8 Healthy Holidays Tips

The season of over indulgence is HERE!

I know it’s extra challenging to stay healthy during the holidays. I don’t blame you – the temptation can be intense with all the holiday parties and peer pressure.

Let’s be honest with ourselves – we’ve all experienced a food hangover after overeating at a holiday party.

The image of the “perfect” holiday season comes with celebrations, friends, family…and a lot of food.

Does over indulging bring up a feeling of guilt? Try focusing on the bigger picture:

It’s extremely easy to get caught up in doing everything “perfectly”, but the truth is, what you do everyday matters more than what you do once a year

No matter what your health and fitness goals are, I’m here to tell you that you can achieve them.

Even through the holidays.

By ditching the diet mentality and creating healthy habits, not restrictions, we can then focus on the bigger picture. The picture that paints out healthy living as a lifestyle, not just a temporary fix.

Focus on your health and your happiness. The decisions you make on a daily basis are what matter. Make the majority of those habits in line with your goals, and I’ve got no doubt you’ll get there.

That’s why I put together a few tips on how to stay healthier during the holiday season:

Before we dive into the actionable tips, first know this:

>>> In order to achieve the results you want, you must BELIEVE it’s possible.<<<

You must believe that you can trust yourself to navigate the holidays.

I want you to take a moment and close your eyes. I want you to first imagine yourself symptom free:
● Who would you be?
● What would you do?
● What would you have?

Okay do you have that image in your mind?

Now, I want you to imagine yourself navigating the holiday season with ease.
● How would you confidently show up to events?
● How would you prepare for holiday events?
● What is your plan for different “traps” that you fall into? How can you bypass them this
year?
● What would it feel like to end the holiday season, feeling proud of yourself?

Now do you have those images in mind? Let’s dive into the tips!

  • Take a walk after any large or rich meal. Taking a walk can minimize the blood sugar spike that can leave you feeling tired and sluggish after a big meal.
  • Focus on the 80% of meals outside of the holiday gatherings. While it seems like holiday parties are all around, by eating a clean and anti-inflammatory diet the rest of the time (even if you indulge in those holiday meals) can help offset and balance out the indulgences.
  • Pay attention to HOW you eat. How you eat is almost just as important to WHAT you eat. If possible eat slowly, chew your food well, and sit down to eat to minimize digestive upset after rich meals.
  • Prioritize sleep. When we are well rested, our bodies are able to handle stress much better. So even if you eat a food that doesn’t sit well with you, your body is more resourced to deal with it.
  • Try the “one plate” rule. If you want to indulge at a holiday meal, feel free to choose whatever you want, as long as it fits on one plate and avoid going back for seconds.
  • Come up with a list of common “roadblocks” that you hit when it comes to the holiday season. Make a game plan of how you will navigate each event, and especially how you will handle your particular kryptonite.
  • Fill up on protein and fiber. Before diving into the snacks or sweets, make sure to fill up on foods rich in protein and fiber so you won’t be as ravenous.
  • Enjoy the holidays, sans guilt. If you want to indulge, make it a conscious CHOICE and let go of the guilt. Truly enjoy it.

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27 tips to support your immune system

The cold & flu season is here! And it’s projected to be an intense one this year.

One of the best ways to support your immune system is through HOW you live your life.

There are many things you can do to support and fortify your immune system to prevent or reduce the intensity.

Here are 27 tips to support your immune system this season!

Foods That Support The Immune System

Focus on including these immune supportive foods into your diet. Aim to include these as part of your daily routine:

Fermented foods.
Including kombucha, kefir, sauerkraut and kimchi. Fermented foods all contain helpful bacteria, and consuming them is the first step in promoting a healthy environment for your gut to carry out its virus-fighting functions.

Garlic.
Garlic is both prebiotic and highly antioxidant, acting as “fuel” for healthy bacteria in the gut. However, in order to benefit from these properties, it must be consumed raw. Add garlic to your salads or dips.

Citrus fruits.
Vitamin C is amazing at reducing the length and intensity of the common cold. Eat a lot of citrus fruits to get your daily dose! This includes grapefruit, clementine, lemon (add to tea) and orange.

Turmeric.
Fresh turmeric is renowned for its potent anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and antibacterial effects. Studies have found that countries where curcumin (the active compound) is consumed regularly by the population had lower rates of some cancers. I’d recommend adding turmeric to your meals and teas! For better absorption, make sure to take it with black pepper and/or healthy fats!

Oily fish.
Omega-3 fatty acids, which are found in abundance in oily fish like salmon, tuna, sardines, and mackerel, are substances that aid the body with fighting inflammation. Chronic inflammation can increase your risk of getting sick.

Mushrooms.
Mushrooms are excellent at supporting the immune system. They contain plenty of immune- boosting antioxidants as well as beta glucans which help support a weak immune system. Shiitake, maitake and reishi are great choices.

