It is Christmastime, the busiest time of the year! As you have probably noticed, I have been crazy busy the last few months, and have unfortunately neglected this blog more than I’d like. I am hoping that over the next several weeks, and into the new year, I will be able to focus more on writing new tips, tricks, recipes, reviews, and motivation for everyone to enjoy!
With everything we try to accomplish in the fall/winter months, sometimes we can sometimes neglect ourselves. We try to eat on the go, not always making the best choices. We tell ourselves we don’t have time for exercise, because there is just too much to do! We think, “Oh…it’s the holidays. I will just enjoy it and not worry about what I eat! I’ll start in January.” Lots and lots of excuses… Here is the way I see it. Yes, we are busy. Yes we want to enjoy our holidays. I think there is a way to find a middle ground. Here are a few suggestions for surviving the holidays, while still taking care of your health.
- Find ways to fit movement in when you can. If you have 5 minutes, do some squats or lunges. Later, if you have 5 more minutes, do more! Before you know it, you will have done 100 squats in a day. You can also take a quick walk around your neighborhood and look at Christmas lights, or spend some time playing outside (or inside if you have a Wii, for example) with the kids in your life. The key is to do what you can, when you can. Make YOU a priority.
- Take snacks with you! Always have a little something with you, in your car or your bag. That way, if you are out Christmas shopping or running errands, you won’t need to go through the drive thru. Measure out some almonds or air popped popcorn into plastic bags. Carry protein bars (make sure they are low in calories and sugar). Find healthy, pre-portioned snacks. Carry a banana or an apple with you. There are a lot of options, and it is better to be overprepared than underprepared!
- If you do get caught somewhere without snacks and need to eat something quickly, it is okay to grab fast food once in a while. Just make the right choices. Get a chicken breast sandwich (no mayo), and remove part (or all) of the bread. Get a salad, but be careful of high fat toppings and dressings. Skip the fries! I know. I love fries. They are my weakness. This is why I do not order them! That is a slippery slope right there! There are so many calories, fat grams, and general unhealthiness in those types of foods. If you do a little research and study the menu, you can find better choices in a pinch.
- When you are attending a holiday event, don’t stress out about what you are eating! You can enjoy yourself, just proceed with caution. Some suggest that you eat beforehand. That is a great suggestion if you really don’t want to eat at a holiday party. Personally, I like to enjoy the things my family cooks that I can only get once a year. I just do it in moderation. If you are attending a potluck, bring salad, or another healthy dish. That way you know there will be at least one healthy item at the meal, and you will know exactly what is in it. Fill half of your plate with vegetables. Then look at all of the food, and decided what you REALLY want. Get a couple of bites of each of those things, so that you are still enjoying the meal, but not going overboard. I feel so much better and have so much more energy when I don’t overindulge. I am able to enjoy events so much more when I eat this way, and I don’t feel deprived.
I hope you find these suggestions helpful! If you’re anything like me, you will find that the holidays are so much more enjoyable when you make good choices. You can have fun with family and friends, enjoy holiday meals, and still have energy left at the end of the day. You can go into the new year feeling great about yourself, instead of being full of regret. Who knows? You may even lose a couple of pounds! It may sound crazy, but it is absolutely possible. Don’t wait for January 1 to become a healthier you. Start now!