Your Essential Holiday Health Guide

 For a Happy Holiday Season ...

For a Happy Holiday Season ...

Your Essential HOLIDAY HEALTH Guide
 
It’s that time of the year when we’re dragging ourselves to the finish line. The revolving door of holiday parties, shopping madness, entertaining and work deadlines can mean a lot of extra stress on our bodies! So here’s my Essential Holiday Health Guide to keep you rolling right through this crazy season in the merriest of spirits. 
 
Keep your Immune System Strong
If you’re not already taking a multi-strain probiotic (#beneficial bacteria) start now! Over 70% of our immunity is in our gut, which is where these beneficial organisms live.  Good olde holiday cheer, cookies, cakes, candy canes and general stress all deplete these immune-boosting organisms, making us vulnerable to seasonal viruses, so let’s bring in the reinforcements. I recommend: http://www.seroyal.com/hmf-intensive.html . With 25 billion multi-strain CFU’s (colony forming units) per capsule, it’s intended for quick replenishment of our beneficial gut flora and can also be continued for long-term health maintenance. 
 
On the food side, add in some fermented foods that contain these beneficial bacteria, such as kimchi (find it in the fridge section), dark chocolate (no issue there), miso (makes a tasty addition to soups), tempeh and sauerkraut (so delish on left-over turkey sandwiches - also buy from the fridge section).
 
Liver Support
It’s an extra hectic time for the ‘CEO’ of the body - our liver, which is working overtime to process all the deliciousness of the holiday season – sugar, alcohol (more sugar) fat and protein.  Give it some love in the form of a Milk Thistle herbal supplement. It’s an excellent source of silymarin, an antioxidant extracted from the plant leaves that may help repair liver cells that have been damaged by alcohol, fructose and environmental pollutants. Milk Thistle is widely available at any health food store.
 
If you prefer to rely on foods for liver support (love it), fill up your shopping cart with dark green leafy veggies, broccoli sprouts, cruciferous vegetables (such as broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage) avocados, garlic and onions, sea vegetables (clean, organic source only) and berries. If you plan to cook up a tasty roast or some warming stews over the holidays, the best liver-friendly meat choices would be grass-fed beef or lamb, or organic poultry.
 
Keep the Added Sugar under Wraps
We all tend to go overboard during the holiday season (#seriously) but if you have this formula in your back pocket, you’re be more likely to avoid the post holiday weight blues. The World Health Organisation’s (WHO) daily sugar recommendation is 6 teaspoons or 24 grams, so start checking sugar amounts on those food labels and figure out how much sugar that one sinful chocolate cookie contains, before devouring the whole pack! It might be more than your whole day’s recommended amount, but at least you’ll know you need to stop there! 
 
Hydrate, Hydrate and Hydrate Some More
Of course we like to drink a little more around the holiday season so be smart and always follow the ‘One For One rule’ - one glass of water with each alcoholic drink. This helps to keep our kidneys happy and help prevent those unwanted UTI’s or thumping headaches that can really impact the joyfulness of the season. 
 
Always start your morning off with a glass of filtered water to flush your kidneys after their night of detoxing (put it by your bed before you go to sleep) and keep hydrating throughout the day. Not only will your skin be glowing, you’ll have more energy to squeeze out every festive drop of the season.
 
Prioritize Sleep
I know … not always easy but seriously, shut off that computer or late night TV show and get some healing sleep. You’ll be impressed with how much better you cope with the ups and downs of the season. As an addition bonus, you’ll be looking radiant when you arise like sleeping beauty from that deep, rejuvenating 9 hours of heavenly slumber – sleep is the gift that keeps on giving!
 
Treat yourself
… to a professional massage session and let those knots melt away. Sometimes we don’t even realize how tight our muscles are until we get that hammering headache, crick in the neck or sore back.  So don’t be sidelined this season; book that preventative massage session and float into this season of goodwill with nothing but good vibes.   
 
So, that’s a wrap from this festive BRIT BEET. Remember, I’m always happy to answer your health and wellness questions, so please don’t hesitate to contact me at joanna@thebritbeet.com or follow me@thebritbeet for health advice and chef inspired recipes.