Hey, lovelies! It’s that busy time of the year again, the festive holiday season, and many of us, especially mums, feel overwhelmed with all the usual stuff piled on top of end-of-year events, family gatherings, and preparing for Christmas and school holidays.
I’ve been there too. My son reminded me this week that there are only 34 days till Christmas, and though he was excited, it made me feel overwhelmed.
Normally, I’m more organised, but this year feels different. So, I wanted to chat about how to take charge of this holiday rush. Feeling overwhelmed makes it hard to enjoy the holidays without getting stressed or burnt out. I adore this time of year, creating magic for my kids and spending quality time with family.
That’s why I’ve got some tips to share, things I do to stay in control during this festive season and enjoy it without feeling overwhelmed.
My first tip is to start meal planning if it’s not already part of your routine. I typically dedicate 10 to 15 minutes each week to plan meals for the upcoming week. From this plan, I generate a grocery list. To save time, especially during this busy period, I mostly do my grocery shopping online and have it delivered. However, I prefer to purchase seasonal produce, fresh fruits, and veggies from local farmers’ markets or nearby grocery stores to ensure quality.
When planning meals, I prioritise using ingredients that are currently in season and local to my area. In the southern hemisphere, it’s the season for delicious salads and summer fruits. I enjoy preparing large batches of salads and fruit mixes that can last for a few days. This helps ensure the kids get nourishing food without me having to spend too much time in the kitchen since the meals are already prepared.
I tend to cook in larger quantities or double batches when I prepare my meals. This way, a single meal might provide enough servings for two or three occasions. Having these pre-prepared meals in the freezer or fridge is a lifesaver, especially during the festive season when things get busier with social and after-school events. It prevents the scenario of arriving home late, feeling exhausted, and opting for quick, less healthy takeaway options. Instead, there are nutritious, homemade meals waiting in the fridge or freezer that I’ve cooked with care and love.
With more social events, increased heat, and even a bit more alcohol consumption, dehydration can quickly become a concern. I’ve noticed some of my clients experiencing dehydration due to the recent rise in temperature.
Remaining hydrated is crucial. It ensures you drink an ample amount of fluids every day. When you’re properly hydrated, you’ll feel more energised and mentally clear and can maintain consistent energy levels throughout the day. Plus, staying hydrated can reduce sugar and food cravings. Sometimes, we mistake thirst for hunger, but healthy foods like salads, fruits, and veggies naturally contain a lot of water, providing around a litre of fluid daily. You just need a little extra from the water you drink.
Particularly during this season, when there are more social gatherings and alcohol consumption, staying hydrated can help you avoid feeling rundown or experiencing the aftermath of a drink. If you do partake in social alcoholic beverages, try having a glass of water between each drink or opt for a non-alcoholic substitute like soda with lime, which can keep you hydrated and your energy levels stable without compromising on the social aspect of gatherings.
If you haven’t begun planning yet, now is the ideal time to start planning for the holidays. It’s about organising social events, family gatherings, school and children’s activities, and making sure they align with your holiday plans. Put each of these events in your calendar and schedule time to plan your meals and do your shopping. When planning your calendar, ensure you allocate time for much-needed rest and personal time. While juggling all these tasks, it’s essential not to overlook your own needs. Take time to pause, breathe, and savour the holiday season instead of rushing through it.
I’ve observed many clients expressing how fast this year has passed by. It raises the question, are we busier than usual, or are we neglecting the moments to rest and be present? So, as we approach this holiday season, I encourage you to allocate time for yourself.
Whether it’s watching the sunset or sunrise, taking a break during your day to relax, or simply allowing yourself moments of stillness, it’s crucial to provide yourself with the rest and rejuvenation you deserve. Just like recharging your phone, give yourself the time to recharge, ensuring you don’t reach New Year’s Eve feeling overwhelmed or burnt out even before the new year starts.
Ensure quality sleep
With extra events and an expanding to-do list, compromising sleep is common. However, maintaining your regular bedtime routine as much as possible is crucial. While occasional late-night events might pop up, sticking to your usual sleep schedule during the rest of the week supports quality sleep.
I have some insightful downloads available that offer tips on establishing an effective bedtime routine for better sleep quality. Avoid leaving chores until late at night, which can impede your sleep quality. Getting sufficient quality sleep allows you to wake up feeling refreshed and energised, setting you up to be more productive and focused the following day rather than feeling fatigued and struggling through the day. If you’re interested in learning more, feel free to reach out to me.
There you go, there are five tips to help you enjoy this holiday season.
Remember, good health is key for making the most of these moments with loved ones, managing tasks, and staying productive. Planning and mindfulness early on can keep things balanced, letting you enjoy a wholesome life and diet.
Enjoy holiday snacks while following these tips for healthy eating, self-care, staying hydrated, planning, and quality sleep. If you need guidance on improving sleep or making nutritious holiday snacks, reach out. Let’s make this season a joyful celebration. I am sending warm wishes to you and your loved ones.
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This is how gut microbes can influence weight!
Probiotics can help you gain weight or lose weight by interacting with our genetics, food and metabolism.
And yes, I did say lose or gain weight……..
Firstly, let me explain that the trillions of microbes in the gut need to be varied, meaning that there should be a large variety of species. There are many different species (or breeds) of microbes, and they all have their place in aiding health — the more variety and balance, the better health results.
Back to the weight loss or weight gain issue….
Do you eat yogurt and berries for breakfast? Thinking that it’s helping you lose weight?
Well, Lactobacillus acidophilus (like the species found in yoghurt) has been connected to weight gain.
I am not saying throw your yoghurt and berries in the bin. Instead, I am suggesting looking at the overall picture. If Lactobacillus acidophilus is the predominant micro-organism of the gut, then weight gain can result.
It is about the variety of species of gut microbes. Imagine if we only have trained german shepherd guard dogs in the world. It may be a safe world, but I am sure that other breeds may be more suitable as a family pet.
While Lactobacillus acidophilus is associated with weight gain, other Lactobacillus species correlate with weight loss.
Species like Lactobacillus plantarum, Lactobacillus gasseri, and Bifidobacteria animalis have been found to support weight loss.
Want to lose weight?
Look at your gut flora to support your goal.
Tests can be performed to identify the predominant species of the gut, and specific species can be utilised to support weight changes.
Want more information about your gut health?
Or want to look at all the factors contributing to weight gain, I’d love to be able to help.