12.03.2013

staying (or getting back) on track during the holidays

I hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving, if you celebrated! If you're anything like me, the holiday involved family, football, and food... LOTS of food. And not just one meal. So. Many. Leftovers.

It was pretty awesome, right? I definitely enjoyed my share (okay, more than my share) of delicious food. Mac 'n' cheese, stuffing, turkey and mashed potatoes with gravy, chocolate pie... Oh yes.

Something you've probably already noticed, though: I try to focus on balance. I made sure I was ALSO getting the nutrition my body needs. I ate a spinach salad after eating my (very) full plate of leftovers (when I was so not hungry). I got back to my regular healthy packed lunches on Monday. I even made it to the gym after eating a meal that I had no CHANCE of burning off. 

Why? Because our health is just as important in December as it is in June or September or any other month. It doesn't matter if we're more hidden under baggy sweaters and leggings -- it's about health. Don't get me wrong: there's no 100% healthy for me. I enjoy the holidays to the fullest, and that includes making (and eating) Christmas cookies, partaking in big family holiday dinners, snacking on treats my coworkers bring in, etc. I don't think I'll ever miss out on all the wonderful foods available around this time of year, because I LOVE it! However... I don't overdo it to the point of getting sucked into a black hole of binging that is so, so difficult to crawl out of (we've all been there). 

How? Here are a few of my tips for staying on track (or getting back on track) during the holidays:

1) Don't think that one unhealthy meal equals one unhealthy day. 

Don't let your mind play these tricks on you. So you ate a biiiiggg lunch during a holiday potluck with coworkers. Do you then think, "Welp, this day is shot. Might as well pig out on ramen noodles and Oreos for dinner"? Don't! It's just one meal. One meal is no big deal. Just get back to regular, healthy eating for the rest of the day. No need to starve yourself after that, either! It won't help anything. Just return to normal programming and let it go. 


2) Stick to healthy, basic, clean meals in between the celebrations.

So you have a work potluck on Monday, dinner out on Wednesday, a holiday party with friends on Friday night, a cooking-making party on Saturday.... great! Enjoy all of those events. Eat the deliciousness and be okay with it. In between all of the celebration, though... stay on track. Pack healthy lunches. Eat nutritious breakfasts. Just work on balance.



3)  Go to the gym. And not just to burn off a meal or fit into your New Years dress. 

Working out is hard in the winter. I know. It's cold, your house is warm,  and it's just so tempting to avoid the gym for a few weeks (or months). Again, though, it's JUST as important for your health during the winter as it is in the summer! Maybe even more important if you're partaking in quite a few holiday celebrations. And I know how going to the gym can feel after overdoing it a bit -- "there is no WAY I will burn this off, so why try? I just ate 2000 calories! I'd have to run a marathon!"

Don't think of it that way. Try not to think of working out as just a way to counteract food intake or look good. Yes... that's all part of it. But exercising has so many important benefits that have nothing to do with these things. It makes you a healthier, stronger, happier person!

I particularly love (and enthusiastically agree with) this woman's take on it.


4)  When all else fails... SMOOTHIES. 

If you consume a fair share (understatement?) of food that isn't quite so nutritious (*ahem* white cheddar and gruyere mac n cheese and sausage stuffing... I'm looking at you), it's so important to make sure that you are ALSO getting the healthy stuff in. So you've already eaten a lot today... if you haven't gotten your fruit and veggies in, it doesn't matter: keep going. Your body needs its nutrients. The easiest way to do this? Make a smoothie! Throw in some frozen berries and some greens and you've just exponentially improved your health for the day.



These are my tips for staying healthy during the holidays. What are yours? How do you avoid a two-month binge-fest that then leads to a failed New Years resolution? Because we so don't want to be that person.  :)

4 comments:

  1. Love this post! Smoothies are my go-to also :)

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  2. I try not to focus on the "bad" things I ate and focus on the good ones! I like trying to get in a salad a day which makes me feel better when I go in for that second serving of pie!

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  3. Oh my gosh - you've read my mind with this post. I am having THE WORST time getting myself to the gym lately. I'm hoping that when I go back to visit my family (and all my old yoga friends) for the holidays, I'll get back in the swing of things! In the meantime, I've been substituting in a smoothie every day :)

    jess | Quaintrelle

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