It’s that time of year again, the holidays are here. Sweets are everywhere, calendars are filling up, people are rushing around and we may find it difficult to stay on track with our healthy eating and exercise habits. If we take the time to slow down, be present, be conscious of what we are putting into our bodies and focus more on good foods, we should be able to enjoy the holiday season more fully and guilt free. These are a few strategies that have worked for me and can be practiced any time, not just during the holidays.

  1. Eat before you go – if attending a social event, enjoy a healthy meal before attending so you are less likely to indulge. You can still eat a small amount at the event and maybe enjoy a drink or two instead of desserts.
  2. Don’t skip exercise – if exercise is a regular part of your routine, do not skip this or make excuses! Do first thing in the morning so you won’t have to think about it the rest of the day, and you will have more energy to get through your day and the season.
  3. Add In/Crowd Out – fill your plate with healthy items first to crowd out the bad. You will fill up on nutritious items and leave less room for the non-nutritious foods.
  4. Use natural sweeteners – when baking, opt for natural sweeteners instead of white sugar. Honey, agave nectar, pure maple syrup, molasses and stevia are a few of my favorites. Dates are also a great natural sweetener. When using these, you are less likely to experience a sugar crash and weight gain. Conversion ratios can be found online.
  5. Shift your mindset – what it the season all about for you? Focus on that and not the unnecessary stuff. If it’s spending time with family and friends, really be present when you are with these people. Put your phone away, have real conversations, create memories and be happy and enjoy life.

Pause and be present to experience the wonderful gift of LIFE. Happy holidays and always!