Nourishing Yourself Through The Holidays

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This article was written by Nutritional Coach and Nutrition Specialist Candidate Kelly Williams, MS.  The following information is not intended to substitute medical advice.

The holidays can be filled with joy and excitement, but that often comes with a side of stress and overwhelm! For some of us, the colder, darker days of winter or holiday pressures can amplify tension this time of year. No matter who you will be with or where you are going, it is important to take care of yourself physically and emotionally.

Fighting seasonal stress with nutrition

We often think of stress in terms of the emotional toll it takes, but the minor stressors of daily life can also deplete nutrients in the body. Focusing on what you put into your body this season can go a long way towards helping you feel your best. Under stress, Vitamin C, magnesium, calcium, zinc, and B vitamins can decrease. Vitamins C and zinc can also impact the body’s immune system. It is not surprising that being run-down around the holidays can often result in being more susceptible to illness.

While the holidays are known for comfort foods and delicious treats (and you should still enjoy your family favorites!), consider ways to add color and fiber to your plate. Brightly colored bell peppers pack a punch of Vitamin C. A handful of pumpkin seeds or almonds will give your body a boost of magnesium while also providing some of the heart-healthy monounsaturated fats. If you find it difficult to get enough of these foods in your diet, targeted supplements can be beneficial for some.

Make time to Move

Winter is often the time for hunkering down and getting cozy, but do not forget how much your body appreciates movement. Whether it is a post-meal walk or an early morning yoga session, aim for a consistent practice most days of the week. Movement helps maintain metabolism and has a positive influence on balancing blood sugar.

Slowing Down

Amid the holiday hustle, it is so important to find time to take time to nourish your soul as well as your body. If you do not already have one, consider using this time to create a self-care routine that helps you relax. For some people, this could be a warm cup of tea in the evening or a morning book or devotional. Find a practice that feels ‘doable’ for you; the idea is not to create one more thing on your to-do list, but instead to carve out a small portion of each day that helps you relax. When we make time to unwind, we notice increased energy and often make better dietary choices.