We get it. (Boy, do we get it!!) Creating balance isn’t always a piece of cake — especially during the holidays — so we pinged some dietitian friends for a mini blog series that explores real, sensible ways to maintain health (and sanity) during the whirlwind of deliciousness that awaits in the coming months.
Read part 1 here or keep reading for today’s advice à la Lauren Ross, RD. Lauren is the Director of Wellness and Sustainability for the University of Houston Dining Services, part-time MPH student,
runner (our edit: running QUEEN 👑), dog mom, and full time foodie.
This is my happy face // this is my happy place . Last Saturday at #bb100 I got to hang out with friends and #runwithgators . One of my favorite things about @trailracingovertexas races is that a big chunk of them are held at Texas state parks. Checking out @texasparkswildlife while racing has been a unique way for me to get to know this state since I moved here two years ago. The terrain I've run in is incredibly varied, from the flat and fast gravel trails of #brazosbend to the lung-busting sotol and sagebrush peaks of #franklinmountains it's always a pleasure to discover new wild landscapes. . 📸 @mykehphoto . . . . . . #running #trailrunning #optoutside #trails #stateparks #texas #runintexas #runtexas #werunsocial #stravashare #runnerspace #funning #marathontraining #halfmarathon #teamtrot #werunonwater #teamnathan #julboathlete #altrarunning #embracethespace #neverstopexploring #smiles #milesofsmiles
Maintain some sort of routine.
Maybe you get to sleep in a bit later since you don’t have to get to work by 8 over holiday break, or maybe you have end of year deadlines that have you going on full blast for 25 hours a day. Regardless, try to get up, have breakfast, and exercise if those are your normal morning activities (they are for me), and keep a consistent lunch and dinner too. It’s way too easy during the holidays to get sucked into eating all day long instead of having balanced, filling meals. While it’s okay to nibble a little here and there, cookies and cheese from wake up time to bed time is going to leave you feeling sluggish.
Eat the dang pie.
We all have that one decadent holiday food that we could eat until we explode. Oftentimes when people are trying to stay healthy during the holiday season, they end up doing everything possible to skip that one thing they really truly want. This can lead to eating a whole lot of moderately more healthful or less caloric foods and never really satisfying that craving. I also see people starving themselves all day to have that pumpkin pie or scalloped potatoes or [insert rich holiday food here], and being irritable all day leading up to a meal comprised almost entirely of that single food (and way too much of it), which leaves them feeling sick and guilty afterward. Instead, eat a meal with plenty of veggies and protein that will keep you full, and satisfy that craving with a well-portioned serving of whatever your must-have food is. You’re supposed to enjoy your food! We just want to make sure that you are happy and full of some good stuff too. #NOSHAMEHOLIDAY
#Runningfriends are the best friends because they are always down to exercise and/or eat with you. . Celebrated a friend's birthday yesterday with a brunch at @snoozeameatery where the two of us (both being very small humans) nearly took down allllll of this food: . 👉🏼Corned beef hash with eggs and toast (excellent flavor on that hash, so delicious) . 👉🏼Pancake flight including PB cup, strawberry crunch, and blackberry key lime . Top it off with copious amounts of ☕️ and conversation and I was one happy camper! . Balance doesn't have to happen within one meal, or sometimes even within one day. Balance with nutrition is about choosing foods to optimally support your body and soul, and sometimes that means 🥞x3. #intuitiveeating
Meet up with friends for a sweat date.
Holidays are crazy, and sometimes that’s because there is a lot of family around and all up in each other’s business. I always try to catch up with old friends for a run or a yoga class to get out of the house a bit, get the endorphins pumping, rediscover the warm and fuzzy feeling of reconnecting with people you don’t get to see often, and chat about something other than the fact that it’s about time your cousin got married or that crazy thing your aunt did or when you’re ever going to get a “real” job (eyeroll). For your own sanity, go sweat it out.
Running, like most things, is better shared. . Ran the fastest #marathon of my life one week ago today 🙌🏼 . Coah @calneff said to me before the race: "If you find yourself alone, it's better to speed up or slow down a little to run with a pack, but I know you'll make friends" . He was right! Found myself two fellow #massholes (one from birth, one who moved to MA later on but we will still count him) to share the miles with. It's amazing how having people around makes the miles fly by! . I am also struck by how running conversations with people are so much more real than regular conversations. Less of the "what do you do for work" talk and more of the "what things in life make you happy" talk. Maybe a little chatter about peeing yourself during #marathons 🙈 . . Big thanks to @runvermont and @vermonttourism for the free photos! Just another reason to run this awesome race 😁
Do what makes you happy.
Yeah, when things are busy it can feel overwhelming to add something else to your to-do list. I hear you. But I also know that there are tiny little things that make you happy that won’t take much extra work to incorporate. The first step is to make a list of things that you love, so that when you’re stressed out and about to explode you don’t have to use your brain. Then all you have to do is peruse that list for things that you can easily sneak in on whatever day it is. Maybe it’s swinging by the animal shelter on your way to the grocery store to pet some puppies. Maybe it’s doing your evening reading from an epsom salt bath (I’m like, really good at this). Maybe it’s a cup of tea. A new scented candle. A Taylor Swift dance party. JUST DO IT.
Hmm… balance doesn’t feel so hard to grasp now, does it? 😉 How do you maintain balance during the holidays? Let us know in a comment!