Stress Around the Holidays
The holidays can often lead to stress for many. Trying to eat healthy and enjoy your food shouldn’t be a cause of stress. But what does the Mediterranean diet have to do with holiday stress tips?
One thing we love about The Mediterranean Diet is that enjoying food and sharing meals with friends and family is a goal. How many other diets can say that?
Realistic Tips for Less Holiday Stress
We pride ourselves on trying be realistic in our approach to The Mediterranean diet. The holidays can often be a time of stress – errands, gifts, time with family, etc. Often the first thing to be cut from the list is our own personal health. Exercise – sorry, no time. Cooking healthy meals – take out to the rescue.
Check our more about Our Mediterranean Diet Food Philosophy
We hope these realistic tips can help you reduce some stress while still taking care of yourself this holiday season.
Don’t Forget those Fruits & Veggies
The biggest tip we can give to anyone wanting to follow a more Mediterranean inspired diet is to add more fruits, veggies, nuts, seeds and beans to your meals. In other words – more plants!
Including more plant based foods into your diet has been associated with a decreased risk of heart disease, lower cholesterol, better blood glucose control, better blood pressure, increased memory and slower cognitive decline. If that wasn’t enough, it can help with depression, increased immune system function, decreased inflammation and regular GI function.
So how can you add more plants into your meals? We are so glad you asked –
- Try to add in some fruits or veggies at breakfast. Toss some fresh or frozen fruit into your smoothies, add some sautéed spinach to your eggs, or top that yogurt with some sliced fruit and granola
- Lunch is a great opportunity to double up on the plants. Add a side salad, spread some hummus on that sandwich, or simply grab a handful of nuts and apple for a tasty treat.
- Try a new recipe and give a plant based meal a try
Holiday Tip – take a look at your holiday menu and see if you are lacking in either fruits, vegetables or a certain color of either (green, orange, red, yellow, purple, etc). If you are try to make it a goal to find a way to fit it into a dish. Not hosting? No problem, ask if you can bring a side dish or appetizer and then consider brining some of our favorites –
Skipping Meals to “Save Up” Calories?
The holidays shouldn’t mean depriving yourself of meals in order to enjoy your favorites later on at a party or dinner. Your body needs fuel and nourishment throughout the day, not to mention skipping meals will just leave you tired, grumpy and famished by the time your event or dinner comes around.
Try to eat regularly, especially during times of stress. There are also certain foods that can help reduce stress, like nuts, salmon, spinach, oats and dark chocolate. Check out this post on 7 Foods for Stress Relief.
Daily Movement for Holiday Stress Relief
Finding time to fit in a little daily movement can do wonders for your mind, body and stress levels. We completely understand that sometimes when you are stressed and busy, the last thing you want to do is “exercise”. That’s why we prefer to look at is a little daily movement, which is even better when you tie it into your “celebrations”.
According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America, “Scientists have found that regular participation in aerobic exercise has been shown to decrease overall levels of tension, elevate and stabilize mood, improve sleep, and improve self-esteem. Even five minutes of aerobic exercise can stimulate anti-anxiety effects”.
- Meet a friend for a walk, it’s a great stress reliever but also a way to check in and spend time with friends this holiday season
- Schedule a family bike ride as a fun holiday outing, even better when followed up with hot chocolate
- Grab a foam roller while watching a holiday movie to roll away a little stress and tension
- Have a dance party with your kids one night after dinner – fun, festive and a great way to get the heart rate up
Final and Most Important Holiday Stress Relief Tip
Our most important tip for stress relief this holiday season is to simply enjoy it.
We know, it’s sounds pompous but in all actuality, one thing that We Think People Get Wrong About the Mediterranean Diet is that they don’t remember to find the enjoyment of eating good food. Especially when it’s surrounded by family or friends.
Food is meant to be celebrated. Enjoyed. Shared with others. So be sure to sit back and savor the moments. The people. The laugher. Don’t worry about calories.
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