While the holidays are a fabulous time to be with family, relive traditions and be merry, they can also create extra stress in our lives. From mid-November to the New Year we are often rushing, eating and trying to do too much. With the financial stress, nutritional stress (eating things that are hard on our bodies) and dealing with extra emotions that can be stirred up, it is the most important time of the year to stay grounded, workout and take care of our selves. Below we’ve given you a few tools to not just survive the holidays but also really enjoy them.
Let’s keep up with our good fitness and nutrition habits through the holidays!
December is here, and the holidays are in full swing. By committing to a consistent fitness routine and the Kaia Holiday Survival Guide, you can maintain the success you’ve achieved with Kaia and also enjoy the holidays as they were meant to be. Our general sense of wellbeing (our mood) is greatly affected when we change our habits, i.e. eating more than our bodies can handle is a recipe for depression and regret. Let’s make a promise to ourselves to commit to eating healthy and working out hard through this busy season and love ourselves for doing so.
Tips to survive the holidays:
- Eat to Live, Not Live to Eat
- Remember that the holidays are really about family, friends and giving. When you are at holiday parties and celebrations, turn your attention away from the food and focus on catching up and having fun socializing with family and friends.
- Cut back on empty calories but don’t skip meals
- Knowing the holidays will bring treats and extra calories, pay special attention to cutting out empty calories where you can. Try eating natural whole foods, veggies and fresh fruit. Severely restricting your calories or skipping meals can dampen your mood, increase your appetite and ultimately lead to weight gain. Eating smaller, healthy meals and snacks at regular intervals throughout the day can enhance your blood sugar and energy level while preventing excessive hunger.
- Breakfast of Champions!
- Start your day a little earlier than normal and give yourself 10-15 minutes of by-yourself time. Start with an 8oz glass of warm lemon water (helps with water retention and flushes your system) and quiet time. Take these first few minutes to set your intentions for your day, mentally plan how you will feel and how you want your day to look. Don’t be reactive be proactive.
- Chill Out
- If your food cravings increase along with your stress load, seek alternate means of comfort and relief. This might mean going for a walk, practicing yoga, having tea with a friend, getting weekly or monthly massages or taking a warm bath. Doing whatever helps you relax and enjoy life
- Stay Active
- It seems like the first thing we give up when we get busy is our exercise plan…BAD idea. By committing to your workout you not only release serotonin (happy juicy) but you feel more confident. As we all know when we feel good about ourselves everyone else in our lives also feels goodJ Make fitness fun by finding daily activities that engage your body, mind and soul. You’ll be more likely to stick with activities you find enjoyable. If your family doesn’t have a tradition of an outdoor activity during the holiday’s i.e. skiing, hiking, wiffle ball, playing soccer at the park, then make one.
- Be Prepared
- Plan your meals a head of time. Before you go to bed cut up celery, cucumbers, bell peppers, zucchini, apples, and berries. Carry a bottle of water always and learn to undertand true hunger vs. boredome.
Last but not least...
- Get your zzz’s
- Sleeping too little is directly related to how much you eat and exercise, according to the National Sleep Foundation. Lack of sleep can directly affect learning and memory, metabolism and weight gain, mood, cardiovascular health, and sickness and disease. Aim for seven to nine hours of sleep nightly. By getting a good night’s rest you are able to focus and be much more productive through the day. Common sense right? This tip may be the most important! Sleep…Sleep…Sleep your body will love your for it!
Here are a few easy and delicious recipes for the holiday season!
Pumpkin Vegetable Soup
- 1 can or box of organic pumpkin
- 2 carrots, diced
- 4 cups kale
- 1 cup broccoli, chopped
- 1 box mushrooms, sliced
- 2 white onions, diced
- 1 box veggie broth or 4 cups water and veggie bouillon
- 2 cups almond milk
- 1 Bay leaf
- 1 bunch of basil
- 1 cup pumpkin seeds
- 3 cloves garlic
- 1 teaspoon Garam Masala
- ¼ teaspoon of sea salt
- pepper to taste
Place all ingredients in a crock-pot and cook on medium heat for 1 hour. Taste and adjust spices.
Gluten Free Vegan Stuffing
- 2 loafs gluten free bread, cubes
- 2 ½ cups vegetable broth
- 1 white onion, chopped fine
- 1 ½ teaspoon dried thyme
- 1 ½ teaspoon dried oregano
- 1 ½ teaspoon dried sage
- 1 ½ teaspoon onion powder
- 1 ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 ½ teaspoon sea salt
- 1 cup of cooked wild rice
- ½ cup pine nuts
- ¼ teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
- 2 tablespoons vegan butter
- ½ cup dried cranberries
- 6 celery stalks
- 1 Tablespoon olive oil
- 3 Garlic cloves, chopped
- 2 cups mushrooms washed, sliced
Directions: Make wild rice. Saute onions, garlic, celery, mushrooms and seasoning in the vegan butter. Saute pine nuts in olive oil. Mix all ingredients in large bowl adding vegetable broth as you stir (add more veggie broth if consistency is too dry). Fluff with fork. Bake at 200 degrees for ½ hour or until golden.
Lean on your Kaia Community for support whenever you feel tempted and focus on family and connection rather than food on the table. Wishing you a very happy Holiday season!