When it comes to staying good and well, we’ve all heard the standard advice.
Get enough sleep. Keep your stress levels in check. Remember your daily dose of exercise. Take your vitamins. Don’t drink the entire bottle of wine—at least not without some water to chase it down.
Sounds easy enough, right?
While these are certainly helpful pieces of advice to keep in mind year round, the increased stress that returns with the holidays can take a toll on both your physical and mental health. Everyone could use a bit of extra guidance and encouragement to remain healthy and happy during this mad rush between Thanksgiving and New Year.
In addition to confirming a few pieces of advice I’ve gleaned from trial and error over the years, Betsy LeGallais, raw food educator and holistic health coach of Sagacity Wellness eagerly shared some of her own professional tidbits to help keep you eating smart, drinking up and feeling all-around merry and bright this season.
With that, here are five tips to give yourself the boost you need to stay well, not only throughout the holidays, but well into the New Year, including what LeGallais, “Sagacity” says to help you keep things in check.
1. Eat Wholly
If there’s one time of year that there are trays of sweets taunting us, and dining invites flooding our inboxes, it’s the holidays. And in between all of that, cooking and eating healthy meals at home tends to go by the wayside. In actuality, this is the time of the year our bodies are prone to get most worn down and are in need of fuel from whole foods that are packed with vitamins and minerals. So while you don’t have to say no to every invite you receive this season and turn down each truffle that catches your eye, the key is to strike a balance.
Sagacity Says: “Eat foods that are not highly processed and as much seasonal as you can find. Snack throughout the day on fresh fruits, veggies, nuts and seeds. This will help to fill you up when you are rushing around and don’t have time to eat before that holiday party.”
2. Take Control
It’s easy to go back to the kitchen for seconds and thirds, and feels easy enough to justify, while swearing to yourself that you’ll get back on track in the New Year. Although treating yourself is fine, steadily trying to control yourself all along enables you to enjoy each festive meal without binge eating to a point of misery.
Sagacity Says: “Did you know the days that have the highest Emergency Room numbers are the food-eating holidays? Our bodies can’t handle the stress of stuffing ourselves. It sends our digestive system into overdrive and puts stress on our hearts. Once you get to the festivities, fill half your plate with the healthiest items and get smaller portions of the decadent things. That way you are not deprived and are less likely to overindulge.”
3. Flush Out
We all have woken up the morning after holiday celebrations feeling entirely dehydrated from too much Eggnog or whatever our culprit beverage of choice was. It’s best to have a bit of foresight to avoid these situations by remembering to keep water on tap and in hand, the entire holiday through. Not only is this key to avoid the dreaded holiday hangover, it’s key to avoiding added stress on your liver, kidneys and entire nervous system from allowing yourself to get dehydrated. Along with upping your intake of water, remember that exercise too helps quicken the flushing out of toxins.
Sagacity Says: “Make sure you stay hydrated. We tend to overdo at holiday parties and the next morning can really take its toll. When you are dehydrated your body is trying to tell you so, but a lot of the time we mistake it for cravings and eat instead. Try and find the perfect size bottle to carry with you during the day. This will ensure you get lots of water. Fill your bottle with water and fresh fruit to get the added pH boost you will need. Also coconut water is the perfect thing to drink for hydration, and it is better than a sports drink with no added coloring.”
4. Breathe Easy
Ultimately, the key is to be in tune with ourselves and pay our bodies extra care and attention this holiday season in order to stay well, rather than beating ourselves up when we fall off the beaten path.
Sagacity Says: “Don’t beat yourself up if you are ‘bad.’ It is no big deal, don’t add guilt to your list of things you are checking twice. Things can get hectic with all that needs to be done, so while you are on the go, relieve the tension by walking briskly as much as you can and meditating when you can.”
5. Take Shots
Perhaps you’ve taken precautions by going in for your seasonal flu shot, or simply plan on shooting whiskey to ward off the common cold, or shake off the lingering cough. Here are a few more shots to keep in mind this season, more specifically, juice shots with immune-boosting properties.
