The holiday season is upon us, which means fun, family, friends… and lots of food coupled with maybe not a lot of exercise! After spending Thanksgiving with my family in Lynchburg, VA, I thought it would be a good idea to talk about a few ways to stay on track and make this holiday season a healthy one… while still enjoying your time with loved ones!
Have a plan: The easiest way to stay on track is to have a track to stay on! I get it though, it’s easier said that done, especially during the holiday season which tends to be filled with lots of traveling and a big change in our normal routines and schedules. Keep your plan for health simple! Write down what workout you’re going to do each day and what Shakeology recipe you’ll have. Just having those two constants written down and planned out can help pave the way for keeping your entire season on track! If you’re really motivated, plan out your meals for the holiday and make sure to write down your snacks, and meal prep! For me personally, traveling makes it difficult to know in advance what we’ll be eating, and during the season plans can change at the drop of a hat (or the arrival of a relative)… so I like to keep it simple and just make sure that my workouts and Shakeo are dialed in!
Workout early… JUST DO IT: During the holidays, like I stated above, plans can change quickly. You may start out your day with the intention of going for a run in the evening, but then the family decides to head out for dinner and a movie instead. In order to make sure you get your workout in each day, make a commitment to get up and do it early, before any other plans can creep in and sabotage that time that you’ve planned with yourself! Your body will thank you and you’ll be amazed at how much more energy you’ll have throughout the day (enough to maybe stay awake during that dinner and a movie).
Find fun recipes and experiment in the kitchen: The holiday season is a time when (most of us) have some time off from work and a little break in our normal hustle and bustle. Take that time to experience in the kitchen! Browse Pinterest and try out that new recipe you’ve been meaning to, but haven’t had the time to make. Whip up a batch of healthy muffins or maybe a new casserole. Try new things! Mix it up from your normal routine. A great place to get inspired is the Fixate Cooking Show on BeachbodyOnDemand.com – fantastic recipes and all 21 Day Fix approved!
Don’t deprive yourself: This time of year, we tend to have a lot more “big meals” especially when the entire family is together. Thanksgiving, Christmas Dinner, they’re all loaded with meats, and sides on sides on sides (as well as some pretty amazing desserts). Please, I’m begging you, don’t starve yourself during the say to “save up” for a big meal!! It’s completely counter-productive and will leave you binging at the dinner table and then feeling awful for the rest of the evening. Instead, focus on keeping your nutrition at 100% throughout the day, and then keep portions reasonable, but allow yourself a little freedom at dinner. Trust me, there’s no way I’d get through Thanksgiving without some of my mom’s stuffing, or Christmas without some of Bruce’s mom’s chocolate pie… I LOVE those dishes, and I’m not going to deprive myself of them. I will, however, have a much smaller portion than I used to and make sure to fill up on veggies and lean proteins before hand, as well as drink my super food shake!
Find activities that don’t revolve around food: It can be easy during this time to stay home with the family and eat… and eat… and eat and eat and eat! Try to keep large meals and time together that revolves around food to a minimum. Instead, focus on doing something fun that doesn’t involve a meal! Play board games, go see a movie, do a 5k walk together! If you live in Richmond, VA like us, go to Lewis Ginter Botanical Gardens or Busch Gardens’ Christmas Town and see the lights! Not only are you spending time together and enjoying the season, but you’ll also be absolutely crushing your steps goal! There are so many fun things to do together, including pottery painting, tacky light tours, or even just going on a walk through the neighborhood! Keep it fun, and if you can, make it an active activity!
Make it a family affair: Spending time together as a family is just that… spending time together as a family! Make new traditions this year. Maybe your Christmas has always revolved around baking, decorating (and eating) cookies, or having a large family meal. Instead, try making a new tradition this year and make it healthy! Maybe a family Turkey Trot or Tacky Light Run. Perhaps volunteering to serve Christmas dinner at your local homeless shelter or delivering meals to those in need. Doing something good for your community and your soul is just as healthy as going for a run and getting your servings of fruits and veggies in!
The holiday season is about being together and enjoying the company of those you love. Learn to enjoy doing that in ways that don’t revolve around the table and I promise your entire family (and your own health) will benefit! What are some ways that YOU enjoy the holidays in healthy way?