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Three Keys to Staying on Track While Enjoying the Holidays

by Bartley Creasman |

This time of year is both incredibly rewarding and eye-poppingly stressful, with all the family get-togethers, delicious food, travel, shopping, and holiday parties, it can be very easy to put your own well-being on the back burner. But you can enjoy this time of year without regretting it in January (and creating another resolution). Everyone loves a list, so here are our three keys to reasonably maintaining your health, wellness, and sanity by taking care of your body without sacrificing your enjoyment of the season.
  1. ENJOY - Seriously? Yes. A big part of our philosophy is the 80/20 rule (one of the inspirations for our name), and the fact that 20% of the time you can indulge in the food you love. So on Thanksgiving or Christmas, eat the foods you love! Have some pumpkin pie or whatever it is you really only eat this time of year (I mean, stuffing with gravy... c'mon). It's hard to resist while all your friends and family are enjoying themselves, so give yourself a meal to do the same. 
  2. Keep it to one day - Enjoy your Thanksgiving feast? Great, now don't let that spill over into the next day (or week, or month) of habits. The next couple of days should consist of food you know is healthy, and try to make the next day perfect if you can, with lots of vegetables, fruits, healthy protein, and fibrous carbs. If you hosted the feast/party, get in the holiday spirit and give away the leftovers (which can be tough, but it's for the best). We humbly suggest a few 80Fresh meals for the next few days, so you can go easy on food prep (after you probably cooked for 2 days straight), while getting the nutrition you need to get back on track. 

    The big problem we've seen from our experience during this time of year is mentality. Telling yourself "well, I already ruined it for the rest of this year, might as well wait until January to get back on track" is the real danger. It's easy with all the stress to let yourself go and not take the time and effort to prioritize your health, then leave yourself an uphill battle in January. So don't let three or four days of celebration turn into a month of gluttony. We've been there, and it really is an easy trap to avoid with a little change of mentality.

  3. Maintain exercise habits as much as possible - We don't talk much about exercise, but we all know its importance in improving and maintaining health. All we'll say about this aspect of your well-being is that you should try to keep up with your routine as much as possible during this time of year. We know it's getting colder outside, and that you're busy with travel, and shopping, and hosting parties, but try as hard as possible to keep up with the exercise activities you enjoy the most. For me it's washed-up men's league soccer and a nice long walk in the sun, but for you it might be yoga, hiking, lifting weights, running, or a fun workout class at your gym. Whatever it is, keep to the same mentality we suggest in number 2 - don't let a couple days off affect the rest of the month.
Enjoy the holidays!