Foods That Weaken The Immune System

Reduce your chances of getting sick this winter and AVOID these immune-weakening foods:

Fried foods

A group of molecules known as advanced glycation end products (AGEs) are abundant in fried foods. AGEs are believed to damage the immune system in a number of ways, including:
● Cellular malfunction
● Inflammation
● And harming gut microbes.

Processed foods.
Sorry to break it to you, but that does include processed meats, cereals, cakes and biscuits. Highly processed foods promote inflammation, increase gut permeability, and alter the balance of bacteria in the gut, all of which have a negative impact on immune function.

Foods with added sugar.
Your production of inflammatory proteins increases when consuming foods that dramatically raise blood sugar levels, such as those high in added sugars. Reduce your intake of sugary foods and drinks and support a healthy immune system!

Foods high in omega-6 fats.
Diets high in omega-6 fats appear to stimulate the production of pro-inflammatory proteins which can weaken the immune response. Reduce your intake of foods high in omega-6s such as sunflower canola, and corn oil.

Alcohol.
Alcohol can impact and weaken the body’s natural immune response. One way it does this is by harming beneficial gut bacteria that support the development of T cells.

Teas to Support The Immune System

Many teas are full of antioxidants and contain properties that combat viruses and bacteria within the body. Some of the top immune supportive teas include:

Ginger.
Ginger has anti-inflammatory qualities, making it a valuable spice for therapeutic purposes. Ginger tea is amazing for immune support as well as lowering blood sugar levels and assisting in digestion.

Peppermint.

Research has shown that peppermint contains antibacterial and antiviral properties which help prevent disease. Peppermint tea can offer a high dose of antioxidants as well as a healthier immune system.

Chamomile.
The polyphenols in chamomile tea may be responsible for the stronger immune responses seen in regular tea drinkers. Drinking a few cups a day may help you build a stronger immune system!

Green tea.
Green tea shields the body from oxidants and radicals, which in turn, boosts the immune system. It includes the potent antioxidant epigallocatechin (EGCC), which also aids in preventing cell damage.

Licorice root.
This age-old herbal remedy contains glycyrrhizic acid, providing the body with anti-inflammatory properties, strengthening the immune system and aiding in the relief of digestive issues.

Lemongrass.
Due to its high mineral and vitamin content, lemongrass tea is an amazing choice for the immune system. Vitamins C and A help boost immunity and ward against diseases.

Lifestyle Tips to Support The Immune System

Implement these lifestyle changes this season to support the health of your immune system.

Use a neti-pot / gargle with sea salt water.
Sea salt works wonders as an anti-inflammatory, and a neti-pot can prevent viruses from entering through the mouth or nose, as well as balancing the various nervous systems of the body.

Get outside.
Ever heard of open-air therapy? During both day and at night, fresh air is believed to help ward off bacteria and viruses more effectively than indoor air, boosting the immune system.

Sleep a little longer.
It’s normal to need more sleep during the winter. An additional 1.75 to 2.5 hours each night are typical, but just ensure that you’re limiting your sleep to 7–10 hours total per night.

Reduce stress.
Too much stress can weaken your immune system. Whenever you are feeling stressed…stop and engage your senses:
● See… what are 5 things that you see.
● Hear…what are 5 things that you hear
● Taste…what taste(s) do you notice (applicable only if eating ��)
● Smell…what do you smell?
● Touch…what are 5 textures can you feel in your environment?

Immune Supportive Supplements

When life feels overwhelming, sometimes your immune system needs all the support it can get. Support your immune system with these supplements.

Multivitamin/Mineral.
A multivitamin is a great way to ensure that you’re getting all the essential vitamins and minerals that your body needs on a daily basis. Look for a high-quality multivitamin and mineral supplement that contains active B vitamin forms like methylcobalamin and methyltetrahydrofolate.

Vitamin C
It’s well-known that vitamin C can greatly support the immune system. It’s recommended to take 500 to 1,000 mg over the course of the day with meals and snacks.

Vitamin D3.
According to studies, those who are vitamin D deficient are 11 times more likely to contract a cold or the flu, while those who take vitamin D supplements have a 42% decrease in these illnesses. For correct dosing, it is best to have your 25-OH vitamin D levels evaluated.

Zinc citrate/orotate/sulfate.
There are many ways zinc helps the immune system, but the most powerful way is by activating enzymes that break down bacteria and viral proteins, which makes them less contagious. It’s recommended to get 15mg of zinc per day.

Antiviral herbs.
Many herbs have immune-boosting and antimicrobial effects. Some of my favorites include astragalus, green tea extract, andrographis, and monolaurin to support immune function.

Arctic cod-liver oil.
An age-old remedy for many diseases, cod liver oil contains plenty of omega-3 fatty acids as well as vitamins A and D which lower inflammation along with your risk of blood clots.

NOTE: Always consult with your practitioner before starting or stopping any supplements.

Know someone who could benefit from these tips? Share this article with them!

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