Twinkling lights, an inviting scent of essential oils and frosted noses on arriving guests – tis’ the season for holiday celebrations. Let this holiday season be filled with laughter, wellness and warm memories with help from these 6 tips to making this your best, and healthiest holidays ever!
1) Be the Hostess with the Most-est
Gathering friends and family together is joyous. Make the most of it by keeping your guests awake. Avoid serving too many carbohydrate-based foods (white breads, crackers, baked goods) as they cause your guest’s blood sugar to spike and than crash leaving them feeling sluggish and sleepy. Instead, prepare some wholesome holiday treats this year: such as a homemade nut, dark fair-trade chocolate, dried fruit and seed mix; broccoli salad with festive cranberries; roasted butternut squash soup; chestnut and spinach en crouté; or a white bean dip with sliced raw vegetables like carrots, radish and kohlrabi. Your guests will appreciate your spread of festive flavours and your thoughtfulness in serving them foods packed with healthy nutrients.
2) Have Enough Time
And, here’s the bonus! You can make these wholesome holiday dishes ahead of time. That gives you more time to spend getting into your glamorous holiday attire, and will help you avoid an episode of pre-party hair-pulling stress.
3) Laugh Away Holiday-Stress
Do the holidays stress you out? Stress leads to the release of an inflammatory compound called IL-6 that has been linked to many diseases, including heart disease. Beat holiday stress by taking a moment and breathe, heading outside for a walk, going to a yoga class or enjoying a good rollicking laugh. Laughing revs up your stress response and then brings it back down. Plus, all of that laughing increases circulation and relaxes muscles. Make this one a holly, jolly holiday season.
4) Nothing to Slow You Down
Eat. Drink. Be Merry. But, be ready for the digestive distress that can come when you indulge in holiday goodies by being stocked up on digestive enzymes, prebiotics and probiotics. Those probiotics may also help keep you from missing out on holiday gatherings says research reported in the British Journal of Nutrition. The study suggests some probiotics may reduce the number of sick days one needs to take when suffering from a cold.
5) Party into the Night
Phew! The idea of hosting a holiday event may sound horrible, particularly if you’re feeling tired. Never fear – it’s common this time of year. Here are two easy tips to shaking off that winter weariness. One, drink more water; as we turn up the thermostat in our homes and offices our indoor environment becomes dry increasing our body’s need of water. Two, when you are feeling tired resist the urge to skip exercising. The more you exercise the less fatigued and more energized you feel. According to a University of Georgia study, when a group of sedentary people did 20 minutes of low to moderate exercise, three times a week for 6 weeks, they had more energy and felt less tired.
6) Give a Gift of Health
Okay, you can argue that the traditional hostess gift of a bottle of red wine is healthy – it is packed with resveratrol that is great for your heart and keeps your wrinkles at bay. However, why not inspire your loved ones to try something new, natural and healthy this holiday season? When you head out to your next holiday party, consider bringing your hostess the gift of health: beautiful holiday-inspired gift packages filled with natural beauty products, elegant soaps, soothing bath products, and enchanting teas. These gifts are also great stocking stuffers along with natural toothpaste, fair trade chocolate and organic candies.
Now that you’re prepared, laughing and feeling energized go and enjoy this holiday season. May this holiday season be your best (and healthiest) one yet!
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Smith, T. et al. Effect of Lactobacillus rhamnosus LGG® and Bifidobacterium animalis ssp. lactis BB-12® on health-related quality of life in college students affected by upper respiratory infections. British Journal of Nutrition / Volume 109 / Issue 11 / June 2013, pp 1999-2007
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Danesh J, Kaptoge S, Mann AG, Sarwar N, Wood A, et al. (2008) Long-Term Interleukin-6 Levels and Subsequent Risk of Coronary Heart Disease: Two New Prospective Studies and a Systematic Review. 2008.