The winter holidays are fast approaching. Here in the mountains of Vermont it is snowing hard and looks and feels very much like winter. Where there is winter and holidays mixed, there tends to be stress, unhealthy habits and then the body suffers. Stress increase cortisol output and fatigues the adrenal glands and throws the entire hormonal production of the endocrine system out of whack. The body cannot properly digest and so many of the food eaten turn to fat and or clogs the intestines which further stress the immune system. Even eating all kinds of foods we do not normally eat creates stress on the body. Well it really does not need to be this way.
Here are a few healthy holiday tips for us all to help keep our bodies and minds healthy and strong during the typical stressful times.
A- Armadillo Hide:
When friends or relatives start coming around or you start going to parties and other folk’s houses for the holidays, stress levels can grow like grass. Things can be said that might never be said outside those high stress situations; things that probably do not even hold any weight. But reactions can fly like hurricane winds when you are under stress. Just keep in mind that most everybody at a party or big gathering during winter holidays are under some form of stress; out of their environment/comfort zone, eating overly rich foods and perhaps too much of them, consuming alcohol and maybe trying to be polite when they may not feel very good or are tired. It may help everyone if you take everything that is said with a grain of salt as they say. Do not let stress induced comments penetrate your skin and throw you for a tornado loop. Remember how the old armadillo rolls up into a protected ball using its outer shell as armor.
B- Sandman Time:
Even when party time comes around and people are staying out later for the fun activities and people come over for dinner, do not neglect your precious time with the sandman. Sleep is one of the most important things out systems need in winter and especially during higher stress times. If you neglect sleep, you will pay for it.
C- One Bite Thank You:
When we taste something wonderful the pleasure receptors in the brain throw out fireworks and have a party! But with every bite after that first one, those receptors tone down. The fireworks are reserved for that first potentially addicting bite. So when at a gathering where there are tons of great looking and tasting goodies, avoid the overload by taking one bite of a dessert to get those fireworks, and perhaps one bite of another rather than gorging yourself on huge pieces of blood sugar spiking foods or drink.
D- Pass On The Gut Clog:
Yes that stuffing or bread soaked dressing may look and taste wonderful, BUT it’s a sure way to irritate, swell, clog and bog your intestines for the next week! Sure a couple bites will not kill you, but make sure to fill your plate with foods healthy and thus strengthening to your digestive system, and therefore immune system and only take very small portions of the gut clogging items. Vegetables, meats, fruits make wonderful and healthy substitutes for stuffing, buttered breads and nut spreads. Try eating apples veggies or sweet potatoes, something high in fiber first. You will be more full and less apt to hog down on the not so digestively invigorating foods. Your gut will thank you afterward!
E- Remember The Thieves:
During those chilly month gatherings it is essential to do everything you can to keep your immune system strong! Before you go to gatherings of any kind try rubbing Thieves Essential Oil on the soles of your feet. Do not forget to dilute it first in carrier oil! This will help keep your immune system on top of its game in fighting off any nasty microbes that try to enter and make a party of your insides. If you are in your own home try diffusing Thieves Oil to clean up the air. You can also use something a bit more festive like combinations of lemon, pine, cinnamon, grapefruit, lime, lavender and clove. Rub the diluted Thieves Oil into your feet before bed as well.
F- Roots And Berries:
Root and Berry teas make wonderful immune tonics to take the place of too much hot cocoa, coffee, spirits and other overly stimulating rich drinks. Astragalus Root makes a wonderfully mild but health tea. Since it is a rot make sure to let it simmer covered for a good 40 minutes before drinking or storing in the refrigerator. Berries such as Shizandera work great at putting a tangy step into you teas and add a powerful antioxidant and immune boosting energy.
G- Collagen Power:
It’s important not to forget about the old blood sugar during the holidays. Sugars, grains and even meats all spike blood sugar if not eaten properly. Always eat a starch or fat with protein. Always eat a fat or starch with sugars and always eat protein with starches to avoid blood sugar spikes. Collagen works great for adding a tasteless and blood sugar saving additive to your sugary holiday drinks and desserts.
Do not forget to be taking to following to boosting immunity also:
- 6,000 to 10,000 IU’s of vitamin D3 per day
- 2,000 to 3,000 mg of vitamin C per day (unless pregnant then check with your doc)
- a good probiotic
- a good vitamin B complex
Common sense, a slower pace and paying attention to your body are all essential and easy ways to keep yourself healthy and hold your sanity during the winter holidays. Using the above steps can help you have a happy, safe and healthy holiday season. Your body and mind will thank you! 🙂