Ingrid Pincott

8 healthy holiday tips that are in my cupboard

1. Don’t skip meals: Schedules during the holidays are often very different from your 9-5 work day world. Maintaining your blood sugars will help with your cravings and the highs and lows of blood sugar. Eat a small meal if it is going to be 3 hours before the big dinner or buffet. Greens First smoothies can be a quick and easy way to tide you over. Ask for a free sample at the front desk.

2. Keep track: Count your appetizers. Every appetizer is about 60 calories so 5 bites is about 300 calories which is half the amount in a typical meal. Weighing yourself a few times during the holidays might help prevent you from going over board. Most people gain one pound over the holidays that they can’t lose in the New Year. This can add up year after year.

3. Delicious cranberry sauce and gravy: In our household we make all our cranberry sauce using organic cranberries. This is the only time of year you can find them so we freeze them in quantity. Homemade cranberry sauce lasts for months in the fridge and as we make “slow cooker turkey legs” all year round cranberry sauce is always in our fridge. We follow the directions on the package but use stevia instead of sugar as sweetener. For the last few years flour or cornstarch gravy we have replaced by pureeing cooked veggies instead. Onions, carrots and celery pureed in a Magic Bullet for a few seconds and darkened with soy sauce makes the most delicious gravy ever!

4. Exercise routines are out the window during the holidays but walking with company regularly can be a good substitute. Take them on your regular “block walk” of 3000 steps. A few steps a day is better than no steps! Give pedometers or Fitbits as gifts and turn it into a competition.

5. Alcohol can cause heart irregularities as well as mood and sleep changes. So I can tell you to drink less and alternate one alcohol drink with a carbonated soda water or dilute your drinks with soda water. Or I can tell you to increase your B complex and magnesium supplementation to offset some of the negative effects of alcohol. Your liver also loves curcumin or tumeric. Your choice! Taking the magnesium at night keeps your sleep cycles regular too.

6. Maintain your sleep quota; you may have some sleep deprivation over the holidays but making it up in naps or longer nights sleep is very healthful. Take advantage of your time off to rest and catch up. There is nothing quite as delicious as having a nap while reading a fun novel on a Wednesday afternoon!

7. Opt for Face to Face and not Facebook! Make 2016 your year to control your social media addiction. Find ways to interact with your friends face to face and have play dates! Remember those? Take up coloring or make weekly walking or gym dates. Have a planning session with your friend or spouse where you share your goals for the coming year in all aspects of your life: work, home, spouse, travel, financial, friends, family, physical, emotional and spiritual well being. Create a “vision board” together. Vow to live your life with intention and not at the beck and call of everyone around you.

8. Be ready. For those unhealthy episodes of your holiday have your first aid kit well stocked. Glyconda or digestive enzymes for those episodes of heartburn. Fresh ginger to make up a ginger drink for nausea, digestive upsets and chest infections. Boil 2 cups in one gallon of water for one hour. Stores in the fridge for one week. Serve with stevia, lemon or lime hot or cold. Taking probiotics regularly will also help. Have optibiostim or other Echinacea remedies at hand to treat those sore throats and colds immediately. HTSF is our flu remedy of choice and will get you out of trouble in 24 hours.

Dr. Ingrid Pincott, Naturopathic physician: