Healthy Holiday Checklist

The holidays are both an exciting and stressful time of year for many people, and often a challenging time to maintain a strong immune system and keep your digestive system from being over-worked. Let’s be real. We are going to indulge because that is just what happens this time of year. Your social calendar is likely to get busier and work might get more demanding as you race to wrap up things before the year’s end. If you have kids, they are even more susceptible to colds and other illness with fluctuating temps and more time indoors with recycled germ-filled air.

My healthy holiday checklist is geared toward boosting your immune system and equipping your digestive system with the right support for all those heavier, sweeter, and most likely larger quantities of food you are about to enjoy over the next month. This time of year should be about quality time with friends and family and some serious chill-axing!

with gratitude and love,

Check out my Healthy Holiday Checklist below!

Immune System Boosters

These well­ness tips will help your immune system stay strong so that you don’t get sick this holiday season and can truly enjoy all the fes­tiv­i­ties and hope­fully some quality down time.

Greens, greens, greens. I could write para­graph after para­graph on the health ben­e­fits of greens. But when it comes to immune system boost­ing, adding as many greens as pos­si­ble to your diet is a guar­an­tee that you will be more hy­drated and get key vitamin and min­er­als – like Vitamin C, A, and K as well as folate, potas­sium, and beta-carotene – all of which help to support the body’s immune, di­ges­tive, and car­dio­vas­cu­lar func­tions. Because greens are rich in fiber they absorb car­bo­hy­drates after meals and help keep blood sugar in check – so a double dose of those greens may just help you avoid a total energy crash after your big holiday meal (not that I’m en­cour­ag­ing you to gorge, but if you are like me and have eyes bigger than your stomach at the hol­i­days, don’t skip the greens!)

Phy­tonu­tri­ents. Did you know that plant foods contain thou­sands of natural chem­i­cals. These are called phy­tonu­tri­ents or phy­to­chem­i­cals.”Phyto” refers to the Greek word for plant. While they aren’t es­sen­tial – like vi­t­a­mins and min­er­als – they do play a pow­er­ful role in pre­vent­ing disease and keeping your body working prop­erly. Since many phy­tonu­tri­ents act as an­tiox­i­dants, the more you consume arms your body with more weapons for fight­ing free rad­i­cals and con­tributes to healthy aging. Some of my fa­vorite foods that are packed with phy­tonu­tri­ents this time of year are:

  • Butternut Squash
  • Pomegranate
  • Sweet potatoes
  • Cranberries (did you know this berry was used by Native Americans to fight wound infections well before the invention of antibiotics?)

One of the ways I also ensure a good dose of phy­tonu­tri­ents is through my daily intake of Juice Plus+ where I am getting a com­bi­na­tion of 25 fruits and veg­eta­bles.

Digestive Wellness Tips

If you just can’t help your­self with all these de­li­cious foods and your eyes are bigger than your stomach, try some of these reme­dies to improve di­ges­tion and reduce bloat.

Drink Tea. Pep­per­mint tea can ease dis­com­fort of in­di­ges­tion and full­ness. Green Tea is loaded with an­tiox­i­dants called polyphe­nols, known for their anti-in­flam­ma­tory and anti-mi­cro­bial prop­er­ties. Kom­bucha is a fer­mented black tea that is growing in main­stream pop­u­lar­ity. It’s known for sup­port­ing liver func­tion and helps with the liver’s removal of toxins. I’m just start­ing to ex­per­i­ment with making my own Kom­bucha – stay tuned!

B-R-E-A-T-H-E. Also re­ferred to as mindful eating, taking a moment before you eat to take a few full breaths may help you de­ter­mine how hungry you really are and prevent overeat­ing. Re­mem­ber­ing to breathe as you eat will also help you chew your food and not over­load your di­ges­tive system by cram­ming too much in at once. As someone who often eats stand­ing up in between prepar­ing and clean­ing up my kids’ meals, this one is es­pe­cially chal­leng­ing for me, but has big payoff when I re­mem­ber to do it!