Thursday, December 30, 2010

CALM, FIT AND JOYFUL by Valerie Hould-Marchand

For most of us the Holidays are an exciting time of the year. While the season brings cheer and joy, it can also cause high stress levels for many people.
The constant worry over meals, parties and presents can really zap our energy levels.

Here are a few tips to reduce stress and stay calm, fit and joyful this holiday season:

Take supplements- Give your body the extra support and add a vitamin C, D and B complex to your diet. As an antioxidant, vitamin C protects the body from all forms of stress as well as from the harmful effects of toxic chemicals in the environment, food, water, and air. Vitamin D helps balance mood and counteracts the effects of low exposure to sunlight. The Vitamin B complex helps manage stress and works as an excellent energy booster.

Water- Going to numerous parties often means drinking more alcohol which causes your body to lose water. So drink lots of water during the party and you will feel much better the next morning. Water also assists in the flushing of harmful toxins from the body.

Leafy greens- Dark green leafy vegetables are a great sources of many vitamins and minerals your body needs to stay healthy, such as vitamins A, C, and K, folate, iron and calcium. They are also great sources of fiber. Arugula, kale, spinach and swiss chard are just a few examples. They are tasty and easy to add to any salad, stir-fry, wrap or soup.

Don't skip the exercise- Your “to do list” is full this time of year and exercise is probably the last thing on your mind. This is a mistake... You must keep moving! Exercise is essential to your immune system and your overall well-being. It will help you retain muscle memory, balance blood sugar and maintain your weight. 30 minutes, once or twice a week is still better than no exercise at al.

Enjoy- Do not deprive yourself of the foods you love - you are more likely to binge this way! Instead, just treat yourself to small portions of your favorites.

Staples like eggnog are sure to show up at seasonal soirees, so before you sip, do a little planning.

One cup of regular Eggnog adds up to approximately 343 calories and nearly 20 grams of fat. Why not serve a lighter alternative like soy nog or rice nog. They all contain less fat and nearly half the calories!

1 cup of eggnog: 343 calories, 19 grams of fat
1 cup of Rice Dream Nog: 180 calories, 2 grams of fat
1 cup of Vitasoy's Holly Nog: 120 calories, 2 grams of fat
1 cup of Silk's Soymilk Nog: 180 calories, 4 grams of fat

Yes, the Holidays can be stressful! but remember that it is also a time for sharing, giving and spending time with loved ones.

Wishing you all a safe, healthy and happy holiday season!

Until next year,

Heal yourself
Heal the planet

Alive Academy, Applied Nutrition

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