From Nutritionist Mikaela Reuben.

‘Tis the season for Christmas cocktail parties, sugared cookies and appies galore…it seems next to impossible to maintain career, holiday festivities, family obligations and health, but look no further. Here are some tips to help you survive this holiday season!

Lack of sleep 

Getting those eight hours of shut eye every night may not be doable with all of the festivities this season. Keeping your immune system in check with these beneficial tips will help you to be the best version of yourself through this holiday season. 

Look at your upcoming week and plan to wind down earlier on in the evenings you don’t have a scheduled event to attend. Getting to sleep before 11pm enhances your body’s ability to release human growth hormone (aka “the fitness hormone”), which benefits you by providing anti-aging & weight loss effects, boosting your immune system & much more.

Lack of D3 and Essential Fatty Acids 

Winter season can bring more frequent days of cloudy weather and reduced sunlight. To maintain feeling your best and to prevent feeling low energy and the winter blues, Vitamin D3 can be a good supplement of choice. Chat with your holistic health care practitioner regarding dosing that best suits and supports your needs.

Essential Fatty Acids (EFAs), specifically omega- 3 fatty acid & omega-6 fatty acid are not only essential for brain health and supporting proper nervous system function, they also provide anti inflammatory effects, and support healthy nails and glowing skin, making EFAs a key to our health and wellbeing. Great sources of anti-inflammatory Omega 3’s are found in small oily fish such as salmon and sardines – or try adding some ground flax seeds, pumpkin seeds or walnuts to your salads and smoothies to get your daily dose. Wanting to boost EFAs more?! Toss in dark leafy greens such as kale or collards to feel and see the benefits.

How to avoid/fight cravings

Too much sugar can make you feel dull and sluggish. Drinking plenty of water will help to combat sugar cravings and keep you hydrated and balanced, especially if you dip into a few festive cocktails. Having a small meal to fill you up so you’re not famished prior to the evening is also important. This helps with stabilizing blood sugar and controlling the urge to fill up on all of the appetizers. Try a blood sugar balancing salad bowl with fermented foods such as kimchi, wild salmon, mixed veggies and a tangy tahini goddess dressing to get you feeling balanced and energized for the evening ahead!

Short on time prior to the event? No problem! Prep by packing a few almonds and nori sheets (organic seaweed snacks) with an apple to snack on prior to the festivities.

Too late, already at the party? Go for the veggies, dip, nuts and fruit tray to minimize over indulging on that cheese platter that could promote an uncomfortable bloat. 

Alcohol-Pre/During/Post

Pre: One of the most important choices you can make prior to your night out is fueling your body right with a healthy meal that has a good combo of carbs/proteins/fats such as a delish Buddha bowl: toss together your favorite greens, perhaps kale, a protein rich GF grain such as quinoa and some tempeh or salmon and dress it with a Thai almond sauce. Bam, you’re all set for a great night ahead!

During: Stay hydrated with a big glass of water and lemon in between wine goblets to minimize those hangover effects tomorrow morning.

Post: Right now naturally electrolyte packed coconut water is your best friend. Very hydrating and potassium rich, this choice beverage will make you feel better.

Feeling a little nauseated or sick to your stomach? Try grating ginger root into some hot water and sipping that to settle your stomach. Once your stomach is settled and you’re wanting to refuel, it’s time for some good eats! Now, you may be wanting to reach for something along the lines of pizza or greasy fries etc. but the best choice to making your body feel great would be a delicious savory omelet with steamed greens or a banana protein smoothie to get you back on your feet. Eggs are rich with amino acids, specifically cysteine which is great to combat those hangovers. If you’re feeling a bit shaky, this may be your body telling you the alcohol consumed affected your electrolyte balance and your body is craving some potassium. A banana protein smoothie is a great choice if you can’t stomach solid food and will help sooth those sore muscles and shakes. 

Allergens:

Healthy snacks that provide the body with anti-inflammatory effects are so essential to our overall health and wellbeing. If you’re on a tight schedule with work and holiday events, pick up a greens powder to supplement your daily intake when you’re short on time. Also having snacks on hand such as almonds, cashews, walnuts are good choices. Fermented vegetables help rebuild good bacteria, to promote overall gut health and strengthen the immune system. Kimchi or kefir are great choices! Ground Flax or pumpkin seeds can also be mixed into a smoothie or try making a chia pudding topped with fresh berries to keep your blood sugar levels at bay so you don’t gorge on that cheese plate or cookie platter.

Dealing with the crash – post party

Besides rehydration with electrolyte rich beverages such as coconut water, B vitamins are good post party supplement to restore your body and minimize the post party crash. Want to mix up your own “Electrolyte Booster Bev?” Combine filtered water, squeeze of a lemon, a dash of sea salt for hydration, aloe vera juice for digestion and some raw honey. Then sip away to help decrease the party crash vibes. 

Cryotherapy – hot and cold shower

Okay, this is a must try! Alternate the temperature of your shower from warm for thirty seconds to as cool as you can tolerate for thirty seconds while standing under the shower head/water. This action causes vasodilatation and constriction of your vessels, which helps to mobilize lymph fluid, decrease puffy skin and inflammation, improve skin tone, promote skin tightening, reduce signs of wrinkles AND boost collagen levels. As a treatment, cryotherapy may also provide benefits such as weight loss, athletic recovery, reduce signs of aging and provide overall rejuvenation.

Dry Brushing 

Dry brushing is a great way to mobilize the lymphatic system, increase superficial circulation, reduce cellulite, and get rid of dead skin cells to promote skin detoxification and elimination. After a workout or prior to your shower, use dry bush in upward strokes starting from the soles of your feet to the tops of your feet and work your way up your legs. When you reach your thighs and butt use circular motions and continue in that motion on your abdomen. Upward gentle stokes with the dry brush to your back and on your arms and chest, brush towards your left side in the direction to your heart to promote and support natural blood and lymph flow.

DIY Adaptogenic Coconut Peppermint Vanilla Bean Coffee Scrub

Feeling like you are in need of a good spa day after the late evening out? Try a blissful coconut oil, peppermint, and vanilla bean coffee scrub to heighten your energy and balance your bod. 

Not only do coffee grounds provide antioxidant, detoxifying and cellulite fighting properties, they also leave your skin feeling amazing! 

Coconut oil smells delicious and has antibacterial benefits. In addition, coconut oil is high in vitamin E, leaving your skin feeling smooth and looking dewy.

Peppermint essential oil is a natural pain killer and great for tension headache relief that may come from a few too many winter cocktails. Not only is peppermint a good pain reliever, it also reduces bloating and skin inflammation. It’s our go-to remedy essential oil.

Ingredients:

1/2 c. Coconut Oil

1/4-1/2 c. Coffee Grinds

1 vanilla bean (grind using coffee bean grinder)

12-15 Drops Peppermint Essential Oil

Directions: Combine all ingredients and store this adaptogenic scrub in a mason jar and keep in fridge or bathroom. Enjoy!

Want to read more from Mikaela? Why not read about snacks to stabilize blood sugar, or foods that burn fat