We spend the entire year thinking, and hopefully acting, on creating healthy habits around food, exercise and mindset. Then, the Holiday season rolls around and it all seems to go out the window. Or, does it?
There is no reason to feel guilty about it. You spent time with friends, family, ate beautiful food and celebrated. The only downside is that you might physically feel heavier, perhaps your digestion needs a re-set, and maybe your skin is taking the brunt of your last couple of weeks.
Without completely depriving yourself, there is a gentle way to get “back on track”. If you have tried dieting before, you know it is not sustainable. I am not a fan of diets, nor do I ever suggest them to my clients. Instead, get back to implementing some of my simple suggestions that will help to cleanse and nourish you both physically and mentally in this post-Holiday period.
- Drink a big glass of room temperature water with a squeeze of lemon or a teaspoon of apple cider vinegar when you wake up, before coffee. This will help get those digestive enzymes woken up, will help to alkalize the body, clean and flush.
- Write down 3 days of exercise for the week and be specific about it. Go through your community program guide, find some classes, grab a friend, and make a date. If you add the 3 dates to your calendar, you will be able to mentally prepare and can properly set the time aside for yourself.
- Measure out 1 cup of 2 different non-starchy vegetables for each dinner. Even if you are not cooking at home, choose the meal that is mostly plant-based, or ask for a substitution. Raw, steamed or roasted is entirely up to you, depending on your digestion and how your body can handle them. All the fibre is important to help the body flush unwanted toxins and weight.
- Support your liver with herbal tea and brassica veggies. Milk Thistle and Dandelion Root teas, plus veggies like brussel sprouts, broccoli, cauliflower and cabbage are ones to help your liver break down the toxins for clearing. Also, in order to clear, you need to boost your immune system with lots of antioxidants. Aim to include berries, garlic, citrus fruits, squashes, bell peppers and leafy greens.
- Set a small goal and get SMART about it. This means specific, measurable, attainable, realistic and timely. The new year usually triggers us to set resolutions and giant goals that we rarely see through. Start small, even with a goal like, “Eat one vegetarian meal per day”, and write down exactly what this looks like in order for you to stick to it.
- Cut the red meat, dairy and refined sugar…at least for a week. Remember, this is not a diet, but a lifestyle. This also doesn’t mean you can never eat a piece of cheese or have a cookie again! I just want you to know that eating these foods on a regular basis leads to inflammation in the body. Greatly reduce these foods to greatly reduce inflammation.
- Drink a cup of Golden Milk every day. Try swapping out that extra cup of joe for an anti-inflammatory latte made with 1 C unsweetened coconut milk, 1 tsp ground turmeric, 1/4 tsp cinnamon, a crack of black pepper (to help your body absorb the turmeric), and up to a tsp of raw honey or maple syrup. Warm this delicious combo on the stove and sip.
- Meal plan! I cannot stress enough how important meal planning is when you are trying to eat well. If you have good food in the fridge, you will eat good food! If this feels overwhelming, remember that you don’t need to spend a day cooking all the meals for the week. Start with writing out 3 days of meals and snacks, make the grocery list, shop, then prep even just a few things. Maybe you chop up all the veggies for your meals, maybe you roast or bake just portions of the meals, maybe you prep a big batch of energy-boosting power bars. However much you prep, you are making your next 3 days a little less stressed. It all adds up.
Be easy on yourself, do a little planning, and remember to smile 🙂
Here’s to a healthy and happy year ahead. Jen xo