Let’s face it, most of us splurged on Thanksgiving. With holiday parties and gatherings up ahead, we’re wondering how we’re going to stay healthy. Challenges to our physical and mental-emotional health are everywhere. There’s the food, the stresses of traveling, conflict in the family, and many others. Some of these challenges are unavoidable, but we can focus on the things we can control, and make the best choices for our overall wellbeing.

At Vitalia, we’ve come up with five things you can do to help make this year’s celebrations happier and healthier:

  • Modify a Favorite Holiday Recipe – By now you probably know that healthy food doesn’t have to taste like it’s healthy food. One of the best brownies we’ve ever had was made from black beans! It was moist, chocolatey, and because it contained more protein and fiber than a regular brownie, wouldn’t cause a dramatic spike in blood sugar. And you know what? Until someone told us, we wouldn’t have known the recipe had been switched. One trick to sneaking in a healthy recipe is to fine tune it at home before serving it to the crowd.
  • Follow the “80% Full” Rule – This one is simple. Just before sitting down to a big meal, remind yourself to stop eating when you feel “80% full.” If you’ve just gotta have that dessert, stop at 75% and make that dessert the other 5%. This can help ease the stress of counting calories, and make us feel more in control and accomplished by controlling our portions.
  • Remember Your B-Vitamins – Stress and illness use up our B-vitamins faster than normal. A daily B-vitamin complex with active forms of B-6 (pyridoxal-5-phosphate), folate (5-methyltetrahydrofolate), and B-12 (methylcobalamin) can make a world of difference on our energy, how we manage stress, and our sleep quality! 
  • Get the Group Out for a Walk – After the big meal, many times we want to retire to the couch. Try asking who’s up for a walk around the neighborhood (even better if there’s a park nearby) BEFORE the meal starts. This might encourage others to follow the “80% Full Rule.”
  • Try out a meditation app – For most of us, our smartphones are always on us. Sure, our phones can stress us out, but we can transform this by using them to help us relax. Search “meditation” wherever you get your apps and try one or two out. “Stop, Breathe and Think” and “Headspace” are popular, and offer free trials. You might be surprised how 10 minutes can change things!

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