Many people make the false assumption that as a dietitian I have “perfect” eating & exercise habits. I have even had a few people mention they hope to never see me in the grocery store for fear that I may “judge” their cart contents (rest assured, grocery cart judge I am not). While I am certainly not the food police, I recognize that I cannot teach others about proper nutrition & exercise if I am not engaging in those behaviors myself. The biggest barrier to living healthy for me is time management. Without time management I am stressed and stress equals poor lifestyle choices (more caffeine, more chocolate in my case). This year I am determined to better manage my time thus resulting in a day mostly filled with smart choices (notice the word “mostly” because after all it is the holidays).
Tips for managing holiday (or anytime stress)
1. My number one tip is developing a positive attitude. This sound cliché but it is oh so true. Attitude makes a huge difference in how my day goes. If my attitude is poor, so is my day (along with my eating habits).
2. Sleep and wake up on time. One is not possible without the other, in other words I cannot wake up early without the appropriate amount of sleep. No browsing the Internet or Pinterest before bedtime (guilty).
2. Exercise, dance to holiday music…. in other words move. Many people don’t make time for exercise during the holidays, but it is a tremendous stress reliever. Mornings are a great time to squeeze some physical activity into your day (note the above tip…sleep). If planned exercise is not a priority (though it should be), make a point to move throughout the day (take a walk break, use the stairs, etc)
3. Don’t skip meals. I repeat, don’t skip meals. More times than not this results in overindulging in foods you would not normally eat (or eat in large quantities) Plan ahead and snack smart with items such as apple slices with peanut butter, plain Greek yogurt with some granola, a handful of nuts & “healthy” energy bars. Check out this easy recipe for portable homemade energy bars from Appetite for Health.