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Healthy Habits for the Holidays

Now that Christmas and New Year’s day are rapidly approaching I decided to do some research on healthy holiday habits.  Interestingly enough, a lot of my research led to articles written in previous years with no pandemic to trouble us. In this week’s health tip I will share healthy holiday tips and also point out the ones that I found that were unique to our current coronavirus situation, hopefully pointing out a little bit of irony. 


The first, most common holiday health tip mentioned was to keep your regular exercise routine for the holidays.  Naturally exercise burns calories and helps you to maintain your weight, but exercise is also good for coping with stress and depression (two conditions that come along with the pandemic).  In addition, exercise boosts the immune system which will help to keep you healthier during the flu season and with covid-19 in the air.  I personally, always like to add a little extra time to my cardio sessions on the actual holiday to make up for a second helping of food or a holiday treat.


Eating large amounts of foods over the holidays is also a health issue.  Portion control is a priority that is often ignored, even by me.  In our family, not just on holidays,  we started eating our dinners on salad plates.  Salad plates are smaller then the average dinner plate, so less food is placed on the plate.  For me, eating seconds on a salad plate is like having a normal dinner plate of food which can trick you into calling it quits for dinner. If I filled a regular dinner plate with food, I would still want seconds and this is just the mind trick I need to control my dinner portions.


Here is one health tip I won’t have to worry about this year.  Eating at the holiday party.  Experts say it is best to eat a small healthy meal prior to heading out for your holiday party.  This way you are not starving at the party and it will keep you from over eating all of the offerings.  Since we are home and have no parties to go to this year, pre-holiday party eating is a moot point.


Be careful with the holiday booze.  Holiday drinks like eggnog and fancy cocktails tend to be high in sugar and calories.  If having eggnog, a small cupful is just enough, then switch to a lesser calorie drink like wine or beer. Alcohol in moderation and always remember to space your alcoholic drinks with glasses of water. The body, depending on your weight and stomach contents, can typically handle one alcoholic drink per hour without getting intoxicated. This would be the time that I mention the importance of designated drivers, but this year because of social distancing, most will be staying home.  Those who are not, know not to drink and drive.   


Eat slowly.  It takes about twenty minutes or so for your stomach to tell your brain that it’s full. Eating slowly will help you to avoid overeating.  Also, smaller bites will help you savor the flavor.


As far as cooking from home, creativity with holiday recipes is a big help.  Cut back on the amount of sugar you use or use zero calorie sugar substitutes like all natural monk fruit sugar. This year for our pumpkin pies, I stopped using sweetened condensed milk.  I used evaporated coconut milk, unsweetened instead.  I added my own monk fruit sugar and some aramanth flour for thickening.  Everyone loved the pie and they had zero sugar calories!


Lastly, here is one that I found that really applies this holiday season, wash your hands often to help prevent the spread of germs. Soap and water for at least 20 seconds.  This one was in a holiday health tip blog written in 2018.  Lol, who would have though we would all be hand washing experts back then when it was written.  After 9 months of a pandemic it is safe to say, we know a thing or two about washing hands!!


Happy Holidays.


Pregnancy and the chiropractor:  Chiropractic should be a regular part of every women's pregnancy care.  Not only does chiropractic care help to balance the pelvis structure and soft tissue during pregnancy, but chiropractic is essential for helping the pregnant women with all of the daily pregnancy aches and discomforts, naturallly and drug free.

Dr J. Zimmerman, Chiropractor Dr. Zimmerman is a practicing chiropractor from Galloway, NJ with 30 years of chiropractic practice.

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