The Happy Healthy YOU Festive Guide
We all want to feel our best selves through the holiday season but all the social gatherings plus the pressure to eat, drink and spend money can leave us feeling more stressed than revived.
Stay vital this year by following our healthy holiday hacks!
Host with Calm
Having loved ones over for presents and a big meal can be heartwarming and rewarding. However, it can also cause you a lot of anxiety and stress!
Below are our top tips to help you hold it together.
1. Delegate, delegate, delegate!
No one expects you to take sole responsibility for an extravagant family feast. There is no reason you can't ask those attending to bring a big plate of something they love.
Better yet, decide what is needed and divide the cooking between yourself and your loved ones.
2. Plan ahead!
NOW is the time to keep an eye out for bargains that might help ensure less money spent on the few days prior to Christmas. Hop online and order what you need for home delivery. This will help you save your sanity and avoid busy shopping centers and grocery stores.
When planning meals, choose dishes that can be made a few days in advance to shorten your 'to-do' list on the day of your gathering.
Christmas dinner doesn't need to be four courses. Skip the entrees and have a grazing table. Opt for a buffet over main meals.
If you're in the Aussie heat, stay away from the oven and go for cold dishes like potato salads, tabouli, prawns, kaleslaw, green bean salad, quinoa salads, and cold meats.
4. Suggest a Kris Kringle (KK)
Send out a text letting everyone know that this year it's a KK only! One present for kids and one for adults. This makes for less time (and money) spent in overcrowded shops and much less stress for everyone.
Go Zero-Waste & Save!
Christmas and New Year celebrations are always something to look forward to but unfortunately, the outlook for Mother Earth is not so bright.
“In the United States, Americans throw away 25 percent more trash from Thanksgiving to New Year’s, amounting to 25 million tons of garbage. Putting things into perspective, if every family would reuse gift ribbons, the 38,000 miles could “tie a bow around the entire planet.” And, if recycled paper was used to wrap presents, the amount of paper saved could cover 45,000 football fields.”
This is why zero-waste hosting is also an important consideration as many thousands of single-use plastic plates and cups end up in landfills once all the festivities are over. Be more mindful about consuming less at this time of year by following these suggestions.
1. Make homemade presents &/or eco-friendly gifts.
Americans are now collectively spending around $30 billion a year on Christmas gifts. Somehow Christmas has become more about spending and consuming than the simplicity of each other's company. Don’t overlook homemade gifts!
2. Get creative and try to be zero-waste!
Think handmade, home-made, upcycled, secondhand, or items that allow someone else to reuse or reduce their disposable or plastic waste. When you shop, always think about buying stuff that will not harm the environment.
- Baked goods like cookies
- A bunch of flowers from the garden
- A potted plant
- Some soy or coconut candles
- Cook your special person a romantic dinner
- Choose ethical and renewable products like eco-friendly toothbrushes, wooden toys, recycled books, organic clothes, etc.
- Give a gift experience
A shared experience is cherished forever. Buy someone a subscription, a membership, a music or dance lesson, a movie ticket, a night away together, tickets to a concert or a monthly yoga pass.
3. Support local businesses.
A gift that supports positive change for communities or animals is ideal! Donate to a charity or go together to a free talk or screening in your local area. Perhaps purchase some art, local delicacies, clothes or upcycled homewares from local designers.
4. Declare a waste-free Christmas day.
Use banana leaves as plates, reusable stainless steel or bamboo plates and straws, recycled paper or cotton napkins as well as recycled paper plates and cups. Try to also avoid food wastage — 90% of Aussies usually discard over 25% of their food during the festive period (December 1 – January 1).
5. Reduce. Reuse. Recycle.
Send ecards instead of Christmas cards. Use your wrapping paper more than once — better yet use a Santa sack with presents stuffed inside. Don't feel guilty about re-gifting things that someone from the work KK got you that's not your style.
6. Step outside the box when it comes to your tree.
Ditch the plastic tree and go out in nature to find one! You might also like to use something in your house to create a modern Christmas 'tree'! Use decorations that are homemade or come from the kiddies in your family.
7. Ditch gift giving all together.
Instead, make the day about the tradition of coming together as a family/friends. Just enjoy food, one another's company and some time out. Remember, gift buying can be stressful not only at the shops but for those who don't have the finances to contribute. Start a tradition of game playing, storytelling, hiking and making desserts instead.
Drink Without Compromising Your Health
Be conscious with your consumption especially when having alcohol or soda during the holidays.
Dilute your wine. Have one part wine and one part water. Another option is to sub one alcoholic drink for one glass of water every other time you get offered a refill.
Benefit: This will keep you hydrated, give you a chance to check in with yourself and assess whether you really need any more which in turn will help you avoid overdoing it and ending up with a nasty hangover.
Use kombucha or coconut kefir as a sweet and fizzy base in your gin/vodka/white rum/cocktails.
Benefit: The probiotic bacteria from these mixers boosts your gut microflora, and we know that a healthy microbiome means a better chance of formed bowel motions and a happier mood the next day.
Use coconut milk or coconut cream in your otherwise dairy-based cocktails. This works well for those who enjoy a White Russian. There is also an almond milk, dairy-free Baileys available now.
Benefit: Going dairy-free means bypassing the acidity, inflammation and mucus production which commonly comes with creamy cocktails.
Use herbs and fruits for flavor. Muddled rosemary, pomegranate, blueberries, lavender, thyme, basil, chamomile, citrus slices, cinnamon sticks and ginger all work really well. Google has a wealth of tasty recipe options.
Benefit: Reaping the medicinal qualities of herbs and nutrients help to offset the negative health implications of alcohol.
Opt for sparkling mineral water and stevia drops or natural tonic waters over soft drink mixers. AVOID all sugary mixers.
Benefit: Skipping soft drinks significantly reduces the amount of refined sugar (i.e. empty calories) you consume.
Need Extra Liver & Digestive Support Over The Holidays?
Our Happy Liver (HL) product contains herbs traditionally used in Western herbal medicine to support your natural detoxification process, protect the liver and specifically assist with its regeneration. It also helps to reduce free radicals formed in the body when you drink alcohol and is also traditionally used to relieve digestive discomfort and support healthy digestive system function.
The herbs contained in HL are St Mary's Thistle, Dandelion root and Globe artichoke. They are included alongside amino acids like taurine, methionine, cysteine, and glycine, as well as the digestive enzymes protease and lipase for proper breakdown of proteins and fats.
Happy Liver is your perfect companion over the festive season!