Finding Balance after a Thanksgiving Binge….

I would love to be able to tell you that I am so extraordinarily grounded and convicted that I am one of those people we only hear about in lore who hold fast and true to their healthy choices over the holiday.  This would simply be a lie – and I would never want to lie to you, dear reader.  So, it is with a full belly and well rested body that I return from my lovely grandparent’s home, admitting to have fallen blissfully off the wagon.

I am not alone in this post-thanksgiving fog, however.  I know many of you out there share my simultaneous joy and pain regarding the holiday weekend, which I do find reassuring.  We are all, after all, imperfect, yes?

Holidays are a remarkable roller coaster for most of us.  They’re emotionally charged – seeing and spending time with family (or not), reminiscing on holidays past (be they good or bad), looking forward to the glorious bounty of deliciousness while being mindful of our health/fitness goals….just to name a few.  Even for those of us finding ourselves emotionally cool as a cranberry sauce during these gatherings often feel sluggish and bloaty after a few meals (or days!) of eating differently then we might at our own dinner tables.

JuicingPictureI, for one, can relate to all of the above.  And so, after a long week of sitting around and eating — and treasuring every delicious moment of it — I return home ready for some re-balancing.

Here are some tips to get back on track, from my post-Thanksgiving to yours:

1)  Get your body moving!  I highly recommend yoga (shocker!).  Yoga will help relieve stiffness and tightness, support digestion, and sooth your busy mind.   After sitting on the couch, at the table, in the car, we all feel heavy and tight.  Even better, try hot yoga.  A.maz.ing.  Reap the benefits of yoga while sweating out toxins.  Not into yoga?  Take a walk with a friend, check out all of the holiday decorations that popped up while everyone was off work last week.  Whatever you do, get moving!  Wash, rinse, and repeat all week for this gal.

2) Make some time for yourself!  Traveling/cooking/being with family can be wonderful, but it can also be stressful.  Take time to meditate, take a warm salt bath, rub your dog’s belly for an hour, order dinner in.  Or…. all of the above (i.e. my Saturday night).  Quiet or solitary activities like these help to reduce stress hormones and re-balance our mental and emotional energy.

3) Drink water.  Lots of it.  (Especially after hot yoga!!)  You’re body is likely to be dehydrated – the average Thanksgiving dinner has upwards of 2,000 milligrams of sodium.  That’s more than your recommended daily allotment!  Hydrating is a quick and easy way to increase energy and reduce that puffy feeling.

4) Consider a cleanse, or purposefully plan the week’s meals.  Even if you didn’t over eat, chances are that you ate differently, and perhaps more unhealthy, than you normally do.  Plan for meals that are clean and healthy – packed with vitamins and antioxidants to help refuel your physical body.  Avoid carbs, red meats, dairy, or other foods that you know to cause you sluggishness or digestive stress – if only for the week!

The hubby and I are doing just that!  We’ll be following a mostly raw diet this week (the exception being some irresistible butternut squash), flushed with fresh and cleansing juices.   An extended (and cold!) trip to the Baltimore Farmers Market made it all possible.  Breakfast and lunch will be primarily juice based, while dinners will be a smorgasbord of veges, nuts, beans, fruits, etc.  Day one has been going exceptionally well – here’s one of the juices we made last night!

Beet Ginger Juice
(Adapted from Eatingwell – Makes approximately 10oz)
1 Orange
1 Carrot
2-3 Beets
1/2 – 1 Bunch Kale
1 Apple
1 Romain Heart
1.5-2″ Fresh Ginger

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