How to Stay Healthy Over the Holidays, Part Two

Continued from yesterday…

6) If you have holiday events that will change up your normal eating schedule or normal healthy foods, I have two thoughts to help. One, have your meal on a dessert plate-get whatever you want, but other than vegetables and fruit, make it fit on a dessert plate. Two, wear a watch and do not eat any sooner than 3 hours later! Your waistband, blood sugar, digestion, and eventually the scale will thank you!

7) Desserts: What other time of year does one have peanut butter balls and derby pie? So, I myself will have some even though for the rest of the year I am pretty much dessert-free. Two thoughts about this that help me not go overboard anymore: One, have a dessert plate with a small sample of your favorite things. Two, do not take it home with you, and if you have no choice about that, plan to only eat the leftovers when others are sitting down to enjoy them as well. (Read: Do not scurry up to the fridge alone when everyone else has gone to bed…I say this as if I have experience on this matter…which I will humbly confirm!!)

8) I really recommend 15 minutes of exercise a day, even and especially through the holidays! It helps the immune system, and just think, if you are eating an extra few hundred calories every few days because of the rich holiday foods AND skipping your normal exercise, it’s compounding to a serious calorie overload your body is not used to. Keep up the exercise, and possibly add in a 10 min walk outside around dinnertime each evening, and that will really help with the extra servings your body isn’t used to.

9) Pace yourself and don’t “eat your feelings”. We need to let this season be the gift that it is, NOT the busy dizzy mess it can become of setting unrealistic expectations on our calendar and ourselves, and trying to live up to the unrealistic expectations others tend to put on us. I will say this truth to you and me both: We don’t HAVE to do anything at all to show and receive love this Christmas. We are enough and so are the people around us. WE get to choose what Christmas is all about TO US. If you find yourself stressed, keep to the eating and resting guidelines, and take a moment to really think  about WHY you’re cooking, dressing up, driving, preparing your home, etc. It’s about relationships and having a chance to show love and gratitude, not about perfection and pride and things that can be bought. When we get to the bottom of why we feel overwhelmed or unhappy, it’s amazing how quickly the desire to stuff our faces disappears.

10) Don’t allow this month to overshadow or rearrange the most important part of the day: Your time alone with Jesus! He wants to steady you, bless you, sing over you! He wants to nourish you and hold you close so you can hear His heartbeat now more than ever. There are hurting people around us-He wants to give us a word to sustain the weary! We need Him, whether we notice it or not amidst the constant noise and bustle, and our awareness of His Presence will be our peace and joy. He IS the peace and joy people speak of at Christmas, to ignore coming close to Him during this time only sets us up for disappointment at the end of the day.

So, God bless you–each and every one–and may you enjoy this holiday to the fullest!

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