5 Easy Ways to Stay Healthy This Holiday Season

Question for you.

Q: Around the holidays, are you usually:

a. Stressed
b. Ultra busy
c. Run down
d. Tending towards overindulgence
e. All of the above

My guess is many of you picked "e;" I know I did! I try to do it all, be everywhere and tend to overindulge when I finally get a chance to eat or drink. How can you stay healthy without busting into a three hour a day workout routine and sticking to the raw crudite platter (sans dip, naturally) at parties? Here's my plan- 5 pretty simple steps to maintain damage control.

Step 1- Hydrate

This is the most important of all in my opinion. Since about 70% of your body is made of water, it makes sense that you need to take a whole lot in to make it running smooth. Here is my favorite 30Second Mom tip to stay hydrated:

"Use a counter-top water dispenser to keep track of how much water you had for the day" -Beth Aldrich (see video tip and more hydration info here!)

RefresH2Go Water Bottle- Stay Hydrated!
Charlotte with her RefresH2Go Water Bottle
Step 2- Vitamins

I had been taking my leftover prenatal vitamins after I had Charlotte because, well, they were there. I had no clue whether they provided me with what I needed or if they were even effective. I was recently introduced to Vous Vitamins started by two women docs. They maintain that "We all have different diets, lifestyles and health histories, which make our needs unique." For example, people in the Midwest who see sunlight for oh, about two minutes a month probably need more Vitamin D than those living in sunny San Diego (like my lucky family members Aunt Carol & Uncle Gary! We will visit soon!). You take a brief survey online (um...and you can be honest and admit that you drink more than 1 alcoholic beverage a week because no one is judging you) and they tailor a vitamin meant just for your lifestyle and health history. They also eliminate any fillers and potentially harmful ingredients that exist in other vitamins.

Vous Vitamins- personalized multi-vitamin


Check them out here and take your survey! My husband and I always take a multivitamin at night after we have had a rough day. When we were in Napa, I religiously took Vous Vitamins and drank plenty of water each day and I felt amazing (whereas after 2 glasses of wine, I usually feel like I got run over by a Mack truck the next day).

Step 3- Sleep

Yeah, yeah, yeah. I know- you don't have enough time to sleep, too much to do, blah blah. I am a former insomniac and know firsthand how lack of sleep affects me and the people in my life. It is important. Make it a priority. Here are a few tips:

Your bed is for sleeping. If you wake up and can't get back to sleep, go in another room to read a relatively calm book or magazine (not on the iPad, like, a real paper book, you remember those?). After a bit, try to head to bed again.

Naps are your friend. I took a nap in my car this week because the kids fell asleep on the way back from an event (and totally got called out by my neighbor who spied me). Catch a nap whenever you can- 20 minutes here and there can really give you a second wind and prevent you from screaming at your spouse when they do something minute that just set you off (not that I know anything about that...). Mayo Clinic recommends a 10-30 minute nap around 2pm or 3pm to prevent grogginess.

Nap when your kids nap!
If you can nap while these yahoos nap, DO IT!
 Meditation works for me. Don't judge, but I imagine a bunch of leaves swirling around as I breathe in, then as I breathe out, they blow away. Focusing on this helps me forget about the stuff I have to do, the stuff I didn't get done, and the stuff that just plain bugs me. Also, see Step 5- try to get some form of exercise outside! Fresh air and little rays of sunshine do wonders.

Step 4- Food

Don't go to a party hungry. Eating something right before you go- a high fiber snack (I love popcorn) will help you feel full and hopefully prevent you from eating the artichoke spinach dip with a spoon out of the crock pot *guilty.*

Beer and Popcorn...a great snack ;)
Popcorn and beer...beer has fiber, right? (Got this freezer mug from Ross, great gift!)
Finish off your meal with a little something sweet. Finishing with desserts can help prevent binge eating later and create a sense of being satisfied. Plus, um...you deserve it. Why? Because you are working your ass off trying to make everyone happy and if you want a crème brûlée, you deserve it!

Step 5- Exercise

I don't formally exercise. I don't have a routine. I don't even own a decent sports bra. I do feel like I have an active lifestyle, though and didn't 100% fail when I went to Pure Barre in Lincoln Park last week (review to come soon!). Here is my exercise- I pile the kids into our double stroller and power walk them around Old Orchard mall. I get to shop, Bryson gets to snack or watch a show, and Charlotte gets to kick him in the face a few times on "accident." Both of the kids + the stroller = about 90 lbs. My butt and legs are burning after, and I usually find some great deals along the way.

Carrying groceries and kids = great exercise
Charlotte, I and about 50 lbs. of potatoes
I also haul both kids and groceries up the stairs regularly. We have a tall home- going from the basement to the third floor with two kids (60+ lbs total) really gives me a good workout. Then I lay on the floor to recover while they trash my office space.

How do you plan on staying healthy for the holidays?

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