Staying healthy through the holidays

We want to enjoy the holidays…we eat a little more than usual, drink a bit more than we should, eat a few more cookies than we’re willing to admit, and generally overindulge. On it’s own, this could just mean a few more pounds and feeling a bit more sluggish. Combine it with the stress that generally comes with the holidays, less sleep, more travel and more social events, and you have a recipe for illness. Time to start taking better care of our immune systems.

So what can we do? Remember to replenish – make sure you’re drinking enough water. We need water to help filter out all those toxins and keep our digestive systems running smoothly. Any time we have more alcohol or sugar in our diet, we need more water.  As a bonus, it also helps cut down the number of alcoholic drinks you have in an evening if you can remember to drink a full glass of water for each cocktail, glass of wine, or beer. Trust me – you’ll wake up feeling a whole lot better if you’re hydrated!

Make sure you’re still eating enough of the good stuff. It’s way too easy to reach for a cookie instead of an apple as an afternoon snack this time of year. The break room is surely stocked with sugary options. Plan ahead and pack snacks like cut up celery, carrot sticks, an apple, or banana. Add a little almond butter to make it more substantial, or grab a handful of nuts. And do yourself a real favor – instead of that donut in the morning, grab some yogurt; it has calcium, protein, and all kinds of good bacteria that your tummy will thank you for. I like to add psyllium husk (fiber) and hemp hearts (omega 3s) to mine.

Find time for you. It sounds cheesy, but it’s so important! Take the time to exercise, get a good night’s sleep, and unwind. So much of our stress this time of year is self-induced. We think we need to be superheroes. We don’t. If you don’t have time to do something, be honest about it. If you don’t want to do something, be honest about that too. And finally, be gentle with yourself. No one expects you to be perfect except for you. Let it go.

There are hundreds of herbs to choose from for support. Some of my favorites are listed below:

Great for digestion: fennel, ginger, peppermint, anise, and chamomile

Supportive and calming: lemon balm, holy basil (tulsi), lavender, and skullcap

Detoxifying: milk thistle, burdock, and dandelion

Immune boosting: elderberry, rose hips, echinacea, and oregano

As we look forward to a new year, may happiness and health continue to be yours.

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