Orgain is a family business and so in the spirit of family at this special time of year, we turned to Kathy Abraham, Physician Assistant with a Masters in Holistic Nutrition and wife of founder Andrew Abraham, to get some insights into how she keeps herself and family healthy during the holidays.
The holiday season is a time of family traditions, time off from work and school, and fun social gatherings. While it’s the most wonderful time of the year, we are also surrounded with sugar-laden desserts, buttery casseroles, and one too many cocktails.
So what is one to do to stay healthy during this time?
Here are 7 tips to help:
1) Start Your Day Off Right
By starting your day off with good quality protein, you are steering the rest of the day in the right direction. High quality protein will help sustain your energy and stave off hunger pangs throughout the day. Research shows that people who eat high protein breakfasts (35 grams) vs low protein breakfasts (13 grams or less) have increased fullness later in the day and reduced activity on brain scans in the area that controls food cravings.
I start everyday with an Orgain Protein smoothie. Here’s my favorite recipe: Combine 2 scoops of Orgain protein powder with 8 -12 oz of Orgain Almond Milk and 2 oz of water. Throw in your favorite frozen berries and half a frozen banana and add a scoop of peanut or almond butter. With this protein packed super smoothie – you are on your way to a healthy day!
2) Plan Your Day
The best of intentions and health goals can easily be ruined by lack of preparation. Plan your day. If you’re going to be out shopping and running errands for a few hours, make sure to pack some protein-rich snacks with you.
I always stock my purse and car with some trail mix, protein bars and Orgain ready-to-drink shakes, so I’m able to avoid those 3pm hypoglycemic dips. This keeps my energy levels from crashing and saves me time from frantically running around looking for something healthy to eat.
The same goes for events. If you’re going to a holiday dinner party at 7:00, make sure you have a protein-rich snack at 5:00. You will be much more inclined to socialize and have a good time, instead of keeping your gaze on the cheese tray and wondering when dessert will be served.
3) Stay Hydrated
Let’s get real here. We all look forward to the time when our favorite coffee shop will be serving peppermint mochas and gingerbread lattes (and who could resist those festive cups?!). And while these are some of my favorite holiday indulgences, the sugar and caffeine combo that you just consumed can you leave you dehydrated and feeling worse than before. Ask for less pumps of flavored syrup and skip the whip cream.
To stay hydrated, I always carry a huge water bottle with me everywhere I go and drink throughout the day. Aim for at least 8-10 glasses daily.
4) Drink Wisely
The holidays are all about letting loose and having a good time, but did you know that one glass of eggnog contains almost 300 calories? If you have two, that’s 600 calories in drinks alone.
Instead, sip on a cosmopolitan or some wine. Avoid premixed drinks and try making your own concoction using an ounce of liquor, fresh lime and a splash of cranberry juice. Make it pretty and throw some fresh cranberries in. Don’t forget that alcohol can also be very dehydrating. For every glass you have, match it with two cups of water.
5) Focus on Fun, Not Food
Even though holiday gatherings are usually all about the food, try to shift the focus to having fun instead. Choose an activity that fosters togetherness and requires everyone to be involved. Host a white elephant party or a holiday game night. Play holiday charades or another game that involves movement and laughter. Whatever you decide, make the focus about spending quality time with each other, creating memories, and building new traditions that will last a lifetime.
6) Stay Active
We’ve been told over and over again the benefits exercise has on our health, but it’s definitely more challenging to stick with your regimen during the hectic holiday season. The solution– incorporate little mini sessions throughout the day.
When running your errands, park your car further away and walk around the parking lot a few times before going into the store. Try integrating family time with physical activity. This gets everyone up and active and creates fun bonding time. I take my kids out for a bike ride before we head off to grandma’s house, or I put a yoga DVD on while my sweet potato casserole is baking in the oven.
Be creative and move your body in a way that’s fun and feels good. I guarantee it will make you feel less stressed and more relaxed this holiday season.
7) Enjoy The Special Times!
After all is said and done, learn to let go and enjoy this special time.
The holidays come around once a year, and it really is a time to celebrate and be thankful. While the majority of your diet should consist of lean proteins and lots of vegetables (preferably all organic), make a little room for the things you enjoy.
Nothing warms my heart more than decorating reindeer cookies with my boys or the smell of pumpkin and cinnamon filling my home. Go ahead, and enjoy this time. After all, ‘tis the season to be jolly.