Just last week I gave a lecture on the top 10 ways to stay healthy and sane this holiday season… I thought I'd share the information with you too. We all could use some help this time of year… ‘Tis the season!
1. Read Labels: Avoid soy and added sugars like high fructose corn syrup! The two food sources are toxic and will cause you to pack on the pounds!
2. Don’t Get Sick: You’re running around, shopping, bouncing from party to party and now you feel under the weather. Time to eat garlic. Garlic has been used since the ancient times as a natural antibiotic. Recent research shows that garlic is not only an antibiotic, it is also an immune system enhancer, a natural decongestant, expectorant. It even lowers blood pressure and cholesterol. Eat it raw—dice up two cloves and steep in a mug of hot water with some lemon and honey and drink up. Or buy it in pill form at the health food store—be sure the bottle says the pills are “enteric coated”; this ensures that the garlic will be efficiently utilized by your body. On the verge of catching a cold from one of the little ones? Drink astragalus tea, load up on vitamin c rich foods like blueberries, goji berries and citrus fruits. And, don't forget to use your Neti Pot!
3. Body Blues: Feeling tense and stiff from a long day of travel—take a time out and stretch. If you’re familiar with yoga—sit in bridge or cat pose. If not, just take a moment, lie down on your back, stretching your arms up and back (so that your elbows are near your ears) and take 5 deep breaths. Relax. Repeat 3 times.
4. Booze Blues: Drinking too much? Pace yourself. Try to alternate alcoholic beverage with a glass of water or seltzer water with some lime. And, to ward off the hangover blues—be sure to choose vodka over wine; making sure to mix your vodka with a “clean” substance such as seltzer water rather than sugary mixes like cranberry juice or cosmo’s. If you’re feeling rough the next morning eat some fresh parsley sprigs and add lemon (a natural detoxifier) to your water.
5. Holiday Fifteen: Afraid to put on some holiday weight? Load up your plate with veggies and protein and save only a little room for carbs and sweets. Take a walk with the family after dinner and be sure to schedule time in your daily calendar for exercise. If you make time for it you will feel great! If you’ve overindulged and feel bloated—try some dandelion tea or drink some hot water spiked with lemon zest and ginger. Have indigestion from eating too much? Chew on a cinnamon stick or some parsley sprigs. Or make yourself some licorice tea—it works wonders for indigestion. To help with digestion and good healthy bowel movements, get yourself started on some probiotics, I like either the brand Culturelle or Flora-stor. Take as directed.
6. Holiday’s Suck: Got the holiday blues? Practice gratitude. Each day write down one thing in your life that you are grateful for. Even better is if you can do this work with a friend of family member. It’s an amazing way to stay focused on the positive.
7. Feeling S.A.D? Seasonal affective disorder can make the most of us feel down and out. What to do? Load up on vitamin D3. Take anywhere between 2000 and 4000 iu’s per day. Mega Foods and Nordic Naturals both make a great vitamin D3 in capsule form.
8. Mental Madness: If you’re pulling your hair out from being around your family—take a 5 minute chill out break in the bathroom. Got a headache from all the stress? Rub your temples with some peppermint oil. Take a chill out and check in break each day. Have a chat with yourself in the mirror.
9. Sleeping Sucks: Trouble sleeping? Try some lavender oil on your temples. Or download a guided meditation cd onto your ipod and listen before bed. My top 4 fave guided meditations are listed on this blog– on the right hand side.
10. Daily Stress Buster: Feeling overextended? Make a priority list, and get yourself organized. Don’t forget to eliminate the unnecessary items from your list. Do you really need to go to your mother’s cousins holiday party? Prioritize down time for yourself.