by Helen Rose, Raw Food Chef & Family Health Advocate
This time of year can be particularly challenging to maintain a healthy life for you and your family. All the activities, the shopping, the eating, and the travel can lead to unhappy unhealthy holidays, not at all what we want. I’ve pulled together my top solutions for staying healthy during the holidays.
1. Eat Healthy Foods before you go to a party or holiday gathering. How often do we rush out the door to make it to the party and are starving when we get there. Worse your family is starving when they get there and once you get talking to your mom, your aunt or sister your children are seeking off to the cookie table eating sugar cookies or M&Ms. So schedule to eat before you go. Feed your family the healthy foods you have at home, because you do not know what will be at the party. Still don't have time.... you have time for a smoothie with chia seeds and plant-based protein powder to fill you and your family up before you go. In addition, I always bring a dish or two that I know my family can eat and we are sharing health with others.
2. Stay away from the Sugar. It's been called a poison, a drug and a toxin, and scientists have started blaming it for everything from obesity to heart disease to diabetes. Sugar is toxic to the body. Yes, I said toxic and it is the 1st way your body gets weakened to let illness into your body. Lots of studies are confirming that sugar is highly additive, so once you start eating sugar you are on a slippery sloop, a downward spiral, of sugar addition for you and your family. Yes the holiday are full of sugar cookies, pies, candies, and all things sweet. 1) Don't make them, or make less sweet alternatives if you must. Try using stevia, Natural Zing agave nectar, Natural Zing dates, or Natural Zing coconut sugar as sugar alternatives in your recipes. 2) Fill up on veggies and low sugar foods before you are temped to eat the additive sugar foods. If you are afraid Aunt Margaret is going to cry if you don't eat her cookies then simply say your doctor told your family not to eat sweet foods. “The Doctor Said” is like the golden seal of approval for people of a certain generation. It works and do not feel guilty about using it. Whose going to be nursing your family through another round of the flu you or Aunt Margaret?
3. Get Rest. I know this time of year especially for parents is busier than ever. How can you fit it all in to your schedule....most mom's do what seems to make sense... sleep less...stay up late to fit all the shopping, food prep, bills, volunteer projects, work, ... Life does not stop for a mom unless you are sick in bed and can't move. That's my point. Mom's tend to get 4 to 8 hours of sleep a night. Six hours of sleep a night is not unusual for a mom, so if you are cutting into that already low level of sleep, then you are really weakening your immune system. Maybe the laundry doesn't get folded so fast this week. Maybe you can get the kids to help you more around the house ...after all Santa is watching.
4. Health on the go! As much as we try and plan, we'll be out shopping, at school events, office events, on planes, and you'll be caught without a healthy option. Be prepared. Have some healthy snacks in your purse, bag, office draw, or car. Wherever you are you can have a healthy trail mix, bag of nuts, a healthy bar, or a bag of dried fruit ready to eat and present to your children when they start getting hungry.
5. Boost your Immune System Now!!! You know that you are going to be around people that are not following the above advice and will be spreading viruses, colds, and sore throats because they don't want to miss this year's gathering. Don't wait until you are starting to feel sick. Start boosting your family's immune system now. It's not hard. My Super Immune Boosting Secrets: Stock up on Natural Zing's camu camu berry powder, this berry has 920% of the daily value of Vitamin C in 1 teaspoon – incredible!!! You can slip this into smoothies or orange juice. Chinese medicine reverse mushrooms like reishi, cordyceps, shiitake for boosting the immune system. I have a blend of 12 immune boosting mushrooms called STR 12 it is considered the ultimate in boosting the immune system. I mix this in hot chocolate and smoothies. My kids love it, so it is not hard to hide the taste.
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!
Wishing you abundant health,
** Helen Rose is owner of Superfoods on Main, a vegetarian cafe and superfoods store in Mount Airy Maryland; and a family health advocate providing personal coaching to moms seeking health solution. www.SuperfoodsonMain.com