Holiday health

It's that time of year again!  The falling snow, the hot cocoa by a roaring fireplace as you reach for another box of tissues and a coupla Sudafed.  No, Rockwell never painted that one, but it seems to be the case as the days get shorter and our lives get busier.  Well it doesn't have to be that way!  Sure, it's harder to find fresh produce if you live in Colorado like I do, but that doesn't mean it's impossible to get those fruits and veggies into your diet.

Here are some helpful hints for how to have a healthy holiday season:

  1. Plan ahead.  Meal planning plays a big role anyway this time of year, but try to allow for fresh fruits and veggies at every meal.  Overcooked green bean casseroles and hot apple cider just aren't very nutritious. Dress up salads with holiday flavors; for example, candied almonds and maple-citrus vinaigrettes can bring the smells of the season to your plate.
  2. Ration the goodies.  Even though Halloween is over, it's not too late.  Remember that sugar shuts down the immune system for several HOURS!  If eliminating sugar isn't something feasible for your family, at least make sure your kids are eating enough fruits and veggies to minimize the impact, and perhaps only allow one candy a day.  It will make the stash last longer and you won't have to fish them off the ceiling with those long extendable duster gadgets.
  3. Alternate late nights with nights in.  Kids won't always tell you when they're tired.  And quite frankly, we adults don't always like to admit when we are, too.  So go out, have fun looking at lights and visiting the zoo and attending whatever event you choose, but make sure you have a night off in between.  Holidays bring with them to-do lists and party invitations and it's important to remember to take it easy.  Don't let yourself get worn down and learn to say no.  Having reasonable expecations for the holiday season will mean having more energy to enjoy the events you are the most excited about.
  4. Hydrate!  The weather is not only colder, it's drier also.  So fire up that humidifier, slather on that lotion, and most of all remember to drink plenty of fluids.  Caffeinated beverages (even hot cocoa) don't count.  I love a good herbal tea this time of year, especially the peppermint ones or the ones with cloves and cinnamon...ahhhhhh...  Water is best of course, but it's so hard to drink it when it's cold so we often forget.
  5. Invest in your health.  Every dollar you spend on healthy foods is one less dollar you have to spend on your medical bills later on.  You cut coupons, you cut out non-essentials, but don't cut corners when it comes to your health.  Without it, you have nothing.

In following these tips, you will be giving yourself the gift of health; and that's the gift that really keeps on giving.



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