By Sue Knorr:
The Halloween candy is on clearance at half-price in the grocery store now, and Thanksgiving is almost here. Next comes the hustle and bustle of the December holidays, with preparations and festivities almost non-stop straight through to the New Year. Sticking to a healthy lifestyle at this time of year is easier than you might think. These tips will help keep you relaxed, moving and eating your way through the coming weeks without straying too far from your healthy lifestyle.
Book a December appointment now at a day spa in your area. They offer everything from facials to massages, exercise classes and more, and many include a healthy lunch. Go with a couple of friends as an alternative to an indulgent meal at a restaurant. Holiday packages make it very affordable.
If you don’t have enough hours in your day to spend a few at the spa, then consider scheduling a one-hour, deep-tissue massage. You’ll enjoy plenty of relaxing mind-and-body benefits.
Attend a yoga class. Yoga helps you become calmer, stronger and more centered. Most studios offer complimentary or reduced-price trial classes for people who aren’t ready to commit to an entire package of sessions. Who knows, you might not want to stop at just one class!
Sign up for a Turkey Trot or Santa Run. Not a runner? Not a problem. Being a spectator is energizing for you and for the runners.
If your schedule is already filled with shopping at the mall and coming home to watch holiday specials on TV, you can still add some more movement into the mix. Park in the spaces farthest away from the store entrances. Get up during the TV commercials and walk around, even if it’s only one lap around the room. Every little bit of extra movement is good.
The best way to curb your appetite when it comes to the holiday goodies is to eat a Zone-balanced meal before a party. It’s much easier to pass on those cookies when you’re not hungry.
Always eat a protein chaser with alcoholic beverages. The body treats alcohol like carbohydrate so drink in moderation. If you check the latest Zone food block list, you’ll find 6 oz. light beer (1/2 bottle), 4 oz. regular beer (1/3 bottle) and 4 oz. wine is each the equivalent of one Zone carbohydrate block.
When it comes to the big holiday meal, treat it as you would any other Zone meal. Avoid the bread, potatoes, rice and pasta. Place the leanest protein available on your plate in an amount that’s approximately the size and thickness of your palm. Fill the rest of the plate with non-starchy vegetables and add some healthy fat. If there’s no olive oil on the table, a pat or two of butter will provide the needed fat for Zone balance. It’s not the best Zone choice for every day, but it’s OK once in a while.
If you’re going to eat sweets and desserts, small slices of fruit-filled pies, full-fat ice cream and shared plates are the best. When you know ahead of time you’re definitely planning to have the dessert, eat the protein as your meal and let a small serving of the dessert be the carbohydrate and fat to complete the balance.
If you just want to throw all caution the wind, then go for it. Eat whatever you want. Yes, I really said that! You’ll probably only enjoy doing that once or twice when you discover how bad you feel afterwards. Don’t be surprised. The negative effects of a single high-carbohydrate meal can last for several days.
Take your fish oil every day. This is the most important tip of all. It makes everything a lot easier. Stay tuned — more about that in an upcoming story!
Happy Zoning during the holiday season!