It’s the holiday season! Time to endlessly indulge and not worry about your health until January 1st, or January 2nd to be more realistic! While that is one way to go about things this holiday season, it’s certainly not the way I would recommend. It’s important to think about your health throughout the year and not just during “resolution season.” Over 80% of New Year’s Resolutions fail or are given up on by February after all!
There is no reason to wait until the 1st of January if you are wanting to improve your health. In fact, there are many reasons why you shouldn’t wait. The diet and weight loss industry is a $2.7 billion industry. Consumers are spending more and more money on weight-loss products. The reason the money keeps pouring in is simple -- Diets don’t work. People wouldn’t keep buying meal replacement shakes or diet cookbooks if they got the results they wanted the first time around. What does work is a healthy lifestyle. A recent study even provides evidence that the number on the scale isn’t nearly as important as the lifestyle and habits you keep.
Furthermore, if you eat three meals a day throughout November and December, you’re eating a total of 183 meals. If you only choose to indulge 5% of the time, that is almost a full 10 meals! It’s completely possible to balance indulging in holiday meals and treats with your commitment to healthy habits. So why put things off until the New Year? Starting to incorporate healthy habits of into your life during the holiday season kick starts your ability to achieve your 2022 goals. A structured meal plan may help many people in the short term, but strict and overly restrictive plans are not sustainable nor healthy. Health and wellness is a journey and doesn't need to have a set start date.
Holidays are about being thankful. What comes to mind first, for most of us, is family, loved ones, and friends. We often take our personal health for granted. Remember to thank your body and take time this holiday season to grow. Setting small goals during the holiday season will make it even easier to start working on some larger goals post-New Year. For many the next few months can be hard, whether it be loneliness, missing a loved one, or just the general stress of it all. Take care of yourself and your mental health with weekly goals that bring you personal joy and remind you to be thankful for yourself. One idea is to promise yourself to journal once a week. Maybe on a quiet Sunday morning, take 15-20 minutes and choose a new topic each week. Full body wellness isn’t just about our physical health and we strongly believe taking care of your mental health is equally as important.
With that 10 meal/setting in mind, realize you are completely capable of balancing your health goals with your love for food this season! So many people throw in the towel for the weekend after a Friday night party. Just because you may have overeaten and or over-consumed one night doesn’t mean the next few are ruined. Also, don’t let yourself feel guilty about one meal. It’s small in the grand scheme of things! Remember that and don’t allow it to be something that defines your weekend and definitely not your week or month.
After my brother graduated high school and left for college, I didn’t get to see him often because we lived in different countries. When we did get a chance to be together, we didn’t get a lot of one on one time. However, during my high school years, when he would come home for Christmas, we started the tradition of going on a run together every year on Christmas day. It was a great way to bond. As we got older, this tradition transitioned to Thanksgiving when my family was together more regularly. I have gone out for a run or run a race with my brother or his wife every year since they’ve been married and we have been together for Thanksgiving.
Whether it’s a run, walk, bike ride, or football game, incorporating some fun physical family activity into the holiday bonds the family members in a productive healthy way. Exercise gives everyone endorphins and that increases the festive feeling all around!
People often cut back on salads during colder months. In place of salads, you’ll often see vegetables in the form of casseroles at meals. Switch it up by offering to bring roasted vegetables as a side to your next gathering. Roasting vegetables is an easy way to make the vegetables taste great but avoids the heavy creams and toppings often found in casseroles. Daily Crunch’s Golden Goodness makes a great topping for a large dish of roasted cauliflower or broccoli.
Another option is to bring a veggie tray. Many parties don’t have formal meal structures, and instead many munches all night long. Be the one to bring that healthy crunch to munch on. Furthermore, if you are at a finger food party, take the time to make a plate for yourself and sit and eat. This helps you practice more mindful eating. Sitting down with a plate and seeing what you are eating helps with portion control but more than endless grabbing and picking.
Finally, rotate the drinks! Alcohol has more calories per gram than both protein and carbohydrates. Alternate every alcoholic beverage with a glass of water. This also will help keep you hydrated and feeling better the next morning.
Enjoying the holidays and festivities of the season with a bit of wellness incorporated is a great way to keep you headed on the journey you searching for. When you feel good inside you radiate a glow on the outside and trust me, others notice. Be the person during this season that also helps others achieve that healthy happy glow! We at Daily Crunch hope you enjoy all of your celebrations!
Looking for ways to spice up your meal prep game? Try these recipes for meal prep to eat healthy, nutritious make-head meals all week long.