The Holidays are a joyful time where we get together with Friends and Family. We also tend to pile on MORE To Do’s in a short period of time than any other time of year. Between the stress, the eating, the drinking, and being in crowded stores with more people that the rest of the entire year, it’s no wonder that we tend to get run down, and even a little sick during this time of year. Not to worry! Today you are going to get my 5 simple steps I do to super charge my health for the holidays and keep myself in tip top shape.
#1) Incorporate Juicing Into Your Diet
Do this just a few days at a time and expand from there. I KNOW! When a lot folks hear me say “JUICING” for the first time they really hear, YUCK! and sounds like a lot of work. But the truth is that Juicing is delicious and doesn’t have to be a lot of work. More than ever there are stores that will make the juice for you. You just have to tell them what you do like and then they will make enough juice for your needs. If this option is a little pricey for you, there there are lots of brands of pre-made juices in your local grocery store. So Why is Juicing So Good For You? Great Question. When you eat solid foods, your body has to use up a lot of energy to digest that food. Some have said that the largest output of energy on an average day for most people is spent on digesting food. This is where Juicing Plays A Key Role In Your HealthJuicing removes the fiber and pulp from your food supply delivering all the nutrients in a way that your body can easily absorb. At the same time, your body doesn’t have to spend all that energy digesting and once your body realizes this, it will divert the extra energy saved over to healing itself. This really gives your body a boost and drives up your defenses. When you are juicing for the first time, that first day can seem kind of tough. When you feel hungry, have a juice or drink a full glass of water. And avoid chewing gum. Chewing gum tells your brain that you are going to eat and it can actually make you feel hungrier when you don’t eat. If you juice for 3 days or longer, it is usually on that 3rd day when your body will realize it has all this extra energy to use on healing. This is the day you get what i call the Juice High. You will literally be buzzing and feeling unstoppable. And this will carry on for about 3-4 days. This will also help you actually WANT to keep juicing. So I am not saying that you should JUICE for weeks…… usually 3 days at a time and doing this once a quarter is a good DETOX and purge. If you can go 5 days it is much better for you. When breaking your fast, having something light like a salad and ease your system back into food. Doing this a week before Thanksgiving and the rest of your holiday gatherings is a great way to prepare yourself for all the eating that is about to happen. ALSO, the day after a big day is a great time to kick off another 3 to 5 day juice fast. AND while you are eating on yor normal schedule incorporating a morning juice ito your day is a great way to get a shot of all the nutrients that you need. I like to use a green juice powder that makes it super easy. In less than 1 minute I just take a scoop of powder, add 3 cups of cold water, stir, and viola, I have a nutrient dense drink ready to kick off my day.
#2) Prime Your Digestion Enzymes And Watch Your Turbo Boost Kick In
Enzymes control the efficiency of your digestion. As we age, we lose levels and potency of the enzymes in our gut. Symptoms of this is waking up Foggy and feeling Groggy. Feeling bloated and gassy after eating. Sometimes stomach cramps. If you are suffering from Acid Re flux or heartburn, chances are you are in need to boosting your digestive enzymes. Once you improve your digestion, your body is more efficient at extracting the nutrients and energy you need to get from your food. This allows your body to kick into overdrive and take the excess energy created from your food, AND saved by digesting more efficiently (just like juicing) and heal itself PLUS boost you immune system. During the holidays, these digestive enzymes can really help recover from the over indulgence in holiday meals and deserts and get you back on track without any of the guilt.
#3) Get On A Solid Sleep Schedule
As basic as this sounds it is one of the things that most of us either ignore or just struggle with. As I wrote that title, the first thought that popped into my head was, “but this article is about HOLIDAY SEASON” and there isn’t any time for sleep! But, if you know in advance when you are going to ramp up, then you can get the additional sleep you need in the days leading up to that point. This way you are giving your body a chance to rest and heal while building up some stores of energy for the stressful time in line at the store trying to get the best deal. I used to have trouble sleeping and would resort to over the counter sleeping aids. AND while those did the job for me, what I also learned was that by taking care of my health by Juicing and using Digestive Enzymes daily, my challenges with falling asleep started to disappear. So as you can see, the health benefits of these steps start to stack on one another. Another improvement to my habits that really helped with sleep was incorporating some kind of light weight workout into my day. Nothing serious or heavy, just a little to get my blood pumping for about 15 minutes. If you want to go beyond that, by all means, you’re just going to get better results. But to start, just go outside and take a walk.
#4) Stay Hydrated
A lot of times fatigue is a symptom of dehydration. And when people get tired they have been programmed to grab a cup of coffee r an energy drink. Both of these solutions dehydrate our body. As to sodas, teas, and sports drinks. Many times, when you feel fatigued, drinking a glass of water and taking 3 to 5 deep breathes can reactivate you and get you going again.
#5) Find Some “ME” Time
Always make sure you set aside some time for yourself. Find a quiet space where you can just do nothing for 15 minutes. I like to use this time for meditation. My wife likes to use this time for Yoga. Whatever you want to do with it, just make sure you do it. A little time to yourself each day will help focus and keep you mental health balanced and stress levels down.
#6) [BONUS] Start Using Time Blocking
Whats the BEST Way To Eat An Elephant? One bite at a time. This saying plays right into managing stress and setting expectations on your schedule. Stress comes from feeling like there is too much to do in the time allowed,. Or the feeling of being behind. OR even worse, the feeling of not getting yor tasks done and being a loser. Here’s a little secret… If you don’t write it down, then you aren’t giving yourself a fair chance at getting it all done and instead you are actually manufacturing your own stress and even amplifying it. I have found this to be very helpful and here is what I believe is the best process to employ this strategy. 1st: Make a list of everything that you need to get done 2nd: Give each item a priority score with 1 being the lowest and 5 being the highest3rd: identify the items that require someone else to do something to get the overall task completed. EXAMPLE: I need to shop for dinner but Aunt Sue is cooking and need to get me her shopping list. I call these Boomerang tasks because I can take a step to completing it by emailing her the request for her list and then know she can get it together while I am working on other items. THIS IS THE TRUE FORM OF MULTI TASKING BY PUSHING THE WORK OUT TO OTHERS. 4th: Go through the list and assign a time limit to each task. If this is new to you, take the time allotment you assigned and increase it by 30% NOW YOU HAVE A PLANWhen you have everything mapped out in advance and know the outcome you want the stress melts away and nothing “FEEL” last minute. Sleep is better and life is better.
NOW that you have this information on your tasks for the week, you can logically and realistically set up your days. I bet if you look at a past TO DO list you created without this method, you probably had 15 hours of tasks in a day that you only had 6 hours to do it all in. And THAT sounds stressful. I hope these tips help you this holiday season and the rest of the year. Let Me Know What You Think. To Your Health, Matt Richards