It’s not easy being green, so the frog tells us. However, practicing a “green” and healthful holiday season is definitely within the realm of possibility!
As a lifestyle health coach, I am consistently addressing people’s daily, weekly, and monthly methods of operations. Doing so offers a supportive framework for maintaining consistent healthful living protocols, ie practicing the behaviors that keep us healthful and well while not setting ourselves up to fall off the wagon.
For many people, the holidays between November and January are the ones to sucker punch us and inadvertently cause loss of balance. It can be easy to succumb to temptations across not so healthful holiday food options and treats as well as blame shorter, colder days for a reason to either reduce healthful movement or not get things done.
However, the holiday season also presents the opportunity to stay on track. A few tips and reminders are as follows;
Green up traditional holiday dishes. Are there ways dark leafy greens can be added to a certain dish? In the same respect, are there other ways to make traditional holiday dishes more healthful, such as by reducing or swapping out less healthful ingredients? Consider certain hearty vegetables, such as kale, carrots, leeks, brussels sprouts, and collard greens, which grow well in cooler weather and/or climates that experience longer periods of cold temperatures. Also, there are green foods that are easy to grow indoors such as sprouts, microgreens, and grasses.
Set goals and tasks to accomplish over winter months. Chances are, especially with reduced hours of daylight, there will be a little more indoor time during winter which could present the opportunity to complete a few things that have been on the back-burner. This could be something as simple as finishing that book you started last spring and never finished or it could be a larger task such as cleaning up the basement.
Set up a realistic reward system. It could be very, very hard to set the goal of absolutely no indulgences during the holiday season. However, we can look at how you define indulgences and come up with some pretty good versions of treats. (Hint: Good Fat Bar has some pretty good options!). Better yet, treats or other small indulgences can be integrated into a self-reward approach. Accomplish one of those tasks mentioned above, earn the reward. Plain and simple.
Say yes to yourself and your family. It’s early December and you are staring at three (or more) holiday party invites AND that lofty end of the year deadline you have at work. Sound familiar? Defining when it’s best to show up versus taking time to tuck away for yourself or family is an art form in itself. The holiday season can certainly test us in this area. However, it is absolutely imperative to set commitment boundaries for overall peace of mind and stress-management.
Take on seasonal recreation options. Although shorter days may be nature’s way of reminding us to practice a little R&R, that does not mean that no physical activity is advised. Winter months present the opportunity to take walks looking at decorations and lights, participate in snow and ice based activity, such as ice skating, skiing, or snowshoeing, or simply the chance to play indoors. Before doing so, be sure take time to nurture muscles and increase blood-flow through proper warm-ups.
Leverage visionary tactics. Ok, you may not be in Bermuda, but is bathing suit weather your motivation? Plop one of those photos on the refrigerator to help keep you in this healthful living game!
…after all, won’t it be an accomplishment to come to the New Year and, say something to the effect of I have already been living healthfully and well… now I’m going to keep at it!
The 10 Healthiest Winter Vegetables (Healthline article)
19 Frost Hardy Vegetables to Plant this Fall (from Seeds Now)
10 Vegetables More Cold-Hardy Than Kale
Amazing Cold Weather Greens to Grow
Do Your Muscles Hurt More When Its Cold Out? (WebMD article)