Dr. Bulmashs Tips for Staying Healthy and Fit during the Holiday Season
Once again, we’re deep into the holiday season, and as always, many people seem to go into a swirl about how to maintain some sense of eating well as they go through maze after maze of eating decadence, with each holiday party, gathering of friends and family, or simply passing through the break room at work.
How then do you navigate this pancreas stressing, sugar dripping gauntlet that leaves many folks as much as 10-20 pounds heavier by the end of New Year’s week, or even worse for some people, by the end of Super Bowl weekend?
Here are some tips that will help you steer a course through the trials and tribulations of eating sensibly while still having some fun during the holiday season. First of all, get more organized and at least loosely plan out your meals for the day. What I mean by using the term “loosely” plan your meals out ahead of time means you should at least have a rough idea of what you’re going eat for each meal throughout the day. If you don’t have any idea of what you’re going to eat, you end up eating whatever’s most available, and all too often what’s most available isn’t usually what’s best for you. Therefore, it’s important to take the time to know which restaurants or grocery stores around you, offer the type of foods that are to your liking and the most healthful for you.
If you’re a big fan of veggies and grains, make sure you have access to organic greens, an assortment of vegetables, legumes, and non-gluten containing grains, like wild rice, spelt, millet, buckwheat, and non-American grown the quinoa. If you also enjoy or require more dense animal protein, make sure whatever you eat comes from the cleanest, healthiest, and most compassionately raised sources of meat, fowl, or seafood.
It’s important to remember that eating well stabilizes your physiology. This means that your blood sugar level doesn’t skyrocket and then subsequently plummet below an ideal healthy range. The more controlled your blood sugar level remains, the less cravings you have throughout the day, so when you enter the break room at work or gaze upon the dessert table at your favorite party, you probably won’t have the urge to pull up a chair and gorge on the offerings.
I’m not saying it’s wrong to eat a sugary treat here or there during the holidays. I’m saying that you should be conscientious and moderately disciplined about what and how much you eat as you enjoy the blessings and tidings of the season. Focus on eating foods rich in fiber, protein, high-quality fats and oils, and complex carbohydrates, like sweet potatoes, pumpkin, squash, and legumes. Keep sugars to a minimum, and if you do eat grains, do the best you can to avoid gluten containing grains, like wheat, some forms of oat, barley, and rye. These grains tend to be the most inflammatory and irritating to the immune system. Some of the healthier grains are millet, spelt, teff, and rice.
The key is to make a habit of eating healthy food, and if you’re going to cheat by eating foods that are not particularly good for you, make sure you’ve eaten a good meal beforehand; it’s unlikely that you’ll eat as much from the dessert table, as you might otherwise. Eating well is essential for being healthy, and healthy people tend to be happier, more fit, and often more successful. Take great care of yourself, so you can have the body, health, and life you choose for yourself.