SEASONAL TIPS FOR HEALTHY SURROUNDINGS
The holiday season brings on many opportunities for parties, specialty foods, and fun activities. At this time of year, it’s a good idea to take stock of the upcoming season and plan your goals. Once the goals are in place, prioritize each holiday task or opportunity as measured by your goals. Will it bring you nearer to or further from your healthy plans?
Here’s how to put that plan into practice. Let’s say that one of your goals is to maintain your current weight and not put on any additional pounds this winter season. Look at your fitness opportunities and your party opportunities for the month and choose those that help you stay on track with your goals. Perhaps you have a choice of going to the gym or going shopping. Could you do both? Could you go to the gym first and then shop, or maybe shop online from home? By keeping your commitment to go to the gym (or doing whatever workout routine that works best for you), you’re staying in alignment with your goals.
And, what about holiday foods? There certainly will be more opportunities to eat tasty treats that may not be available at other times of the year. Again, measure each food choice against your desired goals. Will your food choice help or hinder your progress toward your overall health plan? Try nibbling or sampling the unhealthier foods at parties and make sure to fill up on foods that support your nutritional needs.
A lot of these choices can be summed up by your surroundings. What foods are in your kitchen, refrigerator, or pantry? Are they mostly healthy? Mostly unhealthy? Making empty-calorie, non-nutritious foods both visible and readily available in your own home can quickly sabotage your health goals.
Instead, fill your fridge with fresh, chopped veggies. Keep fresh fruits and nuts handy for quick snacks. Stock up on homemade soups and chilis. Invite family and friends over for a Sunday afternoon cooking session where you make enough for the entire month. Freezing small batches makes meal-time planning a breeze later on as the hectic pace of December approaches.
And, don’t forget these stress-busting activities — prayer, meditation, cognitive behavior therapy, MTT/EFT, deep breathing, exercise, sleep, yoga, tai chi, humor, journaling, massage, guided imagery, etc. Try new activities and implement them often!
Surround yourself with supportive friends, nutritious foods, and fun fitness activities this holiday season. You have the wonderful opportunity to enjoy every day of the coming month in picture perfect health!