With the holiday known for thanks and gluttony around the corner, I like to do things to prepare so I am able to enjoy time with family and friends and not worry about my diet and exercise.
As with any occasion on the horizon, I like to up my workout regime by 1 or 2 days a week and really focus on nourishing my body with whole, nutrient-dense foods. I like to limit my alcohol consumption and up my water intake so that I am feeling hydrated and detoxed.
Holidays usually mean you are exposed to foods you don’t normally eat on a regular basis and maybe indulge in a little more alcoholic beverages but that doesn’t mean you need to over-do it or fear that it will derail you.
I’ve looked into a lot of studies that show the power of stress and trying to be “too clean” with your diet actually ends up hurting you more by releasing too much cortisol in your system and making your body hold on to fat.
Instead of stressing yourself out, there are simple steps you can take to make sure you are prepared and armed with a plan to not only enjoy the holiday season but to come out healthier and reenergized.
I’ve included my top five steps to stay fit around the holidays.
- Integrate exercise into your daily routine. This doesn’t mean you have to sign up for a boot camp or spin class every day around the holidays, it just means try to remain active throughout the season so you are working off anything extra you may be taking in.
- Clean up. I like to volunteer to do the dishes so I am not sitting down after a long meal. Moving around the kitchen and washing things by hand helps me burn off some of what I just ate and digest quicker.
- Walk it out. I also like to suggest a nice long walk pre and post any feast, this way I get to still spend time with family and friends and catch up, but I don’t feel gluttonous or sleepy after indulging.
- Play the water game. When I’m drinking alcohol for any period of time, I like to play the every other game. If I have a glass of wine with dinner, I try to have a full glass of water before pouring myself another glass. This makes me feel fuller and I drink less while keeping myself hydrated and less likely to feel hung over the next day.
- Snack smart. I try to prep things that are easy to grab so I am not over-doing it with treats and not so healthy options that are put out around the holidays. I cut up veggies with hummus, make hard-boiled eggs, and store different kinds of energy bites in my fridge so I am satisfied and have lasting energy. I’ve included two simple recipes below for my go-to energy balls.
MSF Oat & Apricot Energy Balls
1/3 c dried apricots (I use local from the farmers market when possible)
1 TBL raw local honey
¼ c raw unsalted almond butter, plus 1 TBL
¼ c ground flaxseed meal
¼ tsp Himalayan pink salt
2/3 c rolled oats
optional crushed unsalted pistachios to roll them in
In food processor, combine apricots, honey, almond butter, flaxseed and salt until well blended. Scrape down sides and add oats. Pulse a few times until oats are incorporated. Form into desired ball size and roll in crushed pistachios if using. Store in airtight container in fridge. Enjoy!
MSF Mint Choc Chip Energy Balls
1 c raw walnuts (can use almonds or cashews)
1 c pitted dates
1 tsp mint extract (can sub for any extract to change flavor)
¼ c raw cacao powder (can change amount depending on chocolate flavor preference)
¼ c raw cacao chips (can sub for mini dark chocolate chips)
In food processor, pulse nuts until lightly ground. Add dates, extract, and powder and process until dough ball forms. Add chips and process a few more pulses until chips are combined. Roll into desired ball size and store in airtight container in fridge. Enjoy!
No matter what your plans are for Thanksgiving, I hope your day is filled with health and happiness and of course some indulgence too!