Keeping your health in check during the holidays can be a challenge. These six gifts of health will be the talk of your holiday season!
During the holiday season, it’s easy to forget that you matter just as much as everyone else, but finding the time and smart ways to benefit yourself are key. A healthy mindset leads a healthy mindset. Here are my six mindful ways I give the gift of health to friends and family, but most importantly to myself.
Host a Healthy Dinner in Your Home
This is one of the easiest ways to add healthy foods and genuine conversation into a meal. With everyone running around with busy schedules, it’s a huge relief to know that someone else has their health in mind. Whether you’re planning an intimate get-together or a winter celebration with many, take into consideration your favorite meals and prepare something special. Make sure to address dietary needs your guests might have - just by asking. They’ll be looking forward to any meal you’re planning on preparing.
Another huge benefit of cooking at home is that you can control the amount of fat, salt, and sugar that goes into each meal. Without even thinking, you’re already giving a healthier option to your guests without the hassle of eating out.
You can even ask a few guests to get involved in the cooking process. This sparks deeper conversations in the kitchen that can then be carried on at the dinner table. Your guests will feel included, and they’ll enjoy sharing the love through the food they’ve prepared.
Don’t Forget to Drink—Water of Course!
Of course, you’ll want to indulge a little during the holidays. However, don’t forget to drink lots of water. Our bodies are made up of about 70% water, and we expel it in various ways, including through conversation. Make sure to replenish consistently throughout the day. Start every meal with a full glass of water, then order that favorite adult beverage of yours. If you’re hosting a meal at home, have containers of water available for guests in the middle of the table.
When you’re on-the-go or even at work, have a refillable water bottle handy. This will force you to drink enough water, and it will remind you to refill as needed. Try adding some fresh fruit and herbs to your water. Citrus fruits, like orange and grapefruit slices, along with fresh mint make a delicious, seasonally infused drink.
Create Nutritious Versions of Your Holiday Favorites
Whether you’re in love with truffles, cookies, or pies, there’s a healthier version to just about every option. You might even be surprised to find out that these versions taste even better. It’s perfectly fine to indulge in holiday treats, but consider tweaking a few ingredients. Just imagine enjoying them guilt-free!
Step into the kitchen and try making one of these desserts: Silken Chocolate Mousse, Apple Cinnamon Bites, or Vegan Coconut Crush Gluten-Free Almond Bars. Incorporate your favorite seasonal flavors into holiday gift platters. Make sure to have restricted dietary options available for all of your loved ones. They’ll feel incredibly loved just because you thought of them.
De-stress in Nature’s Beauty
Meditation is a powerful thing, and nature does a great job of providing us with the most beautiful experiences to do so. Whether you’re a hike-lover or you enjoy a simple stroll along the coast with your toes in the sand, give yourself the opportunity to appreciate all that nature has to offer. Be in the moment and embrace yourself with love. It takes a lot to find time for ourselves, especially around the holidays.
There is no right or wrong way to meditate. It can be anything that simply clears your mind. Some people love to garden while others love to snowboard. Your version will work best for you, even if that means you’re sitting in your car with the windows rolled down and your eyes closed. Find a way to be in the now, outside of yourself.
Find a Free Workout Class, and Bring Your Best Friend Along.
While everyone is focused on delicious food and gift wrapping, many people are secretly thinking about exercise and how they can fit it into their busy schedule. There are dozens of free classes that you can join. Whether you’re looking for strength training, like boot camp, or improving your balance and flexibility, like yoga, there are options out there. Most major cities offer meetups for free, or for a minimal fee. These classes have experienced instructors that are looking for new clients to support.
Many gyms and workout facilities offer a discounted experience to get you in the door. Don’t pass up these opportunities! Even though you might have to pay a small fee, you’ll get to try something new and see if this is something you enjoy. This could become a new hobby for you, and it’ll benefit your health, too. If you’re feeling nervous about going alone, take your best friend along. You’ll be giving them the opportunity to get healthy with you - this might just be that little push they’ve needed.
Set New Goals with Others in Mind.
This is a gift that extends past the holiday season and purely reflects you and where you want your health to go. Health is a lifelong commitment, and only you have the say as to what that means for yourself. When you put your health first, you give back joy and gratitude to others around you. Your goals can be anything from more daily movement to incorporating more whole, plant foods into your meals. When one goal has been consistently met, add another one. Start small and work your way up.
Put the health of others at the top of your holiday list, including your own health. You’ll be able to enjoy this holiday season with delicious indulgences and the love of your most favorite people.