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Staying Healthy During the Holidays

For many of us, Thanksgiving is filled with indulgent, decadent recipes that don’t exactly go hand-in-hand with healthy living. But you don’t have to feel guilty about enjoying your holiday favorites if you follow a few simple rules…


Slow Down & Enjoy Your Food

Eat in moderation – make half your plate fruits and vegetables, one-quarter protein, and one-quarter grains. Opt for a healthier breakfast or lunch if you know you’re going to indulge at dinner. Allow yourself to enjoy without overdoing it by adopting a 90/10 rule – eat healthy 90% of the time and then allow yourself a treat for that other 10%.


Another great way to eat in moderation is to eat mindfully. Chew each bite thoroughly, savor the flavor, and enjoy the taste.


Homemade food is also a great way to eat healthier during the holidays. Canned, processed, and premade foods are full of excess salt and sugar that you can avoid by making the dishes yourself. Reduce your sodium intake by making your own cream of mushroom soup, and reduce your sugar by making cranberry sauce from scratch. Both take only moments to stir in a pot before letting them simmer.


Stay Active


With a million other things to do around the holidays, many people find it hard to stick to their usual exercise routine. Despite that, it’s important to maintain regular exercise for both your mental and physical health. Exercise is good for your body and can also relieve the stress that’s so commonplace during the holiday season. Here are some ideas to help!

  • Take a walk after dinner to help digest your food and destress after a long day. Invite your family to join, or go alone for some quiet time.

  • Aim to do at least one activity. Even if you only have a few minutes to spare, exercising for a short amount of time is better than not exercising at all.

  • Find opportunities for exercise in everyday activities. For example, take the stairs rather than the elevator, park farther away from buildings, or take a lap or two around the store before you start your holiday shopping.

Reduce Your Stress


The holidays are full of family and friends, and while this can be a great thing, it can also be draining and stressful. Plan times you can relax throughout the day so you’re not too stressed to enjoy the holiday.

  • Find some “me time.” Chances are you’re running around trying to ensure that everyone else has the perfect holiday, but what about you? Take time to relax and do something you enjoy doing for yourself. You’ll feel refreshed, recharged and ready to conquer the holiday season.

  • Let go of perfection and enjoy the holiday season for what it is. If something doesn’t get done, let it go; everyone will still enjoy themselves.

Boost Your Immune System


Staying healthy during the holidays can be hard. Between traveling, family gatherings, and the stress of planning, many people end up catching a cold - or worse! Make sure to plan ahead so you stay well this holiday season.

  • Get a good night’s sleep. Sleeping is both a relaxing and restorative activity. It will help you better ward off winter colds and increase your energy.

  • Wash your hands. The holiday season also marks cold and flu season. Avoid getting sick by washing your hands for at least 20 seconds with soap and water.

  • Take your vitamins! Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant that can help ward off sickness and shorten the duration of colds. Vitamin A is known as an anti-inflammation vitamin because of its role in developing and enhancing the immune system. According to www.endocrine.org, “Research shows vitamin D can protect us from colds and the flu, both of which are rampant during the colder months Studies have also found over 80% of COVID-19 patients have vitamin D deficiency.”

Eating well and staying healthy can be difficult over the holiday season, but that doesn’t mean it’s impossible. Start planning ahead today to make this Thanksgiving the best one yet!


  1. https://www.endocrine.org/news-and-advocacy/news-room/2020/study-finds-over-80-percent-of-covid19-patients-have-vitamin-d-deficiency

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