Prepare to be Festive

Traditionally the end of the year is fraught with potholes for the health and wellness conscious. And while we know the benefits of moderation, sometimes the temptation to indulge is overwhelming. Dr Yesheen Singh offers some sound advice about keeping things balanced and retaining the hard work you've put in to help your body heal and rejuvenate. 
MAKE IT A TREAT NOT A TRAIT If you do blow all your rules and indulge in a treat, see it as an exception and not the rule. Treats should be peppered in-between healthy lifestyle and diet choices. Holiday season doesn't mean your body takes a holiday from its need to live. It still needs good quality building blocks from your diet to feed it and replace the cells you lose on a daily basis. In fact, when you are indulging you speed up your rate of cellular turnover, which means you need more of the healthy stuff if you want new cells to be as competent as the old ones in keeping you healthy and alive. Eat for the body you want, not the one you have.  WORK IN SOME COMPENSATION  Use the principle of homeostasis to balance out poor choices in one arena by making healthy choices in others. If you know you're going to eat dessert with Christmas lunch, make sure your meals before and after lunch are healthy and alkalising, and go for a walk after lunch to help your body cope with digestive stress. If you experience the festive season as anxiety-ridden or as a trig-ger for mood fluctuations like depression, don't let poor dietary choices make the mood triggers worse. For example if you are already mildly anxious about not having any New Years eve plans, eating sugary meals or snacks and skipping your forest walks makes it easier for you to become irritable or sad. Keep your health balanced by paying attention to all three areas: diet, activity and mental and emotional wellness. SUPPORT YOUR BODY Don't be afraid to 'ask for help'. If you know you're about to have an unhealthy meal, too much to drink or a late night, help your body cope by using a supplement or two. For rich meals consider digestive enzymes and a stronger probiotic over the length of the festive season. If you're drinking alcohol support your liver with herbals like Dandelion.  FIND A COMMITMENT FRIEND On the exercise front, if you're finding it challenging to keep motivated to exercise because you used to do so around your regular work schedule, ask a friend to become holiday exercise buddies. A commitment to someone else often makes us act - more so than a commitment to ourselves. STAY CENTRED  Lastly, don't forget to invest in you-time during the season. It is all too easy to get drawn into friends and family time. While these connections are indeed life-giving, so too is the connection to self. Take an hour or two, once or twice a week, to do something for yourself, by yourself. This could be as simple as reading a book in bed, or as 'complex' as taking up an art or craft class. Make the time to care for yourself before you share your love with others. TIP: CHAT TO THE STAFF IN YOUR LOCAL WELLNESS STORE ABOUT THE WELLNESS 360 ASSESSMENT TO FIND OUT WHAT SUPPORT YOUR BODY MAY BENEFIT FROM OVER THE SEASON.  For more about Dr Yesheen Singh log onto www.healthnation.co.za

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