We’re just coming off of Thanksgiving and heading into Christmas. This means a lot of indulging in treats, lack of sleep, traveling, financial stress and extra school activities/projects for the kiddos. Basically it’s the most wonderful/stressful time of the year. As I pointed out before in my post, How to Survive the Holidays with Your Health Intact, I don’t expect you to always say “no” to every indulgence, but I also don’t want you to start the new year feeling tired, sick, and emotionally exhausted. Here are a few of my tips and tricks that get me through an indulgence (like the AMAZING apple cake my fabulous 13-year-old niece made this Thanksgiving) during the holidays, or really anytime you’re off your regular schedule, like a vacation or a stressful time.
I’m pretty sure I’ve mentioned this about 2,396,493 times, but drinking lots of water really is one of the best ways to clean all the crap out. I recommend drinking 1/2 to 2/3 your body weight in ounces of water daily. To help your body absorb it better, consider adding lemon juice and a pinch of salt to your water, or an electrolyte powder.
When we stress our bodies out, our immune systems tend to crash. Taking vitamin C during a stressful time helps all our cells work better, and keeps the immune system working smoothly to protect against all the insults we throw at it.
This is one of the first things I add after a stressful day, when I feel a cold coming on, or if I’ve spent the weekend eating cookies and dipping into the massive bag of tootsie rolls my mom has in her pantry (that’s hypothetical, of course…). My favorite brand is Kettle and Fire. It’s delicious and full of minerals that replenish your body, heal your gut and give you protein to repair all your cells. It’s better than a multi-vitamin! You can drink it plain like herbal tea, use it in soup, or even steam rice with it.
Double Up on Veggies
I really can’t say enough how important veggies are to any diet. They’re full of vitamins and fiber to keep things moving smoothly “down under.” They also keep the immune system going strong and regulate blood sugar. Be sure to get a mix of raw and cooked veggies, and high and low- starch veggies. During this time, make sure you get veggies with EVERY meal, and keep you plate 2/3 or more veggies.
As I said before in an earlier post, because this world is such a toxic place, we need extra nutrients via supplements. I have my daily supplements but when I have a big stressor in my life, I take extra supplements for support. Aside from vitamin C as mentioned above, I also recommend taking extra B vitamins for energy, collagen for gut repair, and some milk thistle for liver support. My favorite supplement is Juice Plus. It’s just a mix of fruits and veggies. When I have extra stress, I always double up on my Juice Plus, and my kids do as well.
Sleep is always important, but it’s even more important when our bodies are run down. This is the time for our bodies to repair from any damage, and regenerate cells. Don’t just get enough sleep during this time, but extra. This might mean changing your schedule a bit, turning the TV off earlier to go to bed earlier, and taking supplements. My FAVORITE supplement for sleep is magnesium. I recommend either magnesium threonate or magnesium glycinate about an hour before bed. For more tips on how to get extra sleep, check out this blog I wrote about sleep.
I don’t mean move houses. That’s the last thing you should do when stressed. I mean move your body. When we spend a weekend indulging, it’s almost instinctual to want to beat our bodies to death the next day with a long run, an extra-long bout of HIIT or an intense cycling. I recommend movement, but definitely not that kind. Workout out that hard on a stressed body is like using a hot poker to try to heal from a curling iron burn (something I’m very experienced with). Stress + more stress does not equal a healthy, fit body. The best way to workout after a day of indulgence is to lift weights. I also recommend walking and yoga. Don’t sit still, but don’t work out so hard you feel like puking.
Magnesium salt bath
Not only is a bath a great way to relax, but adding magnesium salts (epsom salts) relaxes muscles, lowers anxiety and helps with sleep. I recommend doing this in the evening before bed.
Say NO and have some down time
This one is so hard and I’m TERRIBLE at it. If you have a crazy week, try to keep things low-key the next week. Don’t schedule all your appointments or over-commit yourself to a lot of things. I totally understand doing what’s necessary, but you don’t have to make 99 customized sugar cookies for each child in your kiddo’s grade. Really, it’s not necessary.
So enjoy this time but make sure you still take care of your body. Now go drink some bone broth.