Handle the Holidays… Healthier

The holidays happen every year, and every year the thought happens that this will be the year that you and the family stay healthier. And then the holidays happen and the thought morphs to January is the time to focus on our health. Well let’s compromise – follow these tips and you can stay ahead of the curve, or at least on the road, and then come January refine it further as desired or needed.

  1. Support your immune system while still enjoying some holiday treats. Both sugar and alcohol suppress the immune system so the combo of them, colder weather, less sleep, and possible increase in stress can be a recipe for holiday cold or a January virus.
    Tip #1: Support your immune system: eat immune enhancing foods like mushrooms, wild salmon, organic fruits and vegetables; reduce overall intake of sugar by avoiding added sugars in packaged foods like peanut butter, breads, flavored yogurts and sauces; limit alcohol intake and make sure to consume water and coconut water when you do drink.
  2. Let’s Move…together! When we are sedentary it doesn’t just make use gain weight, it slows down the body’s ability to remove the toxins that become a cold or even increase risk of disease.
    Tip #2: Get Movin’ Daily: The family that eats together needs to move together and the First Lady’s Let’s Move campaign has lots of ideas to keep you all moving – follow the blog at letsmove.gov.
  3. Recover regularly. All work and no sleep leaves a body tired, irritated, and primed for weight gain, illness, and even injury. The body is designed to go, go, go but it relies on it’s downtime to catch up which includes sleeping enough and getting good quality z’s, catching a nap or stretch midday, and taking moments to breathe in oxygen and exhale carbon dioxide.
    Tip #3: Calendar your recovery for the month of December – book yoga classes, massages, or even calendar five minutes in your day for breathing and stretching; set an alarm that signals a regular bedtime, turn off electronic devices at or before bed and don’t leave them next to your pillow or face when you sleep, and stock up on better quality sleep enablers like AKA favorites – Traditional Medicinal herbals teas, Natural Vitality Natural Calm, H. Gillerman Organics essential oils.

Excited to hear what modifications not deprivations you and your family implement this year. Tweet us at @ashleykoff @drgreene to share your new traditions to make 2012 your healthiest holidays yet.

Published on: December 05, 2012
About the Author
Photo of Ashely Koff RD

Ashley Koff is an internationally renowned registered dietitian on a mission to improve the health of people across America and the author of Mom Energy: A Simple Plan to Live Fully Charged.

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