”Tis the season for feasting, drinking, and family gatherings! It”s too bad that these activities often come with some not-so-welcome guests: heartburn, hangovers, and stress, which can dampen anyone”s spirits. Fortunately, there are simple strategies to send these problems packing.
Don’t show up hungry! The keys to preventing heartburn, indigestion, and weight gain are moderation and smart snacking. Instead of not eating all day to “save room” for a heavy dinner, have meals or snacks, including breakfast, every 3 to 4 hours. Keep healthy choices, such as fresh fruit or low-fat yogurt, on hand. To help prevent overeating, try having a small snack 30 minutes before a party.
Think before you drink. Stay safe by taking it easy on the spiked drinks and planning ahead, both for yourself and your guests. Here are a few tips:
Time out! The holidays bring seemingly endless parties, fundraisers, and family get-togethers. Avoid burnout by participating in those events that are meaningful to you and your family and politely saying no to the rest. Keep stress in check by including some down time in your holiday schedule. Try relaxing with a favourite movie or book, volunteering in your community, or taking the family dog for a walk in the park.
Help for the holidays. If you”ve recently lost someone you love, the holidays can be difficult. You may find a bereavement group helpful. You can also decide which traditions you”d like to continue and who can help (for example, if your loved one used to prepare the holiday feast, perhaps other family members can now share the honours). This is also your chance to start new traditions.
Q: What can I do about stress during the holiday season?
A: You can do a few things. Make sure you get enough sleep. Get your shopping, wrapping, and planning done in time to allow for a full 7 to 8 hours of sleep each night. Also eat nutritiously – eat vegetables to give your immune system an extra boost of nutrition during stressful times. Keep fresh or canned veggies on hand to supplement your meals or fill in the gaps as snacks.
Do you have a question? Don’t hesitate to ask your Live Well Pharmacist.
How to handle the holiday buffet: fill your plate with small amounts of the foods you like most (but avoid extra dips, gravy, and butter), then get away from the table – lingering will only encourage overeating. Eat slowly and savour the food. When you”re finished, don”t refill your plate right away. It takes 20 minutes for the stomach to signal to the brain that it”s full.
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