Sagacity Says: “Try these juice recipes to make it through the holidays, to stay hydrated, guard against infections when rundown, and to detox the liver in the event you have one too many jingle bell shots.”
This Will Beet All Cocktail – detoxing elixir that is good for the liver
3 carrots, scrubbed well, ends removed
1 cucumber, peeled if not organic
1 beet, scrubbed
2 stalks celery, must be organic
1 handful parsley, organic
1-2 inch chunk ginger
1 lemon peeled
Beets are a liver protective food. Also Beetroot juice is one of the richest dietary sources of antioxidants and naturally occurring nitrates. Nitrates are compounds that improve blood flow throughout the body – including the brain, heart, and muscles.
Granny’s Immune Booster
1 small handful watercress
1 turnip, scrubbed, tops removed, ends trimmed
3 carrots, scrubbed with tops removed and ends trimmed
1-2 cloves garlic
1/2-1 Granny Smith apple
1 lemon peeled
The garlic has allicin, which is a compound that has a natural antibiotic effect as well as antifungal, antiparasitic and antiviral.
When it comes to Herbal Remedies, typically we hear things like, take zinc or Emergen-C. Or if you’re like me, perhaps this time of year you find yourself swearing by munching on garlic cloves, spicing up your food with Sriracha to clear your sinuses, gargling saltwater at the first sign of sore throat, or chugging Apple Cider Vinegar to heal a laundry list of ailments.
While these methods should not be discounted, Dr. Angel Hill, of Alternative Health Food Store in Pace, recommends a few more herbal remedies you may be less familiar with that are worth stocking up on so you can ward off sickness at the very first signs.
Cold & Flu Soup
It’s no secret that the upper respiratory plague has been running rampant throughout the county this season, especially with the ever-changing up and down Florida weather being more fickle than ever. While some may swear by the warm, soothing properties of any and all soups, or the childhood classic, Chicken Noodle, there is a one specific herbal soup mix that Dr. Angel Hill keeps on hand—Cold & Flu Soup. This particular soup mix is packed with ginger, Echinacea and garlic. Even though Hill notes this is a great remedy once you are already sick, it can be consumed at any point in time.
“I eat it even when I’m not sick,” said Hill, “Or when I feel the first signs of getting sick.”
She mentions that you can also add in items like spinach and beans for a more hearty bowl, to make a true meal out of it.
Like many, Hill is also quick to advocate the immunity-building properties in Probiotics, citing a Russian Immune as a favored go-to amongst customers.
“We have a lot of customers who take it November all the way through to February,” she said.
In addition to probiotic supplements, there are a number of fermented foods that contain high concentrations. Consider sipping on Keifer, of the dairy or coconut milk variety or picking up some yogurt, sauerkraut or tempeh next time you head to the store.
If you’re looking for a powerful way to keep your immune system in check, or shake the sickness as soon as you feel yourself coming down with something, Hill recommends ACF. If you’ve ever attempted to stomach this elixir, you probably are cringing while reading this suggestion. Just a few swigs of this potent liquid and you are sure to feel its rejuvenating effects. ACF is part of a line of Liquid Nutrients by Buried Treasure, and comes in Prevention and Fast Relief varieties with options for children too.
Elderberry is known for its antioxidant activity, and is used as a natural way of lowering cholesterol, improving vision, boosting the immune system, and improving heart health. Not to mention it’s recognized for its healing capacities when it comes to coughs, colds, flu, bacterial and viral infections and tonsillitis. In addition to the variety Alternative Health Food Store has available, Hill notes that you can go as far as to get the plant and make your own, nothing Old Thyme Remedies as a prime resource.
