The holidays are a time for indulgence and swapping a few green juices for cocktails or salads for canapés and there is nothing wrong with that. Although, after a few weeks of indulging and drinking more than usual, we can start to feel the effects and it loses its shine! To make sure you are feeling your best self all through the silly season, here are some tips to start today to help your body better handle the celebrations.
Move your body
If you have already decided 2020 will be the year of movement, rather than procrastinating, start today! There is no reason to put this goal on the backburner, only excuses and let’s be real, it will be a much easier task starting now. Exercising now and through the silly season not only helps you get a head start on your goals but can also improve your energy, stress and overall enjoyment of the silly season. Also, when we exercise, we naturally make better food choices, all the more reason to start now! There is no need to go from zero to hero overnight, start small, set a few goals, aim for just 20min per day of movement and make sure it is both achievable and enjoyable.
If you’re running on empty, burning the candle at both ends, it’s not uncommon to sign off from the working year, only to come down with a cold or the flu. To prevent this from happening, take the time now to prioritize daily self-care and de-stress! This means, putting your health (and sanity!) above work deadlines, celebrations you would like to say no to and extra projects you aim to squeeze in before the silly season. It may even mean changing the way you exercise, from high intensity to more restorative. We all have our own preferred ways to de-stress, but here is a list if you need some inspiration:
Walk into a green space (lowers cortisol, our stress hormone)
Go to a restorative yoga glass
Try meditation or deep breathing
Book in for a regular massage
Delegate some work or personal errands to others who do have the time to help (and be ok with asking for help!)
If you instantly picture akitchen bench lined with takeaway containers ready, don’t despair! Meal prep comes in many forms. Although that approach does work for some, so you do you! Instead, I am talking about having a few meals set aside in the freezer for those days or nights when the lure of convenience food is too strong to ignore. You can start now by cooking some meals, which freeze really well such as vegetable-rich pasta sauce, chicken or tofu green curry or frittata.
Start the day with a cold-pressed veggie juice
Before any parties or celebrations can derail your day of eating, starting the day with cold-pressed veggie juice automatically ticks off a serve of vegetables. Importantly also, it can be beneficial to consume veggie juice pre or post a drinking session because veggies contain antioxidant and anti-inflammatory compounds, which help metabolize alcohol and can also aid hydration, winning!
Breakfast really sets the tone for the remainder of the day, especially in terms of food choice. In fact, it’s been shown that a protein-rich breakfast can prevent grazing later into the day and night and really help to regulate appetite. Therefore setting your self up daily with a healthy, protein-rich breakfast is key now and over the festive season.Some ideas to get you started include:
Eggs and avocado on sourdough/whole-grain toast
Hummus, avocado, tomato and hemp seeds on sourdough/wholegrain toast
2 eggs scrambled with veggies and feta cheese
Smoothie using plant-based milk or cow milk, fruit, hemp seeds, and optional protein powder
Protein-rich Greek yogurt with fresh fruit, nuts/seeds
scrambled tofu with herbs, tomato, and avocado
homemade buckwheat pancakes topped with protein-rich Greek yogurt, nuts/seeds, and fruit
Plant intake can decrease over the silly season, which is a shame because plants are incredibly nutrient-dense and supply us with the vitamins and minerals needed to help us feel our best. There is an easy fix. Start opting for more plant-based meals now and when eating out, choose from the plant-based meals or opt for an entrée and salad/veggie side. If plant-based doesn’t work for you, simply make a conscious effort to add a few extra serves of vegetables to each of your meals daily or add greens powder to your routine.
To receive more nutrition tips leading up to the silly season and to help make 2020 your healthiest year yet, sign up to Zoe’s weekly newsletter. While you’re here, check out Zoe’s low-carb breakfast recipes that won’t make you miss bread.