Today begins what I like to call the Gobble Gauntlet. You know what I mean: it’s the time of year that feels like a race between delicious holiday dinners, crazy good bites at parties and it ends with another round of celebrations around the December holidays and New Year’s Eve. There’s no way to get through it eating carrot sticks, so let’s not kid ourselves. What I’ve learned over the past year is that there are some tricks to help you feel good about diving right into your favorite goodies.
Many of you may know about my partnership with Organic Avenue, and that gives me access to a lovely gal named Tiye Massey. Tiye is one of OA’s Wellness Concierges, and her job is to help you use the foods and healthy juices to help reach your goals and/or solve problems. Tiye has really helped me change some of my bad eating habits, which were really sabotaging my workout efforts. So, instead of insisting we all live on apples, water and hope, here are some of Tiye’s tips for maintaining your health so you can get to New Year’s without feeling physically awful:
Water, water, everywhere….
“The general thing I tell everybody I tell everybody — and they get disappointed when I say it — is to drink more water. That’s a baseline of good health. You need to drink at least half your body weight in ounces, as well as compensate for any coffee or alcohol on top of that. Drink the majority of it early in the day so you’re not waking up at night to go to the bathroom. One of the biggest ways to keep your body healthy and satisfied is to stay hydrated – water, coconut water, fresh juices – all those things will help.
Hot water with lemon = good for you
“Hot water with lemon is like a morning meditation. Actually boil the water, don’t just grab hot water from the tap. It forces you to wait and slow down to drink it. It sets a great pace for the day so you’re not crazed and stressed out, which can lead to negative eating. Also, the lemon in the warm water helps rev up your digestion for the day, which is key for days you know you’re going to eat a lot.”
Airports and train stations require a little pre-planning…
“They’re just difficult. Unless you’re on a really long flight (longer than 2-3 hours,) don’t eat on an airplane food, and absolutely avoid the food they serve on the plane. They’re filled with preservatives, chemicals and salt, and you’re eating it while you’re flying. Have water, juice and a big meal before you get on your flight or try to eat a healthier sit-down meal at the restaurants at the airport if you can’t eat at home. Try to eat hydrating foods (water-based vegetables and fruit) since air travel sucks the water out of your body. If you can bring an empty water bottle and fill it up there to take on your trip, that’s great, but if not, it’s worth the money to buy a bottle of water to take on the plane. 99% of the issues associated with air travel are due to dehydration. Also, skip the coffee and the booze on a plane. They just dry you out and bloat your body.”
Front-load a day of eating with healthy habits
“On your way to your destination, pick up the ingredients you need for green juices and/or smoothies so you have them ready for the morning. Starting your day with a bottle of water that contains two tablespoons of wheatgrass powder or chia seeds (soak them in the bottle overnight) will help fill you up and pack your body full of nutrients. Then drink a green smoothie and you’ve got your healthy calories loaded for the day. You can hit the grocery store or Farmer’s Market to stock up on what you’ll need to do your own, or stop by your local juice bar. You can even make a larger serving of your green smoothie for your family and get everyone in on the plan before you dive into bread, cheese, and all the foods that will be served.
If you can’t get to the grocery store, you can still make a great smoothie. Grab romaine, lettuce, lemon and grab a bottle of coconut water on your way in from the airport , throw it in a blender and you have a great, simple smoothie. Most houses have frozen fruit, so blend some with water, coconut water or almond milk and maybe add some baking chocolate for a great pre-workout drink.”
Enjoy your food…
“Don’t cut yourself from the foods that make you happy. Think about what you can add to your diet to help make it as balanced as possible at the beginning of the day to set yourself up for success. Drink your water, and front load all your good decisions: green juice, fruit, any supplements, chia seeds and other superfoods. The more healthy nutrients you pack in before the big meal, the more you can relax and eat what you want. All that water and vegetation also helps with hydration and digestion, which is key because the foods during the holidays tends to be heavier.
Make your splurge high quality; those calories should be worth it. Don’t just go for the fat-free things and the tiny sweet bites. Fill up on the heavier foods first so you get full faster. Eat the skin on chicken or turkey if you eat meats, go for the healthier fats like avocado and nuts, then dive into the rich items first so you can feel full and happy without feeling deprived. If you feel like you’re missing out, you might go overboard. Just enjoy!”
As I type this, I’m sipping on green juice while I plot my stuffing recipe. Enjoy the holidays, everybody!
FTC Disclosure: This post is part of my Brand Ambassador partnership with Organic Avenue, but the content and opinions expressed within are strictly my own.