The following post is sponsored by Fitfluential LLC on behalf of Nutrex Hawaii.
Keeping a healthy diet during the holidays can definitely be a struggle. So many of us tend to “throw all of the rules out of the window” during the weeks between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Eve only to wake up on New Year’s Day feeling fat, tired and bad about ourselves in general. Besides keeping a less than optimal diet, we often run ourselves down with all of the craziness of the season. We sleep less, stay out later and place working out as a very low item on the priority list.
Between all of the extra calorie consumption, lack of exercise and lack of taking care of ourselves in general, it’s not wonder that so many people get sick during this time of year (and no one wants to be sick over the holidays!). Admittedly, I’m definitely guilty of giving in to some of the holiday temptations (and I think that’s a-ok!). But, I also do my part to try to stay as healthy as possible during this crazy, wonderful season. Here’s a few tips on how I make it to January 1st without feeling sick, tired and 10 lbs. heavier:
1. Choose your indulgences wisely.
I will never, ever promote eating 100% “clean” 100% of the time. When you deprive yourself of everything that you really want, you’re only setting yourself up for failure. I’m sure you know that having a frosted sugar cookie or a high-calorie cocktail isn’t going to cause you to gain 5 lbs. overnight. But, if you eat that cookie and have that cocktail every single night it’s going to add up.
I have a sweet tooth (especially when it comes to Christmas cookies!) and also like to enjoy an adult beverage every now and then. I try to space them out- and if I know that I’m going to want dessert, I’ll refrain from having more than one glass of wine. If I know that I’m going to want to drink a cup of eggnog or some delicious craft beer, I’ll probably consider that my dessert instead.
If I know that I’m going to have a high calorie dinner (like at a holiday party) I’ll eat more vegetables, lean proteins and less calorie-dense foods during the day. I do not recommend starving yourself all day and arriving to dinner super hungry- because that makes you much more likely to eat mindlessly and binge. It’s all about balance- and not feeling guilty about what you have eaten (even if it ends up being a bit too much).
2. Keep exercise high on your priority list (and focus on quality!).
I know that when you have a ton of things on your to-do list, exercise can easily slip down to the very bottom. Time is precious- and there are never enough hours in the day! When I’m not feeling in the mood to go work out I try to focus on one thing: how good I’ll feel when the workout is done. That alone is almost always enough motivation to get me going. Also remember that you don’t need to spend hours (or even an hour) in the gym to get a good workout. In fact, you don’t need to go to a gym, period! I often do HIIT exercises at home in 30 minute sessions, and that’s definitely enough to count as my workout for the day.
It’s also great to take advantage of seasonal “activities” that get your heart rate up. These can include snow-shoveling, sledding (and walking back up a steep hill repeatedly), snowshoeing and skiing. Have fun with it and get your family and friends involved!
3. Get enough sleep.
This is the number one thing that I struggle with. I’m definitely guilty of not getting enough sleep (especially quality sleep). Some things that I find helpful to ensure that I get my 8 hours of shut-eye:
- set a bedtime and stick to it! Around 9:00, we turn the tevision and lights off downstairs and head up to bed. It’s not easy to stick to every night, however, I notice that I wake up much more well-rested when I just start to get ready for bed a little earlier.
- put away all electronics at least an hour before bed time. There’s a million studies that show the negative effects that looking at iPads, television, computers and iPhones. They also create too much brain stimulation when you should be focusing on relaxing!
- get into bed and read a book. Reading never fails to put me to sleep!
4. Drink (lots of) water.
We all know that it’s important to drink lots of water daily. It’s recommended to consume half of your body weight in ounces each day. I tend to drink more than that, because of the amount of sweat that leaves my body when I teach Spinning class or work out otherwise. I’ve found that tracking my water intake helps a lot! And- if you aren’t a fan of drinking plain old water, try tossing a few slices of cucumber into your bottle. It’s delicious!
5. Take vitamins & supplements that help boost your immune system.
I’m a big believer in taking specific vitamins and supplements to make sure that my body gets all of the nutrients and vitamins that it needs. I definitely prefer to eat foods rich in vitamins and nutrients, but like to take a few supplements to ensure that my body gets everything it needs to stay healthy. I’ve been reading about the wonders of the “superfood” Spirulina for years and was thrilled when Nutrex Hawaii sent me a few different supplements to try out. They included Hawaiian Spirulina Pacifica (in both pill and powder form) and BioAstin. BioAstin is an antioxidant that supports joint & tendon, skin, eye & brain health and recovery from exercise.
Here’s a few facts about Nutrex Hawaiian Spirulina Pacifica:
As one of the most nutritious, concentrated whole foods known to humankind, one 3-gram serving of Hawaiian Spirulina Pacifica provides:
- 60 % protein and an excellent source of Vitamins A, K1, K2, B12 and Iron, Manganese and Chromium
- Rich source of health-giving phytonutrients such as careotenoids, GLA, SOD and phycocyanin
- More nutrition gram per gram than any other Spirulina on the market
Gram per gram it has:
-2800% more beta-carotene than carrots
- 3900% more iron than spinach
-600% more protein than tofu
-280% more antioxidants than blueberries
The benefits of Hawaiian Spirulina Pacifica include:
- Strengthening of the immune system
- Boosts energy levels
- Supports cellular health
- Supports cardiovascular, eye and brain health
If you’re interested in trying out Hawaiian Spirulina Pacifica for yourself, you’re in luck! Just visit their website and click on “Shop Spirulina.” A 5 oz. jar of spirulina powder (47 servings) retails for $19.99 and a jar of 180 tablets (60 servings) retails for $29.99 (larger quantities are also available). But- if you enter the code HOLIDAY30 you can get 30% off your order (valid until 12/31/13).
While you’re on Nutrex’s website, be sure to sign up for the Nutrex Hawaii Newsletter for special deals and check out their recipe section! You can also stay in touch with Nutrex Hawaii on Facebook and Twitter.
Have a happy, healthy holiday season!
How do you stay healthy during the holiday season? Please share your tips below!