As I’m writing this, I’m sitting on my couch recovering from gum surgery earlier this week. Now it wasn’t a big, huge deal kind of surgery where I am stuck on bed rest for days; however, it was enough to where I am on a “can’t exercise for at least 5-7 days” kind of thing. Which is major for me. Not going to lie, I was a little anxious thinking about sitting around for a week without being able to exercise (was told I couldn’t even walk for exercise). This was heightened by the fact that all day Monday, after my surgery, I could only eat soft, cold foods such as yogurt, milkshakes, smoothies and ice cream. Also, to add to this, Sunday I was craving my all-time favorite food, pie, so Sunday night I made a Marie Callender’s cherry pie for the week. So here I am eating pie every single night of the week, having consumed a lot of sugary yogurt and ice cream on Monday, and not being able to exercise for a week…result? I’m completely fine, happy in fact! Despite normally being obsessed over every teaspoon of sugar I put in my body, making sure my diet consists of very healthy foods, and always exercising, I have been able to enjoy my relaxing rest time and every single dang bite of my
one two servings of pie a night.
This situation got me thinking about the holidays and people (such as myself) being overly obsessed with eating healthy. Being such often causes people to miss out on fun festivities, and holiday memories. However, this can easily go the other direction where people decide to screw everything, stuff themselves every day and then end up with an unhappy situation and a New Years resolution. I wanted to share some insight and hopefully helpful information about enjoying the holidays as well as give tips on how to create your own Happy Healthy Holiday!
The first point I want to make brings us back to the little intro to this blog (yes, it did have a purpose). While I am working on it, I often find myself still restricting treats and other less nutritious foods, even when it’s my all-time favorite of pie. It doesn’t seem healthy to cut out my favorite food from my life does it? And the answer is no. Now, I shouldn’t eat a whole pie every week, but I should be able to treat and enjoy myself, especially around the holidays. And so should you! So the first thing about the holidays is this: allow yourself some treats during this time. Notice, I didn’t say you should eat your favorite dessert every night for the whole month of December. However, I believe that, in moderation of course, you should grab those cookies or that extra slice of pie you’ve been eyeing. The holidays are a great time filled with family, friends and fun–some of which should include you treating yourself with others.
That being said, there are some tips for staying healthy during the holidays, even while indulging yourself.
- Keep exercising
While the thought of working out when you could be laying on the couch all day may be lacking, it is important to still exercise during the holidays. This doesn’t have to be your insane 6 day training schedule (although more power to you if it is), just going for a simple 20-min afternoon walk or jog can be sufficient. Or use this time to try out a new exercise class or catch up with a friend as a lifting buddy! However you decide, make sure you get moving throughout the day to keep yourself happy and healthy…even if you eat a few too many brownies.
- Fill up with mostly nutritious foods
Don’t use the holidays as an excuse to throw healthy eating completely out the window. Still try to aim for your 80/20 (or whatever number you choose) plan and fill up on fruits, veggies, whole grains, lean proteins and healthy fats. That being said, still leave room for that occasional treat as I mentioned. For example, if you know your coworker will bring her famous homemade double chocolate chip cookies to the office Christmas lunch, pack plenty of fruits and veggies as snacks and a healthy salad or sandwich for lunch. Eat those things you brought first, and then enjoy a cookie or two! Also, make sure you are drinking plenty of water a day to flush out the sodium or sugar overload your body may be getting.
- Healthy snack before an event
You can’t always know what will be offered to eat at a Christmas party or event, and you shouldn’t spend your time worrying or stressing about it either–that takes the fun out! Instead, eat a snack or meal with a good amount of protein before heading to the event. This will help fill you enough so that you aren’t ravenous at the party, but that you still have room for dessert or other treat. Showing up starving to the party will only make you eat anything and everything in sight, rather than enjoying a thing or two.
- Enjoy it
My last piece of advice for a Happy Healthy Holiday is to enjoy it! The holidays are meant to celebrated and trust me when I say you don’t want to spend the whole time stressing over every bite you eat. When you do get the chance to indulge yourself, really chew and savor each bite so that you are satisfied. Scarfing the whole slice down in 3 bites, will most likely leave you wanting more and more and more. However, if you do eat too much of one thing or overeat, don’t worry about it! The worst thing you can do in this situation is feel guilty, regret, stress and shame yourself for eating too many treats. This will often cause you to eat more, feel worse about yourself, and restrict yourself from every enjoying a treat again. As long as you continue to exercise, drink plenty of water, and eat generally healthy, and over-indulging isn’t an every day habit, than you are absolutely and totally okay!
To end, I’m going back to my current situation. Over this past week I have eaten more sugar than I probably have in a month’s total time, laid around, and not been able to exercise and I still look and feel great! I have not gone off the healthy wagon, gained a bunch of weight or any other bad side effects. Instead, I have been so happy after every night of pie, well rested and relaxed during this time off. This is a huge step for me, as I am trying to be less obsessed about living a super strict healthy lifestyle, and certainly one I am enjoying. I want to show you and hope you understand that having a Happy Healthy Holiday is certainly possible and is part of being Beyoutifully Healthy!