'Tis the season of cheer, parties, cocktails, and sweets.
We’re all about taking small steps towards healthier living. Instead of 12 days of Christmas, we’re sharing 12 days small choices to keep healthy living commitments this holiday season.
This is a busy time of year - so this Sunday we’ve set aside the time to prep some healthy snacks and lunches for the week ahead. Hopefully it means we’ll be able to stick to our goals - and maybe save a bit of money too by taking packed lunches - it’s not just calories that can add up this time of year!
Our exercise routine is getting totally disrupted this season by holiday parties and get-togethers. So we’re moving our normally spread out workouts to Monday/Tuesday this week to make sure they get done.
‘Thanks, I’ll have one in a bit’ - This is the secret trick to turning down treats that aren’t on your approved list. It is much easier than completely rejecting those homemade cookies, or explaining to a generous aunt that we’re trying to eat healthy. This simple phrase often stops that extra bit of peer pressure that can be too hard to resist.
We spend so much time sitting at our desks that we’ve discovered some tricks to ensure we drink lots of water over the day. Today’s trick: having a reusable tumbler with a straw on hand. Somehow it makes staying hydrated more fun. It also helps make good decisions as easy as possible on those long days at the office.
When we’re out for happy hour, make sure to have some ‘healthier’ cocktail options in mind before we get tempted by sugar and carb filled drink specials. Avoid the temptation and order a red wine, or a spiced rum and soda with lime.
(Side note - always pick soda water over tonic. Tonic has almost as much sugar as a Coke!)
Saturday night in December often involves holiday parties, which are virtually guaranteed to have plenty of carb-loaded options. Instead of bringing the usual casserole, we’ll put together a charcuterie and cheese board or a roasted veggie dish with plenty of quality fats and salt - so it’s still a delicious treat. That way we know there is a satisfying, better-for-you option, and anyone else trying to watch what they eat will be thanking us too.
Make the most of indulgence. Maybe you have a family get together and know that there will be a huge array of sweet and salty snacks. Go in with a game plan. I know that my Aunt’s famous pull apart cheese bread will be there - but so will grandma’s gingersnap cookies. If you know you won’t be able to resist them all - pick a favorite indulgence and stick to just that, don’t waste the extra calories on the others.
Brunch can be filled with carbs - a sugary latte, bread rolls, and all sorts of sugary sides or tempting sweet treats. Before heading out to brunch, take a peek at the menu online and make a decision in advance. That way you’ll be less likely to opt for the Nutella crepe when the waiter comes to take our order. It can be hard to make good decisions under pressure - so plan in advance!
The people around us have a huge impact on our ability to make healthy choices when it comes to food and exercise. Be that person who is a great influence, and others are likely to reciprocate. Plan an active get together with friends instead of your usual holiday wine night. Or instead of having a cookie exchange, host a craft night with healthier snack options.
Sometimes winter weather can be an excuse not to stay active. If there was no time to pack a healthy lunch today - instead of stopping at the closest take out spot by the office, take an extra 10 minutes to walk to a further spot to pick up lunch.
We’re big fans of DIY gifts. I bet you have some folks on your holiday list who would appreciate healthy living ideas too. Fill loved-ones’ stockings with your favorite healthy eating products (like Coffee Booster) or foods (like homemade fat bombs, low-carb truffles, or homemade vanilla). Whether it’s a homemade health-focussed treat, or a cool product they’ve never heard of - people appreciate that personal touch in a gift.
We made it 12 days! But the holidays aren’t over yet! Don’t give in to indulgence with the plan to make up for it in January. If one of these tactics worked for you - commit to stick with it for the remainder of the season. It’s hard to be good ALL the time, but one good decision every day adds up. Us - we’re making an effort not to eat any pre-packaged products (so we’ll have that homemade butter tart, but not the store-bought cupcake) and making sure we get a bit of physical activity every day this holiday season.
Stick with it!!