We are VERY excited to start the season of sharing in the holidays with our family and friends. This time of year, is so fast paced and fun, but we know it can also present challenges in regard to our health & wellness.
Below are some tips and tricks we put together to help you keep on LIVING YOUR BEST LIFE during these next few weeks that could potentially involve deviation from your normal routines.
These tips will come in handy during the holidays, but also, anytime you may be traveling and away from your own kitchen and gym routines.
If you are already receiving the daily e-mails from CrossFit, you may have seen this video with Julie Foucher and Nicole Christensen discussing tips for eating while traveling. (If you aren’t receiving these daily e-mails, we recommend you sign up! Go to crossfit.com and subscribe)
Take a few minutes to watch the video and then see below for some added tips for maintaining health & wellness during the holidays:
For your Holiday "Home Away from Home":
Before even arriving at your travel destination, find a grocery store nearby and use their Click List or Instacart services to pre-order a few staple items!
You are more likely to choose healthy meals and snacks if they are readily available. The new electronic ordering systems make it even easier to set yourself up for success!
If you will have access to a fridge or kitchenette at your destination, you can have even more healthy options - but this list will give you a great starting point:
- Packages of berries
- Cooked chicken breasts
- Deli meats
- Peanut butter / almond butter packets (look for lower sugar / no sugar added)
- Oatmeal packets
- Lara bars / RX bars / Epic bars
- Carrots & hummus
- Hard-boiled eggs
- Salad greens (I usually look for kale / spinach mixes rather than lettuce due to the micronutrient content) plus a bottle of clean (i.e. avocado or olive oil ONLY) salad dressing
- Nuts (we love pistachios and walnuts!)
For your Holiday "Dinners with Family, Friends, or Co-workers":
1. Raise your hand and offer to bring a big veggie side dish you love! If you bring along a healthy dish you can ensure you will have that option on the table. Fill up your plate with your own cooking and then samlple the other items.
We are not suggesting you have to say NO to "Grandma’s famous Christmas cookies", – we are saying, you don’t have to throw in the towel on your entire meal and be out of control. Plan ahead and give yourself healthy and nutritious food options!
2. Keep the other meals that day your standard healthy options. For example, if you know you are attending a dinner party, plan accordingly for a splurge or two at dinner. Set yourself up for success by eating eggs / veggies / lean protein for breakfast and choosing a big mixed greens salad with added protein for lunch. Enjoy your dinner party and wake up feeling ready to tackle the day instead of yucky from overdoing it.
3. KEEP MOVING! You may not be able to be at the gym, but you can definitely keep your body moving. Bundle up and take the whole family for a walk after a big lunch or dinner. Walking after meals is one of the most effective ways to blunt the large insulin response that happens after a large meal. Not only will your body thank you from a metabolic standpoint, but more consistent blood sugar will keep you from having the crash that can come following a large carbohydrate - laden meal.
For maintaining your Holiday "Mental Health":
1. Did we mention Keep Moving!
It is so important we are listing it twice. Keep a commitment to your daily workouts and whenever possible include the whole family for some fitness! After long car or plane rides, your body and mind will thank you for taking time to move through some range of motion. It doesn't need to be fancy or fast - just move your joints/muscles through full range of motion as much as possible.
If time is tight, one of our favorite body weight workouts requires zero prep and only 7 minutes. Throwback Open Workout 12.1 = 7 mins or burpees! The burpee is a movement you can teach your entire family quickly and make it into a family race! Everyone gets a little sweaty, a little giggly, and all the good endorphins flood in. Even in the busiest of days you can always spare 7 minutes for YOUR health & wellness.
Have longer than 7 minutes, set a timer on your phone for 15 - 20 minutes and do a circuit of bodyweight movements = 10 push ups, 15 sit ups, 20 squats or lunges. Spice it up by holding a toddler or a suitcase while you do any or all of the movements. Make it a you go/I go with a family member and push the pace.
Have an hour or more to yourself between commitments?
Find a local Crossfit affiliate and drop in for a class. It is always helpful to connect with the broader Crossfit community and during the holidays boxes often have holiday themed workouts that are so much fun. Being in a gym filled with other crossfitters can do wonders for the holiday blahs!
2. Get good quality sleep! We recommend you take time to stretch and unwind each night. A nice shower followed by some slow gently recovery stretching/yoga is a great way to end the day and set yourself up for sound sleep and recovery.
3. Give yourself some grace! Enjoy your families and friends – enjoy some indulgent food, keep your body moving, maybe teach your family some healthy habits, and most importantly ensure YOU FEEL good during the holidays.