How to eat healthy – even through the holidays

Categories: greener

Stay more resilient over the holidays by starting healthy habits now. Temptations and sickness will be running rampant, so learn how to eat healthy and be healthy now, without turning your world upside down!

I recently read a blog by Clare Smith about a “second new year“. It’s so true for me. Every fall, especially since having kids in school, I get excited to re-up my efforts in the next year. Only I want to start now — before the busy holidays.

Why? I guess because it makes me more disciplined during the holidays and less likely to get sick. And then there’s my resistance to being mainstream with resolutions, admittedly! Plus I just don’t love myself if I use the holidays as an excuse to abandon the things that truly make me feel healthy. I do aim to loosen the reins a bit. Don’t get me wrong. But not so much that my body reacts, because I know it won’t be a positive or short-lived one. Know what I mean?

Be healthy through the holidays and year round

Some people have asked what my daily routine looks like. And what does “healthy” mean to me?

Well, to me, being healthy means feeling positive, being productive, having fun and feeling physically well.

To be there, it means keeping a close look on sinus and digestive symptoms, as well as any petty garbage taking grip in my mind. It also means remembering to turn the mom switch off — at least briefly — each day.

That sounds like a full-time job, doesn’t it? Sometimes it feels like it, too, but it’s so worth it — for the results I get and the examples my kids see.

Healthy daily habits

We all have different “junk” to deal with — inside and outside. If you identify your own biggest triggers, you can find ways to recalibrate.

Here’s what I’ve latched onto over the years to be healthy, aside from the usual hygiene.

  • 7-8 hours of sleep (if less, I feel it in my mood and sinuses!)
  • Wake, drink tea, read Bible, pray
  • Exercise 20-60 minutes most days (various types, wiffleball counts!)
  • Neilmed nasal rinse twice daily (when brushing teeth)
  • Enzymes with meals, supplements and homeopathic remedies instead of over-the-counter stuff, as needed
  • Acknowledge blessings throughout the day and make sure I love on my family each day, even if it’s just a few minutes
  • Eat few grains, 95% organic, gluten free and dairy free with an occasional drink (usually GF vodka and flavored water), drink lots of water throughout the day, eat organic dark chocolate as my go-to treat
  • Play with kids most times they ask!
  • Limit screen time
  • Use a budget and spend wisely/responsibly
  • Read with kids and pray before bed

Your list will look different from mine and will change over time. But having your own framework for health will keep you focused and more accountable.

What to eat and how to eat healthy

Much like your framework for better health, your diet will differ from mine. You’ve got to figure out what works for YOU.

That said, here are some ways to eat healthier that do apply to anyone and don’t require a total overhaul.

  1. Choose water as your beverage 95% of the time.
  2. Don’t add salt or sugar to anything, unless it’s a necessary ingredient in a recipe! Even then, you might be able to cut the amount.
  3. Eat at least one meal per day without grainy carbs (protein with veggies at dinner, perhaps).
  4. Never eat a meal with only carbs. Always balance with a protein. (Somebody please tell the school food service systems!)
  5. Choose noodles from carrot, zucchini or squash instead of grain pasta.
  6. If you eat meat, make 1-2 dinners per week that are meatless. (This can save money, too!)
  7. Eat pizza only 1-2 times per month instead of per week!
  8. Make fruit your snack (instead of crackers or chips) and then sub veggies instead of fruit in your meals. Fruits are digested better when eaten alone anyhow.
  9. Half your meals should consist of vegetables! Replace fruit, grainy carbs or excess protein (guilty!) with veggies. This applies to the lunches you pack, too!
  10. Don’t buy the chips, cookies, crackers and other sweets that get you into trouble. Out of sight, out of mind. And you will surely meet your sweet something again soon, outside of your home, where it can be your treat instead of your go-to.

For more specific tips on celebrating with healthier holidays, read “Tackle the notion of a healthy Thanksgiving dinner“.

These are just a few ways how you can eat healthier. Even if you only pick 1 or 2 things to do now, you could be feeling better and more resilient over the holidays. And if like me, that will translate to greater peace of mind, more joy and happier times for you!

*This blog is intended for use as a source of information and should not be used as a substitute for professional medical care or advice. 

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