If You Want to Ring In The New Year Will Better Health…
If you have the philosophy that you’ll enjoy everything in site and pay later, what I’m about to say won’t interest you. If you’d like to keep your friends, your sanity, and your waistline all through the holidays here are the golden rules. You may find if these aren’t your typical, that you lose some inches and fluffiness.
1. Completely eliminate wheat, soy, and sugar.
You need to get a good sense of all of the aliases these hide under. Bulgar, instant coffee, soy sauce, imitation crab meat, self-basting turkey, and lunch meats are just a few of the places where wheat and gluten hide. The obvious are breads, pastas, and rolls but gluten is used in most processed foods. Period.
Corn syrup, pure cane sugar, honey, agave and many more are sugars no matter how “natural” they are made to sound.
2. Try to eliminate plastics, styrofoam, and using them for cooking and drinking water or hot beverages. MSG is an old threat that’s returned to the scene of the crime and it’s sneaked into many protein powders if you’ve not researched the label extensively or baught without knowing what you were looking for.
3. When you’re shopping and meal prepping for yourself focus on organics, local, hormone-free foods and those from sources that were fed the same way.
4. Set time for yourself daily and guard it. It doesn’t matter if you need an hour to wake up slowly by yourself to sip tea and journal or you want an hour of exercise time before work; find what works for you (you’re happy, you’re full of energy, you’re sleeping well) and do it.
5. Keep a regular schedule of exercise. Rather than a long workout shoot for 20 minutes of quality work daily. Add another 20 minutes two days a week for strength training. This formula is actually a key for fat loss and muscle building when you combine it with the right fuel. Use interval training 2 -3* times a week, an easy exercise 2-3 times a week, and the strength training focused on major muscle groups twice each week.
6. Eliminate toxins you might ordinarily have more of around during the holidays.Perfumes, bubble baths, makeup and scented lotions are all potentially toxic. If you’re putting them on your skin 365 days a year that’s significant. If you’re bringing out the candles, the scented room aerosols, and haven’t given thought to them being toxins in your environment, it’s time to do so. Try peppermint, orange, eucalyptus, and other essential oils. Use a few drops in a diffuser. Put a few drops on your vacuum cleaner bag or dish washing cloth. Sprinkle a few drops inside your toilet and paper towel rolls before adding a new one.
7. Get the vitamins and minerals you need. If you have more habits that are depleting you during the holidays (late nights, stress, cocktails, a diet of rich foods that is nutrient-poor) you need micronutrients more than ever. if you eliminate anything from your diet – wheat/gluten, or dairy, for instance (for good reasons you might choose to!) you need to get the nutrients these foods would have supplied. None of us can consume a “balanced diet” with sufficient calories (over 20K) that it would take to get all the recommended micronutrients. Find one to take twice a day and make sure that it’s been tested so the ingredients don’t compete with each other for absorption.
8. Have at least one protein smoothie a day that includes healthy fats (coconut oil, nut butter), fiber (add it as a supplement or include rice bran, broccoli sprouts, and ground flax, along with greens and berries. If you don’t have spinach, kale, collard greens, or wheat grass to use in your smoothie or you’re veggie avoider, include a powdered greens mixture instead – but get them in. A second one is a potentially good idea as a snack and a way to get a “treat” without sabotaging yourself. A rich creamy chocolate peanut butter smoothie while someone else is munching on cookies, will ensure you feel better in an hour than you might have otherwise. (A new smoothie recipe guide is coming out in the next week! Watch for it here or join our mailing list to get access to yours automatically once it’s ready.)
9. If you’re iron low and need an iron supplement it should be taken midday so it doesn’t interfere with your multivitamin absorption. You don’t want it included in your multi and this is a mistake of convenience that you may have made in the past. The other supplements that you might benefit from are digestive enzymes especially if you’re reducing your wheat/gluten sources and consciously becoming more aware of the protein level you really need. You’ll find you have a higher percent of protein by default. Shifting to a new diet – and holiday stress and changing schedules – may benefit from a digestive enzyme boost.
10. Reduce the amount of starches, fruit and nuts and seeds you eat during this time.Surprise, right? You’d go for the nuts and the fruit and think you were being proactive in healthy choices. If you really want to avoid weight gain and get more energy during this time keep your total servings of these per week to 2-3. That’s not a misprint. Per week, not per day. It’s going to help you reduce inflammation, reduce sugar spikes, and become more of a fat burner than a sugar burner – even during a time when the opposite is most true and the reason for weight gain. Have more omega 3 rich fish, (or be sure you’re taking fish oil), as many non-starchy veggies as you like, and plenty of protein 3-4 times a day.
The holidays are not the time to try and cut back on calories. If you can increase the food you’re eating, the right food, you’ll do so much better than being even on the small roller coaster or binge-purge that comes with “saving calories” to the party and then eating them. It’s not the calories overall. It’s the kind of calories, the timing of the calories, and your ability to use nutrients in the calories, or get those nutrients elsewhere that matters most.
Bon Appetit! during these holidays. If you don’t go into them feeling deprived, you won’t really be drawn to anything in particular, Let yourself feast on the colors, the sounds, rich relationships and traditions of the holiday. Your cup but not your waistband will be full.