Holidays are a great time to relax and socialize with family and friends. And with all that socialization comes holiday parties and indulgences. Maybe we had a little too much wine and chocolate, dipped our hands in the cookie jar way too often, got to bed later than usual. Sound familiar? Either way, our bodies crave to get back into routine. So if you’re looking to get your health back on track, here are some simple suggestions on how to get started.
1. Hydrate with Warm Lemon Water
Before reaching for that morning cup of coffee, look to hydrate your body back to health with natural lemon water. Drinking 1 tall glass (16oz) of warm lemon water upon rising helps to kick start our digestion in the morning by stimulating the release of gastric juices. It also serves as a gentle detox for our liver, that has been working diligently to offset all those holiday indulgences. Plus, the Vitamin C content found in lemons (and limes) helps to boost our immunity to help fight off colds and illness when our bodies are needing a reset.
Add 1/4 – 1/2 freshly squeezed lemon juice to your morning water.
And remember to keep drinking water throughout the day.
2. Have a Plan
It’s easy to get our health goals derailed when we don’t plan to succeed. Having a good stock of healthy foods in our refrigerator, pantry and freezer will set us up for success. Buying fruits and vegetables already cut and prepped can save us valuable time in the kitchen. I like to buy fresh fruits and vegetables to be used in the beginning of the week and keep a frozen supply for the end of the week. Keeping a healthy stock of frozen fruits and vegetables makes it much easier to cook up quick stir-frys, soups, sides and smoothies. Look for “flash frozen” varieties for higher nutrient content.
Meal planning goes a long way in helping to reduce stress in the kitchen and in making healthier choices. Keep it simple by taking a look at your weekly schedule and see which meals work best in terms of time needed to prep, cook and eat. Keep a roster of your favourite healthy recipes on hand so you can rotate meals on a weekly basis.
Planning for your meals so that you have less reliance on fast food and take-out is time well spent.
3. Eat More Plant Based Whole Foods
Eating more plant based foods like fruits, vegetables, legumes, nuts and seeds after holiday indulgences is a great way to give our digestive tract a break. Plants are easier to digest since they contain simple protein structures. The high fibre content found in plant foods serves as an internal broom for our bodies, allowing us to eliminate on a regular basis and thus helping to avoid symptoms of bloating and constipation. Plus, plant foods are loaded with vital nutrients (vitamins, minerals and antioxidants) that our bodies need to keep us healthy and strong.
Add a vegetable soup, hearty salad or green smoothie to your daily routine.
4. Get Moving
You don’t have to hit the gym or start a strict exercise routine to get your body moving. You can go for a walk, run, swim or dance. Pick what you like and just get started. Make it fun by pairing up with a friend or with a favourite activity (listen to music while on the treadmill or use a rebounder while watching your favourite TV show). After all, our bodies were designed with arms and legs so that we can move throughout the day and not be so sedentary.
Aim for at least 30 minutes of physical movement daily.
5. Get to Bed on Time
Instead of setting your alarm clock to wake-up in the morning, set your alarm to get to bed on time. Many of us are sleep deprived, which can lead to a high reliance on stimulants like caffeine and sugar to get us through the day. Sleep deprivation can lead to weight gain since we are more likely to overeat as a way to get our energy levels up. Establish a healthy sleep routine by reducing your screen time 1 hour before bed. Engage in calming activities like light reading, a warm bath or shower or sip on a herbal tea to get your body into sleep mode.
Aim for 7-8 hours of restful sleep per night.
Remember to be easy on yourself, you don’t have to implement all these suggestions at once. Start with one suggestion at a time and build up from there. As you start feeling better, this will provide you with motivation to continue on your health journey.
Created by Silvia Rocca, Registered Holistic Nutritionist @ SilviaRocca.com
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