Medically Reviewed By Elizabeth A. Swick, MS, RDN
Indulge AND Stay Balanced This Holiday? Yes, It’s Possible!
Holiday excitement awaits as we prepare to open our homes, hearts and kitchens to those we love and cherish. No matter your preference for a secular, spiritual, cultural or religious celebration, December is meant for meaningful traditions and holiday fun, all of which involve some measure of preparation, decorations, and of course, cooking and baking. The calendar is consumed with everything from casual get-togethers to work parties, all culminating in a glorious day of celebration.
It’s no surprise that cheer-tracking polls consistently show December holidays are the happiest days of the year!
While the season of giving brings much joy and merriment, it doesn’t come without work: the inescapable buzz of activity is also filled with stress that can drain energy and joy. And with the majority of Americans celebrating the holidays in special ways, it adds up to a lot of stressed-out revelers trying to make it to the New Year!
In this season of extremes, it doesn't take much to fall out of synch with healthy habits. We are ‘so good’ through Thanksgiving – the official holiday season kickoff – then suddenly flip the switch to holiday mode… eating and drinking too much… not sleeping enough… stressing about making everything just right. In doing so, we commemorate joy and happiness by exhausting them… then recommit to healthy habits in the form of a New Year’s Resolution.
Have Your (Fruit) Cake and Eat It Too: Tips for Finding Balance This Holiday
Is it possible to indulge, have fun AND stay balanced without paying the price? Yes, you can with these helpful tips:
Make every indulgence count
It’s common to share a love-hate relationship with the sweet treats of the holidays, but it doesn’t have to be like this. A simple fix is to make it about enjoying the experience, creating memories and starting new traditions, not about food and self-control.
Bring your loved ones together to create a recipe passed down in your family, or from a culture you are wanting to learn more about, and make it from scratch together.
Don’t abandon healthy eating completely
Balance during the holidays starts with balanced year-round nutrition to support your energy, mental health, nerve function, immune system, and much more – all of which permit soundness and resilience during this time of year.
In fact, you may find that by staying true to the healthy foods and habits (like eating to satisfaction, not fullness) that make you feel good during other times of the year, it’s easier to resist a second helping of apple pie.
Healthy eating patterns are connected to a longer lifespan and reduced risk of serious health problems.* But a day or even a few days of indulging in gleefully naughty, festive foods is nothing to feel guilty about.
Make a “cheat” meal
The concept of a “cheat day” to guiltlessly give into temptations is nothing new. But there’s a different kind of cheat meal that can help you stay grounded and sane during the holidays when you’re tight on time.
Perfect for busy days, cold and lazy mornings, or when you have a house full of overnight guests, our delicious Spiced Tahini and Fig Overnight Oats recipe can be made ahead of time to save you time. It’s loaded with fiber to satisfy hunger and curb cravings, and features our Youthful Beauty Advanced Collagen Powder to support a healthy glow inside and out all winter long.
The holidays may feel like a thrill ride, but cooling temperatures and decreasing sunlight exposure can compromise your mood, which is profoundly affected by vitamin D. It’s no wonder why many health experts recommend boosting vitamin D intake, particularly if you live in a cold weather climate or are older, to avoid vitamin D deficiency.*
The list of foods rich in vitamin D is music to a dairy lover’s ears, with milk, yogurt and cheese topping the list, as well as fortified foods, such as cereal. Vitamin D is also naturally occurring in fatty fish, including tuna and salmon Fear not, vegans: your favorite plant milk is likely fortified with vitamin D.
For a high-quality supplement option, try our Vitamin D + K2 with plant-based nutrients that are easy to absorb and remain active in the body longer than other forms.
Don’t stress-out your immune system
Our immune systems are notoriously vulnerable to bugs and viruses over the winter months, and prolonged stress can spike cortisol levels and wear-down your natural defenses.
To avoid sitting out holiday festivities, fortify your immune system with higher-than-usual amounts of vitamin C, a powerful immunity boosting nutrient, antioxidant and cofactor for many other processes in the body, including collagen production and iron absorption.
Eating plenty of fruits and vegetables regularly supplies adequate levels of vitamin C. But to boost your intake to cold and flu season-ready levels, here’s an insider tip: our powerful Vitamin C Shield boosts absorption by 120%,so less is wasted.
Rather than drain ourselves this year, let’s resolve to look and feel our best over the holidays… and still have fun doing it!