Tips for a Healthy Holiday Guess what? You can have a very merry Christmas and stay healthy too. In this article we have a few tips and tricks to keep you healthy this holiday season. Don’t sit down all day during the holidays It’s tempting to watch every TV Christmas special during the holiday. Get outside, no need to sit on the couch all day. Encourage the whole family to get out for a walk at some point – ideally, after dinner to aid digestion. The more activity, the better, so take along any new outdoor gifts, like bikes, scooters, footballs or Frisbees, or play old-fashioned games. Get outside and play! Avoid having too many alcoholic beverages The drinks over the holidays can really add up. Mulled wine on Christmas Eve, Breakfast bloody Mary’s, wine with dinner, spiked eggnog… the list goes on! Monitor your alcoholic beverage intake and intersperse alcoholic drinks with non-alcoholic ones. And make sure you drink plenty of water to keep you hydrated. Don’t give yourself a Christmas stuffing! On average, we consume approximately 3,000 calories in our Christmas dinner alone – much more than most should have per day. Feasting with that many calories can not only contribute to weight gain but also to indigestion and heartburn. It can also cause lethargy for the remainder of the day, reducing the chances of you burning much of it off. Instead of gorging yourself on Christmas dinner, eat a normal-sized meal and then take a 20-minute break to see if you are still hungry. The chances are, you’ll realize you’ve had enough. Keep stress to a minimum The holidays can be stressful! Many of us deal with the stresses of overspending, cooking, cleaning, endless ‘to do’ lists and visitors we could do without. Try to keep a sense of humor and proportion. Remember, Christmas is just one day of the year and isn’t worth stressing over. Enjoy it and it’s imperfections. Eat fruit and veggies Think you get your recommend fruit and veggie intake during the holidays? Most of us get through the entire Christmas break without eating much fruit and veggies. With all of the chocolate, cookies, and food indulgences, why would you? But at this time of late nights and overindulging, it’s more important than ever to get your vitamins and minerals, to help you stay in good health. Ensure that your Christmas shopping list enables you to fill up the fruit bowl and get your recommended daily portions of fruit and veggies. Do something for others It’s hard to avoid the craziness of Christmas, but it doesn’t all have to be about giving or receiving gifts. Try to do something for others this festive season, whether it’s baking some extra cookies for an elderly neighbor, inviting an acquaintance who doesn’t have family around them to your home or helping out with a local food bank or charity you believe in. We hope you have a very healthy and happy holiday.
Healthy eating tips more holiday cheer! Have you thought about how to holiday proof your dietary plans this holiday season for healthy eating? Here are a few items that will keep you on track, but still allow you to eat the holiday food you deserve. You may not be able to control what food you’re served, and you’re bound to see other people eating a lot of tempting treats, but follow these tips to help. Holiday Hacks
- Have pumpkin pie instead of pecan pie. Even with a dollop of whipped cream, you’ll cut calories and sugar by at least a third.
- Break physical activity up into smaller chunks so it fits into your schedule, like walking 10 minutes several times a day.
- Schedule some “me” time every day—a nap, dog walk, or hot bath to get your energy back for the next celebration.
- Have a small plate of the foods you like best and then move away from the buffet table.
- Start with vegetables to take the edge off your appetite.
- Eat slowly. It takes at least 20 minutes for your brain to realize you’re full.
- Avoid or limit alcohol. If you do have an alcoholic drink, have it with food. Alcohol can lower blood sugar and interact with diabetes medicines.
- No food is on the naughty list. Choose the dishes you really love and can’t get any other time of year, like Aunt Edna’s pumpkin pie. Slow down and savor a small serving, and make sure to count it in your meal plan.
You’ve got a lot on your plate this time of year, and physical activity can get crowded out. But being active is your secret holiday weapon; it can help make up for eating more than usual and reduce stress during this most stressful time of year. Get moving with friends and family, such as taking a walk after a holiday meal.
Going out more and staying out later often means cutting back on sleep. Sleep loss can make it harder to control your blood sugar, and when you’re sleep deprived you’ll tend to eat more and prefer high-fat, high-sugar food. Aim for 7 to 8 hours per night to guard against mindless eating.
According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission and the Mayo Clinic, hospital emergency rooms treated an estimated 251,700 toy-related injuries in 2010 throughout the United States. 72% were to people less than 15 years of age. Additionally, in 2007 alone, toymakers recalled over 19 million toys worldwide because of safety concerns such as lead paint and small magnets. When it comes to toys and gifts, the excitement and desire to get your children their favorite toys may cause shoppers to forget about safety factors associated with them. Before you make these purchases, it is critical to remember to consider the safety and age range of the toys. This holiday season (and beyond), please consider the following guidelines for choosing safe toys for all ages:
- Inspect all toys before purchasing. Avoid those that shoot or include parts that fly off. The toy should have no sharp edges or points and should be sturdy enough to withstand impact without breaking, being crushed, or being pulled apart easily
- When purchasing toys for children with special needs try to: Choose toys that may appeal to different senses such as sound, movement, and texture; consider interactive toys to allow the child to play with others; and think about the size of the toy and the position a child would need to be in to play with it
- Be diligent about inspecting toys your child has received. Check them for age, skill level, and developmental appropriateness before allowing them to be played with
- Look for labels that assure you the toys have passed a safety inspection – “ATSM” means the toy has met the American Society for Testing and Materials standards
- Gifts of sports equipment should always be accompanied by protective gear (give a helmet with the skateboard)
- Keep kids safe from lead in toys by: Educating yourself about lead exposure from toys, symptoms of lead poisoning, and what kinds of toys have been recalled; being aware that old toys may be more likely to contain lead in the paint; having your children wash their hands frequently and calling your doctor if you suspect your child has been exposed to lead. Consult the last two websites listed below for more information
- Do NOT give toys with small parts (including magnets and “button” batteries which can cause serious injury or death if ingested) to young children as they tend to put things in their mouths, increasing the risk of choking. If the piece can fit inside a toilet paper roll, it is not appropriate for kids under age three
- Do NOT give toys with ropes and cords or heating elements
- Do NOT give crayons and markers unless they are labeled “nontoxic”
We would like to wish you a safe and happy holiday and provide you with a few tips to stay healthy and not overindulge this holiday season. With a season full of holiday parties galore, it’s important to keep on track with your diet and not over-indulge in those things you’ve been working so hard to keep on track with. We offer the following tips to help you with your goals.
- Always know that the buffet is the holiday danger zone. We see food, good food, and it’s there for the taking, but remember ever spoonful that goes on your plate can lead to overeating. Just remember to keep the buffet in moderation, do not take more than you bargained for. If you are worried about overeating from the buffet, try eating something light before the party to hold you over and help you avoid the cheese plate.
- Seated dinners are also often times to indulge. Eat what you want, but remember always in moderation. If your plate comes with a salad and some of that yummy mac and cheese you’ve been craving, make sure to eat your salad first and only have a few bits of the high calorie items. Also, consider sharing with others at your table, so you don’t slip in another bite. And always order an entree that is rich in proteins such as fish, lamb, or anything fresh and nutritious. Choose wisely and choose the healthiest option on the menu.
- Control your alcohol intake. When it comes to champagne, wine or cocktails, you don’t have to go all out. Have a drink and be done, keep it in moderation.