As soon as November 1st hits, I have Elf on repeat, play Amy Grant’s Christmas album from the 90’s, non-stop, and fill my house with the aroma of Holiday Joy Essential Oil.
Yes, I’m that girl…I live for the holidays!
And even though it can be such a joyful time, I know there can be a lot of stress and sickness involved as well.
I’ll never forget the year that my sister and her newborn couldn’t come visit us for Christmas because they all came down with a horrible flu.
Or the time that my husband and I erupted into an enormous argument. We were driving to a relative’s house for Christmas and we were both stressed thinking about the strained relationships at this particular gathering. It took us over 2 hours to work out our disagreement, and I missed being able to get a slice of my aunt’s famous pumpkin pie!
If you know me…you know my deep, deep LOVE for all things pumpkin pie!!
So, because I don’t want you to miss out on your aunt’s famous dessert or getting to enjoy the time with your loved ones because of any sort of illness…
Here’s my 6 tips to help keep you healthy during the holidays:
(be sure to read all the way to the very bottom…I have a gift For you!)
1. Replace white sugar with raw honey.
Not only is it easy to make this impactful switch during your holiday baking, but raw honey is an unprocessed and much healthier sweetener than sugar.
First, it’s lower on the glycemic index, which means it doesn’t raise your blood sugar levels as fast. Second, it’s sweeter than sugar. Therefore, you can use half the amount of raw honey in a recipe that calls for sugar, which helps your midsection and your overall health. Finally, if you need one more reason to make the switch, remember that one serving of refined sugar can weaken your immune system for up to 14 hours AFTER splurging.
2. Replace white flour with almond flour.
White flour is often genetically modified, bleached and full of gluten, which is a protein that many can’t tolerate. White flour is also devoid of any nutritional value. Therefore, after it’s processed, companies add synthetic vitamins back into the flour. These synthetic vitamins are harmful to your health because your body recognizes them as toxins rather than nutrients.
On the other hand, almond flour tastes delicious. It’s much healthier and less harmful to the gut. And compared to white flour, which breaks down into sugar in the body, almond flour has healthy amounts of protein and fat that will keep you healthy and satiated longer. Plus, it’s substituted on a 1:1 ratio.
3. Take a detox bath after every flight.
Did you know that in one domestic airplane ride, you can be exposed to the same amount of radiation that you get from an X-Ray?
This exposure to radiation can damage chromosomes, compromise your immune system, and put you at a greater risk for getting cancer.
However, the good news is we can limit the damage by taking a detox bath after each flight. Simply add 2 cups Epsom salt and 1 cup baking soda to any bath. Then, soak for at least 30 minutes. This helps pull the radiation out of your body and remove other toxins. Feel free to add your favorite essential oils to your bath as an added bonus!
4. Drink ½ of your body weight in ounces of filtered water daily.
Do you ever notice when you’re out of your normal environment, you tend to get headaches, have digestive issues (i.e. constipation, bloating) or you don’t sleep as well?
All of those symptoms can be reversed by staying hydrated!
When I travel, I always pack my favorite large water bottle. As soon as I arrive at my destination, I’ll fill it up, and because it’s a familiar habit, it actually reminds me to drink the amount of water my body needs.
I also know that during the holiday, you may be enjoying more alcoholic beverages or sugar than usual. This actually dehydrates you quickly. So, keep up on your daily water needs and your body will thank you.
5. Spend 30 minutes every day moving your body and increasing your heart rate.
I probably don’t have to remind you of the many benefits of exercise or why it should always be a part of your daily routine. However, I do want to point out two specific benefits of being consistent with moving your body, especially when you’re traveling and celebrating:
- Reduces Stress – For some of us, the holidays create stressful emotions, uneasy feelings and challenges our self-esteem. However, when you spend 30 minutes in active movement, you decrease overall tension levels, elevate and stabilize your mood and improve your confidence.
- Supports the Immune System – When you spend time increasing your heart rate, you prepare your body to fight off unwanted invaders.
One more tip…make exercise fun! Choose an activity you can do with your family or friends. I especially recommend that you do something outdoors that you enjoy because this also gives you the benefits of nature and fresh air.
6. Keep Perspective.
I know…you may find this to be an odd addition to this list, but I actually believe this is the most important.
While there can be so much joy during the holidays, I also fully recognize there can be so much stress and anxiety too…remember the huge argument that my husband and I got in to and what it cost me?! PUMPKIN PIE!
In all seriousness though, keep in perspective what’s important!
Even now, as we enter the 2018 holiday season, I’m actually grieving the harsh reality that my mentor, second mom and dear, dear friend may not see 2019 because cancer is taking over her body. And it’s heartbreaking situations like this that remind us of how short life is, how precious each moment is and how important family and those loved ones around us are.
But please…don’t wait for a heartbreaking situation like this to happen in your life to remind you to keep perspective!
Take a moment and think…IF you were guaranteed tomorrow, how many holiday seasons would you have left on this earth if you lived to the “average” age. It’s really not an enormous number, is it?
So, take that reality and use it to selflessly show-up for your family and friends, to ask for forgiveness where it’s needed, to offer up forgiveness where it’s necessary and to love those that around you, even when it’s hard.
Happy Holidays, my sweet friends!!
I’m so thankful for you and pray that this season brings health and hope to each and every one of you!
And to help you celebrate, I want to give you my free Holiday Meal Plan.
It’s grain-free, gluten-free, dairy-free, soy-free and refined sugar-free…and it includes 2 yummy desserts. Just click the link below and enjoy!
One more thing…if you have any additional tips that you think would be helpful to me or the others that read this post, please share in the comments below. Thanks!
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