So what is the best way to get back on track? Simple, easy shifts in our daily habits can reap big rewards. Here are a few of my favorites:
1) Too many goodies and beverages can leave us feeling bloated and tired. The sugar crash is ugly. Focus on getting a serving of protein (about the size of your palm) and healthy fats (the size of your thumb) at each meal – meat, chicken, fish, eggs, or plants to help stabilize blood sugars and provide lasting energy. Eats lots of veggies and some fruit, along with good carbs (beans, squash, sweet potatoes – not white bread or chips) to provide the vitamins and minerals so important in supporting good energy levels.
2) Lose the sugar! Which includes maple syrup, honey, agave, rice syrup etc. This should be classified as a controlled substance, it is that addictive. Seriously, it does release endorphin-like substances that keep us coming back for more. “Just give me the donuts and nobody gets hurt!” The best way to do this is cold turkey and it can be a bit rugged for some people but focus on the item #1 to help. You can eat a piece of fruit with a meal or herbal tea between meals. If the cravings a really bad, there may be more to the story and there are ways to fix this.
3) Eat mindfully by slowing down and really enjoying your food rather than inhaling it. Something as simple as setting your fork down between bites is a good reminder to SLOW DOWN. This also helps to give the gut enough time to tell the brain, “Hey, we’re full down here!” and the result is eating less.
4) Drink plenty of water; half your body weight in ounces as a baseline. If you are active, ramp that up. A 150 lb person needs at least 75 ounces a day. This sounds so basic but mild dehydration does make a huge difference in energy levels. I used to reach for a cup of coffee to combat the mid-afternoon slump, but once I figured out that it was a water deficit and not a caffeine deficit – I felt much better AND it improved my sleep.
5) Support the detoxification pathways: bowels, bladder, lungs, and sweating. You should be moving the bowels every day. Yes, every day. This is one of the first things to do when resetting after the holiday season. Eating a minimum of 5 servings of veggies and fruit can definitely help this issue. Increased water will provide the fluids needed for the bowels; keep the kidneys happy and that pathway working. Move the body in some way. Walking, skiing, Zumba, yoga – pick your pleasure, but movement helps circulation and detoxification. Sweating is an important mechanism for the body to get rid of other unwanted stuff. If you can, use a sauna or even a hot bath to generate a sweat. It feels so good, especially this time of year.
6) Take some quiet time for yourself to rejuvenate. We have been going at a pretty hectic pace since Thanksgiving and now is a good time to curl up with a good book, maybe restart that hobby you love, or have an afternoon to do whatever you like.
What do you like to do to reset or recover from the holidays?
Join us for the next Wellness Talk “Beating the Winter Energy Slump”
Saturday, January 24th at 1 pm in the Dubois Library