Alternative Health Food Store
5333 Hwy 90, Pace, Fla.
994-3606 or alternativehealthfoodstore.com
Old Thyme Remedies
2475 E Nine Mile Road, Ste E
912-6996 or oldthymeremedies.com
SAVE THE DATES
Small Business Saturday
Alternative Health Food Store
Saturday, Nov. 30
Shop Small Business Saturday at Alternative Health Food Store and receive a free discount card with a $10 value. The discount card allows you to receive 10% off of all supplement purchases for one year.
Double Discount Day
Alternative Health Food Store
Thursday, Dec. 5
Receive 20% off your supplement purchases made at Alternative Health Food Store with your discount card. Free samples will be available and door prize drawings will take place.
Medicine Cabinet Makeover
Old Thyme Remedies
6 p.m., Thursday Dec. 5
The event will be discussing the medicinal properties of herbs, remedy recipes and methods with an emphasis on the cold and flu season. Supplies and samples with recipes are included in $20 cost.
Tap Away Stress
Everyone has their own way of dealing with stress and while it’s important to keep up with whatever practices have been working for you—whether it’s peaceful yoga or strenuous running—Trish Taylor, Neuro-Linguistic Programming Practitioner offers some additional methods to help you tap stress away this season.
“Everyone’s stress is different and therefore the solution to it is not the same for everyone,” admitted Taylor.
That said, one particular practice that Taylor has recently introduced to her clients, is tapping. According to Taylor, this Thought Field Therapy or Emotional Freedom Technique is a very simple, powerful, pain free and easy way to reduce stress.
“It utilizes tapping on the energy meridian points of the body while thinking about a problem thus allowing the negative emotion to disappear,” she said. “It is extremely effective and has been shown to work well with animals and young children countering the idea that it is simple a placebo effect.”
Although typically speaking, Taylor explores the reasons for and type of stress with her patients first before suggesting a tapping sequence; following is a tapping exercise she recommends for anyone who feels stress creeping in this season.
First of all, think of the problem that is causing you stress. An example might be stress-related worrying over the holidays.
Begin tapping on the side of the hand at the Karate Chop point.
While continuing to tap, say out loud.
“I want to have a relaxed and happy holiday
I can have a relaxed and happy holiday
I will have a relaxed and happy holiday
I am having a relaxed and happy holiday
Then tap under the nose twenty times
Now tap on the karate point again this time, saying
“I want to have an even better relaxed and happy free holiday.
I can have an even better relaxed and happy free holiday.
I will have an even better relaxed and happy free holiday.
I am having an even better relaxed and happy free holiday.
“The words that you choose are entirely up to you,” said Taylor. “As long as you remember I want, I can, I will, I am, I’m ok.”
In addition to tapping, taking a few minutes out of your day to be still and practice some form of quieting the mind, will help prepare you for any number of outside forces you may have to deal with, from holiday shopping to finishing up your work by deadlines, and even personal life crises.
“Mediation can be an enormous benefit in countering stress relief, just clearing our minds of the emotional clutter and taking the time to allow our unconscious to speak to us is very empowering,” said Taylor.
“And as an extra incentive many successful entrepreneurs claim that their best ideas came to them when meditating.”
Although meditating can take on many shapes and forms, following is a simple exercise provided by Taylor to help you shift your thoughts and reset your mind.
Find yourself a comfortable spot. Put away all distractions. Close your eyes.
Now see yourself in your mind’s eye doing whatever it is that makes you happy.
What does that scene look like? What can you hear? See? Feel? Smell?
Create the image as powerful as you can, make it bigger, brighter, louder and step into it and allow yourself to be part of the experience.
Take as long as you need, it might be the beach, the forest, a place you have been to before or a place that only exists in your imagination, the beauty is that you can go wherever you want and the unconscious mind cannot tell the difference between the real and imagined you will get all of the emotional benefits of that mini vacation.
While these are general exercises to help manage stress, Taylor notes that this information is in no way meant to be a substitute for medical advice or treatment and recommends each individual seek professional medical help if deemed necessary.
Taylored NLP, LLC.
Trish Taylor, NLP Practitioner
3 West Garden Street, Ste 321 287-3575 or TayloredNLP.com