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Holiday Health Made Simple December 9, 2010

Posted by nrhatch in Exercise & Fitness, Food & Drink, Health & Wellness, Mindfulness.
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I’m delighted to have as Guest Blogger today, Dr. Alisa Cooper.   

As a chiropractor, certified clinical nutritionist, and life coach, Dr. Cooper draws upon her expertise  and clinical experience to empower you to take charge of your health and life!

For more tips and information, visit Dr. Cooper’s website at Live And Be Well. 

Holiday Health Made Simple

We are in the midst of the holidays: wonderful and uplifting in some ways; and hectic and stressful in others. I won’t be unreasonable and tell you to chill out , or “just say no” to every goodie that passes your way. Let’s focus instead on moderation and self-preservation.

No Need to Pack on the Pounds

Some of us are really watching what we eat so we can fit into those special jeans or slinky, cocktail party dress. Others are merely trying to maintain, and some just want to get through the season without being asked to play Santa at the mall. Regardless of your goals, some simple rules apply.

On the days when holiday parties and dinners are on the schedule, don’t fast all day first. Research shows that those who skip breakfast and lunch tend to overeat later on; actually consuming more calories than if they had eaten modestly that day. Eat a healthy breakfast, like an egg white omelet and a few orange slices and forego the toast and bacon. Eat a salad for lunch with a few ounces of lean protein. Leave off the croutons, cheese and other condiments.  Forego the creamy dressing. Sprinkle your greens with a tsp. of olive oil, a squeeze of fresh lemon, and a pinch of sea salt. Have a small snack before you go out for the evening, like a slice of deli turkey, a small apple and a tsp. of organic peanut or almond butter.

With your blood sugar stabilized and metabolism in gear, you won’t walk in the door like you stepped out of the Donner Party!

Drink Up

The next rule is to stay properly hydrated throughout the season. It is so easy to forget to drink enough water, especially now that the weather is cold. Start your day with some flavorful and warming herbal tea. Cranberry green tea is pleasant, peppermint tea, invigorating, and chamomile is calming. Pour a large pitcher of water first thing in the morning and make it your goal to have it finished by bedtime. Sip continuously throughout the day.

Since we often mistake thirst for hunger, we tend to overeat when we are dehydrated.Don’t underestimate this phenomenon! If you think you are hungry, drink some good quality H20, and see how you feel 10-15 minutes later. If you still feel hungry, a light, healthy snack may be in order.

Also, when you are dehydrated, your mucous membranes dry out making you more susceptible to respiratory infections. Mucous is mostly water, and its main job is to lubricate airways and prevent pathogens from taking up residence.

You First!

The last rule is to make you a priority! You want to get right to your shopping, baking, card writing, wrapping, and shipping. But would it kill you to take a brisk walk or sit down with your feet up for a few minutes of quiet time? You don’t have to soak in a hot bath for an hour to feel invigorated and relaxed. It’s amazing what twenty minutes can do!

Question: Are you trying to prove to your family and friends that you’re still the Energizer Bunny? Slow it down a notch. We are getting a bit older, not much mind you, but a bit, and we need to treat ourselves with a little consideration and unconditional love.

Get to bed at a reasonable hour. Let the little things go. Remember, good health is about keeping stress to a minimum as much as it is about eating right and staying fit. So, elementary as it may seem, remember to breathe! Slowly breathe in and out, in and out, from the diaphragm this time, deep, slow and relaxed, breathing in and out… see, you’re getting it!

When you take care of yourself, you will radiate the joy of the season. You will have that sparkle and shine that turns heads!

Happy Holidays!

This is Dr. Cooper’s second Guest Post on Spirit Lights the Way.  Her first, an inspired and inspiring poem, can be found here:  Do What You Love

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