Hello lovelies! I can’t believe we’re so close to Christmas, it’s crazy!! December has truly crept up on me this year, and it seems time is just going by so quickly!
Christmas is such a beautiful time. The decorations go up, family gatherings happening everywhere you look, gifts, beautiful wrapping paper, and all-round merriness. Christmas can also be a very stressful time though, especially when it comes to our health. We have work gatherings and lots of gift buying to juggle along with trying to maintain a sane mind and body. With so much going on it is super important to keep our health and our bodies happy and strong!
Here are my best tips for staying healthy over the holidays!
Yes yes, we’ve all heard time and time again how important it is to drink water, and yet so many of us seem to overlook this. If you live somewhere that has a cold and snowy Christmas, you do tend to drink less water than somewhere that has a hot summer Christmas as you might not feel as thirsty.
While you might not feel as thirsty, it’s still super essential. When it’s cold I love a nice cup of warming tea. So many brands do winter concoctions with ginger, cloves, cinnamon, aniseed, and many other delicious flavours and spices. You could even make your own blend! Other great options are fresh juices (bonus points for cold pressed!) which not only hydrate but also provide your body with amazing nutrients and enzymes as well as the fermented tea kombucha. If you’re lucky enough to live in a warmer climate, coconut water and iced teas (sugar-free of course) go a long way!
Now, this is where I see a lot of people throw their hands back and declare a lost cause. There is no way to stay healthy at a work do, right? Wrong! While it does take more self control to not throw yourself into the buffet and stuff yourself with pigs in blanket and other morsels, there are other tasty treats that’ll serve you better! I love Christmas inspired salads with cranberries and pecans, warm pumpkin soups, and most places will have a nice selection of dips such as hummus, which I love with some veggie sticks! If you’re not sure, have a snack beforehand or bring some with you – protein bliss balls, banana bread, and cookies are an amazing option, and can easily fit in your handbag.
If you’re going to a friend or colleague’s house, simply ask what you can bring to help them out. It’s a win-win situation where you become the awesome and thoughtful guest who wants to lend a helping hand, and at the same time it guarantees you a dish you know will be good for you.
Drinks-wise, try and stick to clean alcohol if you can’t go alcohol free. Good quality vodka, tequila, and gin with some lime juice are a good option. You could even add some soda water to make it fizzy! Just steer clear of heavy sugar-y cocktails and soda (that means no rum and coke). I also love a glass of wine, red in the winter and a nice crisp white in the summer. While mulled wine might taste amazing, it’s usually full of sugar, so try and stay away (or limit to one glass!).
We’ve all been there: it’s cold and rainy (or snowy) outside, and the bed is so warm and cosy. All of a sudden getting up and moving is the last thing on your mind and the snooze button becomes too irresistible. Or maybe we’re just so crammed full of meetings, social gatherings, and gift buying that finding the time has proved impossible!
Whatever the reason, do what you can to add in exercise. Even 30 minutes a day makes a huge difference. It can range from going for a walk, attending a yoga class, watching a workout video on YouTube, going ice skating (like me trying to in that first picture, in Winter Wonderland in London last year. I fell at least once!), shaking your booty while you build your Christmas tree, or giving your home a good clean before a party. Park your car further away from the entrance, especially if you have to carry those heavy shopping bags, and work it! If there’s a will, there’s a way.
Beauty comes from the inside (literally), but that doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t show some tender loving care to your outside either! Independently if you have Christmas over the summer or over the winter, both ends of the spectrum can end up making our skin and hair suffer. Be it hot showers, radiators and heaters, salty dry hair, or too much sun exposure, it can all take it’s toll and make us look a bit more on the dull rather than the glowing side – something we never want, especially not at party season!
Take the time to moisturise your body after you shower (I love coconut oil), add some argan oil to your hair tips (especially if you plan on blow-drying), use a natural scrub to get rid of the dead skin, dry brush, and use some delicious and nourishing face mask to bring your skin back to life.
Whilst the thought of a cold water shower at this time of year can be terrifying, do try to at least provide a burst of cold water to your hair once you finish washing it. Your hair and skin will thank you, and feel super invigorated!
Greens are soooo important for our health, and we need them daily. Yes, daily. Ideally we should aim to have them with every meal! That could range from sneaking some greens into your smoothie to eating a delicious salad bowl.
In the summer a delicious salad is super appealing, as you tend to go towards lighten meals anyway. In the cold though, I always find I want hearty and warming meals and a light salad just isn’t going to cut it. My favourite way to have greens in these cases is to lightly sauté or steam them. Have some wilted spinach, sautéed kale, or lightly steamed broccoli with your meals. Throw in a handful of swiss chard in your soups. Add some greens to your roasted pumpkin as soon as you take it out of the oven so that the heat slightly wilts it. All so simple and yet it makes a huge difference!
On the topic of food, lets talk about one of my favourite meals. I’m a huge breakfast fan, and while I have no problem making time for it or remembering to bring it with me if I’m in a hurry, I know it’s not so for some people.
If we want to maintain our health and our busy schedule, it’s so important we have the fuel to do so! We don’t want to get hangry at the checkout and lose it over who was next for gift wrapping station. I’m a huge porridge fan, and if are you too you’ll love my quinoa, chia + rhubarb version, or my buckwheat + avocado, or even my turmeric porridge which gives an extra immunity boost!
If you’re a busy bee you could make overnight oats to grab as you head out the door, or whip up a quick smoothie (bonus points for green smoothie) to take with you. I love a good ol’ kale + apple smoothie but a chocolate smoothie is more festive!
Your immune system can definitely feel a strain over the holidays.
We tend to have so much going on that we push our minds and our bodies to the limit. During this time it is very important to make sure we’re getting enough sleep! This is the time where our bodies recovery, detox, and prepare for what lies ahead, so getting anything below 6 hours is definitely a big no-no. I try and get 8 hours of sleep every night!
We can also give it an extra boost with some amazing (and natural!) immunity-loving superpowers. Turmeric, ginger, and cinnamon are amazing for this, and will also give your food such amazing depth of flavour! I also love starting the day with a warm glass of water and a squeeze of lemon or some aloe vera juice, or by drinking a shot of immunity elixir with turmeric, ginger, and lemon!
The holidays are a time to be merry, so if you’re stressing about how to keep healthy, just take a deeeep breath in, and let go! Yes, it’s important to maintain our health, but as long as it doesn’t cause crippling guilt! If you want to have that mince pie, or that slice of pudding, or a glass of mulled wine, then do it! Release the guilt and enjoy the moment. Don’t go overboard and shove whatever you see in sight down your gob, but just be mindful and relax!
This is a time to soak up all the love around you, so enjoy being around your family and friends instead of dreading it. Health is about mind AND body, so if anything is stressing your mind, then it ain’t healthy!
I hope you’ve found these tips helpful! Have you got any more tips for staying healthy over the holidays that I might have missed?
Lot’s of love to everyone!