photo-145The holidays are right around the corner!  Do you have a strategy for feeling fit + healthy for the final weeks of 2014?  Or, are you just planning to wing it? What is the best thing to do so that you don’t wake up on Jan 1, pull on your favorite pair of jeans, and ask yourself, “What. Just. Happened!?!” when they feel more snug than you recall!  Today, I am going to share my holiday wellness plan, and it does not involve winging it.  Maybe a bit, but for the most part I am going to plan to maintain what I’ve worked so hard to achieve this year. I’m not just talking about physically, in both mind and body!  I am going to break this up into two parts: Nourish + Active.  Part two will be focused on staying motivated to be ACTIVE during this busy time.  So, let’s talk about how to nourish yourself this holiday season, without the over-indulgence…

I’ve approached the holidays in different ways over the years….

I have just totally winged it when it comes to nutrition and working out, and ended up completely missing the mark on all of it.  Other times, I have been overly strict with myself, not indulging at all, and working out even when I knew I needed to rest/enjoy the time.  For better or for worse, I tend to think in black or white!  I have experienced both extremes and always wanted to find a happy “grey” place in the middle.  A place where I can be comfortable with enjoying the holidays, and also being able to maintain the habits that keep me healthy and happy all year long.  It doesn’t make sense to throw all that out the window, just because its the “eating season.”

The Whole30 program has helped me find a happy, healthy balance!

(For more on Whole30, visit whole30.com, grab yourself a copy ofIt Starts With Food,” and check out my experiences with it under the “Whole30” tab on my home page.)  Last year, I experimented with doing an abbreviated version right after Thanksgiving, and then a full Whole3o in January.  It worked so well to keep me feeling on track, that Ryan and I are going to do it again this year.  I think I even have some of the Taos Whole30 crew on board with me!  Whole30 has written a great article about when it is appropriate/good to attempt a mini-version on their program.  It is not recommended to do an abbreviated version your first time because its not enough time for your body to experience the full range of benefits that are possible when you do 30 days.  Whole30 recommends that you have completed three full Whole30s before attempting a mini-Whole30.  If you are totally new to the program, now is a great time to read up on it and join me for the full 30-day version in January.  For me, I can get back to a place of feeling “better” (after a period of being off, such as vacation or holiday) in a short period of time, because I have committed to this way of eating most of the time.  So, if you are a first-timer, do a bit of research now, and then join me January 1st.  Trust me, you won’t regret it!!

WHY would you do a nutrition reset in the middle of the holidays?”  Here is WHY:

  • I enjoy my traditional Thanksgiving favorites, but then I am done.  I don’t stretch out the indulgence all the way through the month of December.  Mentally, I know that on Cyber Monday, Whole30 starts and I will be eating in a way that provides me with tons of energy and helps me to function at my best.  Plus, all the Cyber Monday shopping deals distract me from wanting to continue to eat those less healthy foods!
  • Through the Whole30, I was able to tame my sweet tooth.  I also learned that the more sugar you feed the “sugar dragon,” the more it wants.  If I can eliminate sugar (other than fruit) for a period of time before the holidays, sugar-filled treats don’t seem as appealing.  And, once I am ready to indulge, I savor those treats that much more and I am satisfied with less.  I think of it as a sugar-craving reboot.
  • Because I am eating nutrient-dense foods, I have more energy to fuel my body through workouts, holiday activities with my family, power shopping, and all the other busy-ness that comes with the season.  I feel better, so I am more apt to follow through with my workouts, and be motivated to make healthy choices even when I am super-busy.

(DON’T) Just Wing It…The Plan to NOURISH:

  • Nourishing my body with nutrient-dense foods and finding ways to slow down and enjoy one of my favorite times of the year.  Nourishing my soul by taking time to reflect on the year and all I have to be thankful for.
  • Keeping in mind that celebrating the season does not always have to involve food.  There are so many ways to cherish time with family and friends.  Not having everything revolve around food can be a good thing.
  • Doing the 10 Day Whole30 Reset, December 1st through December 10th.  If you would like to do 7 days, or 15 days instead, then by all means, go for it!!  I am doing 10 days because both Ryan and Marisa’s birthdays fall in December, and while I will be eating mostly paleo/Whole30ish anyway, I will be choosing to enjoy a slice of birthday cake with Marisa and celebrating with a cocktail at birthday dinner with Ryan!
  • Continuing to be mindful of what I’m eating and why, and celebrating the season without over-doing it.  For me, this means after the 10 day reset I’ll still eat clean majority of the time, and indulging when its something I truly enjoy.  No guilt.
  • Starting off the new year on January 1st with the Whole30, a complete 30 day nutritional reset.  Who’s with me??

I would LOVE to hear what you all think about this, and what (if any) is your wellness strategy going into the holidays?  Comment below and share….

AND, in case you missed it, Whole30 creators, Dallas and Melissa Hartwig were featured on The Dr. Oz Show today!!!  Pictured below is the book, “It Starts With Food,” which explains the Whole30 program in detail.  I’ve also included some of my favorite cookbooks that include Whole30 friendly recipes.  Note:  Not all recipes in these cookbooks are Whole30 approved, so be sure to read ingredients, always!!  I also get lots of recipe ideas from the official whole30recipes feed on Instagram and Facebook.

Welcome! Loubies and Lulu is a Dallas-based fitness, fashion, and healthy lifestyle blog by Andrea Overturf.

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