for Meals on Wheels or your local shelter

Also, consider that this time of year is the cold and flu season, and eating healthy is not the only thing to consider in the office. Avoid weakening your immune system by:

  • Washing your hands with soap and warm water
  • If you are not the only one using the headset and receiver at your desk, keep it clean with rubbing alcohol and a soft cloth


Out and About

There are several things you can do to keep this time of year from becoming a trial on your health, and one of the most important things is eliminating stress. More often than not, holiday stress is caused by the things that we haven’t accomplished weighing on our minds. Help to avoid this by making the most of your downtime.

In the course of a day there will be times when you find yourself waiting; this will usually be the time when a list of “a million other things you could be doing” enters your mind. Instead of letting it ruin your mood, make the most of these few minutes. Carry a note pad and jot down that list of things you “could be doing”; this will help to ensure you don’t forget to do them later

Remember that the busier you get the more likely that something will get missed. Stress during the holidays can wear you down and ruin the joy of the holidays, so be sure to make lists and help to eliminate a lot of that added stress.


What are you doing to stay healthy during the holiday season?



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