Omg! December is here.
You know the drill; everyone will be buying a gym membership in 30 days. With Thanksgiving over, we are now looking forward to the Christmas Season. Party Time and Shopping Time! For some of us this can be a very stressful time of year. Don’t let it get you down. I thought that I would write about two specific topics: Peppermint, Alcohol, Stress!
It is so easy to get off track with your diet and exercise over the holidays. I find it particularly stressful when I get derailed over the holidays. You can gain a few pounds in a hurry which makes you feel sluggish and defeated.
Peppermint: For the Holidays!
Peppermint is a leaf. It is available in the form of teas, tinctures, essential oil, coated capsules of peppermint oil, chewing gum, and mints.
Everywhere we look there is peppermint. It’s a classic candy for the holidays. Peppermint is actually good for you. Here is what I have learned:
Peppermint is good for digestion. You can find in in specialty teas, and is great with some honey to help digest all of the holiday food that we are eating.
Peppermint is also great for gastrointestinal problems; it calms the intestinal tract.
Peppermint is good for flatulence, (farting) or irritable bowel syndrome!
If you are pregnant, peppermint is good for morning sickness or any type of nausea.
It’s cold and flu season, and peppermint is good for respiratory congestion. You can buy peppermint in an essential oil. Blend the essential oil with vegetable oil and rug on your temples to soothe a headache. Follow the directions carefully for use in bath water and topically. Do not add more than the directed amount to bath water.
Steep 1 ½ teaspoons of dried peppermint leaf in 1 Cup of hot water for 15 minutes, or a few drops of the essential oil in hot water for steam inhalation.
So, there you have it. Relax
Some things to remember:
1-Eat what you want, but just one plate and watch portions. I ate a huge plate for thanksgiving, and proud of it. Brussel sprouts, sauerkraut, green beans with onions, and some turkey breast. I was stuffed, just like the turkey. We had ham, but I opted out on that, stuffing, potatoes and gravy. In the end, it’s, not a big deal. It’s a great deal. Put the focus on enjoying family and friends, just being together.
2-Be cognizant of alcohol intake– (see below as to how it affects us) – contributes to mindless eating! Hydrate yourself throughout the day before drinking. I personally drink red wine, I am a Black Box, Cabernet fan and enjoy drinking it. It helps with assimilation, and dark chocolate deserts taste great. I would rather drink a glass of wine with dessert and have a few bites, rather than eating an entire piece..its all about feeling deprived.
3-Snacking, eat more protein than carbs and cut the salt. (salt and sugar are everywhere!) especially the holidays.
4-Desert, 70 % cocoa and sea-salt chocolate bar, all of the good chocolate companies have their version. Any woman out there will love delicious and satisfying. Grab a teaspoon, take a scoop of each desert at the party. You are not missing out on anything.
Stress makes you fat, sick, and creates many sleepless nights. Over the busy holiday just get out for 30 minutes of exercise, any type of exercise: walking, yoga, running, spinning, swimming etc. I know that as simple as it seems, many of us don’t get 30 minutes per day. This is what I do when I don’t feel like getting outside. Just pick 3 exercises, squats, walking up and down steps, push- ups, for example and do each one for 5 minutes each, then repeat them again later in the day. (15 minutes each X 2 = 30 minutes) I also have bands that I work out with, they are easy to take with you wherever you are. Just break a sweat every day, and this will put stress at bay. Don’t make excuses for not exercising. I like to get it over early, and tend to run out of gas around 3pm. It makes me feel like I have “one up” on everyone else. Get out of bed or off of the sofa and don’t even think about it, after 5 minutes you will feel great and more than likely keep going. Get lots of sleep and try to pamper yourself with a relaxing bath, essential oils, massage, for at least 15 minutes. I can’t say enough about the effects of stress on our lives.
Before you go to bed, (you can do it in the morning or while you are exercising) remember to count your blessings. Focus on all of the special things that you have in this life. Write down the things that are bothering you. The next day take your worries and turn it into tasks. Do what it takes to complete and get it off the list. If it’s money or something that cannot be achieved immediately, make a plan and stick to it. Make your goals measurable to ensure success. It will just make you feel worse if you fail! More stress.
This is good! I almost stopped drinking after learning this!
Alcohol, is a toxin and your body quickly works to metabolize and eliminate it. People drink to Relax, Celebrate, and Socialize. Alcohol is a drug that alters your conscious mind. Food in the stomach slows the absorption of alcohol, but most of the alcohol is absorbed in the small intestine and metabolized in the liver. Alcohol is a depressant of the central nervous system; it slows the transmission of the nervous system and is very sensitive to alcohol. The depressant effect of alcohol on the brain is what slows down a person’s reaction time to stimuli (such as a car coming toward you on the road) after drinking. Because the brain controls your thoughts, actions and behavior, alcohol impairs all of these. Many people wrongly think that a drink before bed will help them sleep better, but is has the opposite effect. Having a drink an hour before bed may help you fall asleep, but will disrupt your sleep cycle, it wakes you up and makes it difficult to fall back to sleep. A hang over is a way of your body saying “don’t do that to me again”!) Alcohol effects the natural process of hormones, insulin and glucagon that are automatically released to make glucose. The brain needs glucose to function properly. Alcohol causes a low blood glucose level that can contribute to fatigue, weakness, mood changes, and anxiety (Hangover). Alcohol also negatively effects parathyroid hormone and other bone strengthening hormones which increases the risk of osteoporosis, and increased estrogen levels in women, which could increase the risk of breast cancer. Learning this about alcohol made me aware of the damage it can do to our body. Certainly, can be damaging to our bodies if abused.
Natural health and wellness encompass a good diet, plenty of clean water and regular exercise, fresh air, herbs, essential oils, and other supplements to keep us in great shape and help us deal with life’s challenges.
Have a Wonderful Holiday, remember, don’t apologize for who you are and make a memory every day!