The holidays are upon us. December is the final stretch before the end of the year. But first, surviving the many festivities this month has to bring is crucial.
Surviving the Holidays
For one, there is the stress of preparing the house. One must clean, cook, decorate and arrange dates with family and friends. Then, there is the panic of shopping. As a result, one must gather gifts for children, spouses, relatives, siblings, and co-workers. And all before the 25th – sooner to complete the wrapping!
Of course… there is the food. An overwhelming, over abundance of food! Piles and stacks and mountains of food! In December it never ends. There are staff dinner’s. Outings with every friend you haven’t seen all year. Family dinners that seems to consume every weekend leading up to Santa’s arrival. Not to mention of course, the dinner you yourself have to prepare for the big holiday. All in all, December is a month filled with stress, work, sleep deprivation and comfort food.
Tasty yes. Healthy… no. Special sweets; tasty treats… all oozing with sugars, fats, and heavy calories. These rich heavy foods can take a toll on our bodies. Too much sugar for instance, can have a very negative impact on your brain. In large quantities, sugar can result in slower cognitive functions, attention and poor memory. Now mix that with a tired sleepless body and overworked panicked mind. The results are not good.
When the New Year finally comes around you want to embrace it feeling great. A big part of feeling good comes from within. But health and wellness is more than just eating vegetables. It isn’t all about your stomach, a proper detox should involve the body and the mind. The two are connected. Take care of one, and it will positively effect the other. When both are balanced, you feel at peace and content.
So let’s begin a holiday detox, to cleanse the body and the mind. Ready, set, Glow!
Sweet Dreams are Made of This
The first step to a clear head and refreshed body is sleep. When the body has time to rest, it has time to heal. Organs, muscles, and cells are all repaired as you sleep. Even the immune system is strengthened as you dream. Sleep is also often associated with reduced stress levels and weight loss. Most studies recommend 7-9 hours of sleep each night.
Water, Water, and More Water
The importance of staying hydrated cannot be overstated. Water is a miracle beverage that plays a major role in all body functions. It can boost the immune system, transport nutrients throughout the body, provide cells with energy and flushes toxins from the body as well.
Start your day with a cup of water, end your day with a cup of water, and fill your day with multiple glasses of water. If you want to give your detox an extra boost, trying adding a tablespoon of lemon juice or apple cider vinegar to your glass. Both have been known to help aid the metabolism and digestion.
Work Up a Sweat
A vital part of maintaining good health is exercise. Even a short workout can help to strengthen muscles and boosting your endurance. Exercise has been known to aid the heart and lungs. It is credited to lowering blood sugar levels and maintaining a healthy weight.
Physical activity is also heavily linked to happiness. When you move your body releases good endorphins, which helps to regulate stress hormones. Dopamine and serotonin are also produced as you workout. These neurotransmitters play a huge role in regulating your mood and can make you feel happy and motivated!
Say Goodbye to Certain Foods
As you detox, it is a good idea to limit, or eliminate foods that may be toxic to your body. White sugar, white flour, greasy junk foods, baked goods, salty snacks, bad oils (canola, peanut, sunflower, and corn to name a few). Generally, you want to avoid anything packaged from a store with a long shelf life that has been reinforced with preservatives.
If you can, try to keep things natural. This will greatly aid in the support of your digestive system. Remove the unnatural, processed foods from your diet and you will begin to feel a difference immediately.
Say Hello to Fruits, Veggies, Beans and Whole Grains
Time to feed your body foods that will nourish, restore, and revitalize. Fruits high in antioxidants, fibre and vitamins like apples, berries, oranges and bananas can provide your body the nourishment it needs. Dark green leafy vegetables like spinach, kale, collard greens and broccoli are superfoods loaded with nutrients, that naturally detox the body.
Incorporating fruits and vegetables into your diet can help energize the body, and may even reduce the risk of certain diseases. Consuming clean lean protein, like chickpeas, black beans or legumes can also help the digestive system cleanse the body of toxins. And eating more quinoa, brown rice and whole wheat can provide your body with a better source of fibre, vitamins and minerals than white rice or flour.
Green tea, and certain herbal teas (such as peppermint, ginger and dandelion), are renowned for their ability to flush toxins from the body. They contain antioxidants that help to support a healthy liver, and may also increase the body’s ability to burn fat.
In addition, tea is also known to relax and calm the mind. This holiday season, instead of a cup of hot chocolate – loaded with sugar and fatty milk – try a hot cup of tea instead.
Think Happy Thoughts
There is a great deal of evidence to support the fact that a positive mindset can results in reduced levels of stress. With a ‘can to’ attitude, you can turn any negative situation into a positive one. Especially around the holidays, try to see the bright side of things. If all does not go according to plan, fret not, give it another go, tackle it from another angle, or just try to do the best you can. And always remember to smile. When you smile, you feel happier and often more motivated. Plus, you’ll emit a chain reaction of positivity.
Happiness is a feeling that radiates like light from the sun. When you’re surrounded by others who are smiling and happy, the mood rubs off and soon the entire room is in a state of bliss. Remember, the holidays are a time of love, kindness, goodwill and peace on Earth – it’s a special time to be enjoyed with those you care for most. So smile, and embrace every moment.
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