10 Tips for Holiday Wellness

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Gaby Goldberg // Holistic Wellness & Yoga

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1. Start your day with water. Keep an 8-16 ounce glass of water by your bed. Drink it each morning. If you drink warm lemon water in the morning, brush your teeth afterwards rather than before. Lemon can become abrasive on the enamel of your teeth, especially when combined with the varying ingredients of toothpastes. The goal is to begin hydrating first thing every morning, an action that not only gets the physical body’s systems going but also sets the tone for your day.

2. Holiday Parties & Alcohol If you are hosting create a healthy cocktail mix you can enjoy alone or use as a mixer with your favorite spirit. You can use fresh vegetable juice, fruit puree, fermented beverages like kombucha, or spiced nut or seed milk. Here are some ideas: Dairy Free Egg Nog, Green Juice Mixers, Strawberry Basil Spritzer, or a Green Margarita. Garnish with fresh herbs or your favorite spices. You can also keep it simple and muddle fresh herbs and berries to be mixed with club soda and a clear spirit. Yum!

If you are attending, consider a glass of red wine or vodka with club soda and citrus instead of mixed drinks or punches that may have added refined sugars and other processed ingredients.

Be sure to drink water, even if you are enjoying the buzz! Some water is better than none and you will thank yourself in the morning for hydrating.

3. Don’t skip meals or “save calories for later”. When you skip meals your metabolism slows, blood sugar drops, and your hormones react by storing fat. Stick to eating small, balanced meals every 3-4 hours which will keep your blood sugar stable. (http://greenandsimplewellness.com/holiday-hustle-2/)

4. Add a green smoothie or juice to your day. Keep your recipe simple and add spinach, kale, or spirulina powder. You can also add spirulina powder to your favorite quality bottled juice. For more hydration, add chia seeds.

5. Add fermented food or drink to your diet. Fermented foods are alive and that’s why they fizz and expand in their containers. They provide us with beneficial enzymes that improve digestion. Adding fermented foods to your holiday diet is a sure way to keep your gut health strong and flowing. Add a side of kimchi or fermented vegetables to your eggs at breakfast, your salad at lunch, or with dinner. Drink a local high quality kombucha or kefir in the morning with little to nothing in your stomach. Bring a jar of fermented veggies or a growler of kombucha to your next holiday potluck. Click here for more info on fermented foods.

6. Sleep and Rest. Find time for quiet so you can recharge. Keep your regular sleep schedule and try to avoid sleeping in or staying up late. Give yourself one alarm-clock free day so you can rest fully. Don’t bring electronics to bed and if you do, put them on airplane mode. Consider taking a nap, a gentle or restorative yoga class, or laying down for a guided yoga nidra.

7. Self-Care. The holidays bring up emotion across the spectrum. Interactions with friends, family, co-workers, and strangers can bring those to the surface. Create time and space for you – Time solely for your enjoyment and relaxation. Try a gentle or restorative yoga class, or yoga nidra workshop. Schedule a massage for yourself. Go to the salon. Have a spa day, whether it’s at home or in a spa.
· Home spa: Start by massaging the body with cold-press sesame or jojoba oil. This practice is called abhyanga. Warm the oil to room temperature or more. Take a long bath, hot tub, or shower. Take your time, add your favorite relaxing music, candles, your favorite essential oils, or Epsom salts. When applying lotion or body oil, do not rush and give the body gentle massage that feels nourishing. Abhyanga is traditionally a daily practice, however do it when it fits into your home spa routine to start.

8. Remember what the holidays truly mean. Don’t put pressure on yourself around buying gifts, being the best host/hostess, decorator, etc. The holidays are about enjoying our loved ones and the gifts we already have in our lives, regardless of our religion or spiritual beliefs or the holiday we celebrate. If you choose to purchase gifts stay within a budget and if a budget isn’t already part of your regular practice, try creating an affordable bulk gift.

Make a list of everybody you want to give a gift too.

Possible gift ideas:
o Donate to a charity you support in the name of each person on your list. Send a holiday card with love, letting them know about the donation.
o Create a bath soak – Add Epsom salts (available in the bulk section of some stores), rose hips, lavender and your favorite relaxing herbal ingredients. Mindfully place in a mason jar, tie it off with a beautiful fabric ribbon, and offer the gift with a card carrying a personal holiday wish for the recipient – Perhaps with your favorite poem, affirmation, mantra, or words from the heart.
o Buy a case of local honey or maple syrup in small jars and affix a personal note or card. You can also buy a large amount and purchase your own small jars and add your own creative label.
o Other ideas: Small jars of massage oil with your favorite combo of essential oils, an essential oil spritzer that can be used to spritz on/around the face or to freshen a room, a mason jar filled with your favorite healthy treats from the bulk section at Healthy Living – Add a card, ribbon, and your love!

9. Breathe for mindful eating and consumption. Take a moment right now. Breathe in slowly and feel your breath as it moves in and slowly out. Don’t react or respond immediately to any stimuli. Allow yourself to fully observe and absorb your experience by connecting with your natural rhythmic breath. Take deep, slow breaths while you eat food – All food, including the “sinful” ones, the ones that offer a buzz or create guilt – Breath into the experience of whatever you are bringing into the body. Enjoy and observe moment to moment. As we learn to breath, we

10. Accountability. Find somebody to hold you accountable – A friend, personal trainer, holistic health coach, therapist, or co-worker. Hold yourself accountable through the holiday season to stay hydrated, get enough rest, create self-care, moderation, breathing, and staying true to the holiday spirit whatever that means to you. Commit to 1-3 things on this list.

Need somebody to hold you accountable? Email me: [email protected]

This post was reposted with permission from Gaby Goldberg’s blog. You can read the original post here. Gaby is a Healthy Living Taste Maker and yoga teacher. She teaches a series of classes focused on mindful eating, that often incorporate yoga. Keep an eye on our Learning Center calendar for upcoming classes.