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How To Navigate The Holidays

Now that life is slowly getting back to normal home gatherings and holiday parties are starting up with Thanksgiving, Hanukkah, Christmas and New Years Eve right around the corner. How do plan to navigate the stressors of family drama, food choices and alcohol consumption? Here are a few ideas to help you lower your stress, make intelligent decisions while still enjoying time with family, friends and loves ones.

  • Meditate for 15-20 minutes a day, ideally in the morning. Meditation does NOT mean that your mind must be blank with no thoughts coming through. That is an impossible feat. Go to a spot in your house that you can be alone and sit in a comfortable seated position. Focus on a noise, perhaps the birds outside, the noise of your dryer, you get the idea. If you start practicing this on a daily basis you will begin to lower your stress, and navigate stressful moments without getting so wrapped up in them.

  • By choosing smaller portion sizes when adding that delicious steak, cheesy potatoes or that amazing deep dish apple pie allows you to still enjoy the foods you love without the guilt. You may ask, what is a smaller portion size? The usual go to sizing is the size of your palm. So a piece of meat no larger than the size of your palm. Every serving should be no larger than the size of your palm.

  • Eat S L O W L Y. The slower you eat and savor your food the more satisfaction you will get by enjoying the flavor, chewing your food completely so that your stomach will register that it is getting full. This is not just my philosophy, but based in science. The slower you eat and the more you fully chew your food people are shown to not over eat.

  • Wine, liquor and beer, OH MY! I love my wine, did I mention I LOVE red wine and the occasional peanut butter whiskey or a single malt double barrel aged scotch. 😅 Most alcohol has a high number of sugar that does not always balance out the "health benefits" of say drinking a few glasses of red wine. Also the affect that alcohol has on your quality of sleep is quite large. Your heart rate increases during the night and your body does not stay long in a deep sleep or REM stage. This will take its toll on your body's ability to recover and perform at 100% on a daily basis. Some options for you are make wine spritzers, add club soda to your wine. Use club soda in lieu of tonic water (which is really high in sugar) to your mixed drink. Portion size - restaurants now offer a 6oz or 9oz pour, start opting for the 6oz pour. You will be surprised at how quickly you can save on the excess calories from a smaller pour.

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