These Holiday Health Hacks Let You Have Your Cake And Eat It Too

The silly season is about to get silly. Really, really silly. And for many of us, that means our regular schedule of healthy eating and exercise goes over a cliff… at least until we attempt claw our way back up with a flurry of unachievable New Years resolutions.

So some of us make plans to stay healthy. Really, really healthy. Gluten free for the month of December, so Grandma Betty can’t force us to eat her Christmas cake. One meal a day, so we can gorge and not feel guilty. Fasting before Christmas so when the day arrives we’re so thin we can eat ALL THE FOOD. Perhaps we become one of those irritating people who declines cheese, chocolate, wine, cake, bread, social situations, fun... and makes everyone else feel bad for enjoying their eighth piece of pie.

But does it really need to be that way? Is there some kind of middle ground? Is there a way to float through this holiday season, enjoying the food on offer without feeling a skerrick of guilt?  

I don’t have the answer to that one, I’m afraid. If you’ve managed it, get in touch.

But I did quiz the Wild Women On Top team about their holiday health hacks, and their advice ranged from hilarious to helpful to downright horrible. Take what you will:

  • Drink at least 3L of water a day. You’ll have to run to the bathroom so much you won’t need to exercise.
  • Don’t get sunburnt! Make sure you’re sitting under an umbrella when you sleep off your hangover at the beach.
  • Eat fruit. Margaritas count. 
  • Build big, crazy sandcastles and trenches with the kids (or without them)! You’ll find muscles the next day you didn’t know you had.
  • Encourage family exercise… if you jump in the pool fully clothed, the whole family will join in!
  • Feed the kids lollies all morning… you’ll be running around after them all afternoon.
  • SMILE! It’s a beautiful time of year, so don’t forget to enjoy it.
  • Move your body with love. Hike, yoga, SUP, surf, swim, play tennis, golf… whatever movement you love, do more.
  • Turn the stress DOWN. Way down. The world isn’t going to end if you don’t bake perfect, healthy treats to take to every event and make perfect handmade cards for everyone you’ve ever met and buy perfect Christmas presents for your family and decorate the perfect tree and have the perfect fairy lights and basically be perfect in every way.
  • If you have decadent, rich food one day, have a light, fresh salad and seafood the next. It’ll stop that heavy, lethargic feeling and support digestion.
  • Hug your family.
  • Grab the dogs/kids/a girlfriend/your iPod and go for a looooooooooooooooooooooooooooooong walk. You’ve got time.
  • Choose carrots over chips, sparkling water over bubbly and sushi over spring rolls. It’s the small changes that make a big difference.
  • Make sure you eat a balanced diet… one chocolate in each hand.  
  • Meditate.
  • Drink so much champagne you forget to feel guilty about the ice cream you ate for breakfast!
  • Load your plate with veggies and salad at every meal.
  • Skip dessert sometimes. But not always.
  • Enjoy gourmet, nourishing treats over mass-produced, packaged ones. Say YES to your Mum’s pavlova and “No thanks” to the box of Favourites.
  • Nap.
  • Practise self care… it might be a wine in the bath, a long walk with your bestie, a movie night alone, a date night with your lover, a yoga workshop, craft, a massage, a hair cut, a hike…
  • Focus on family, not things.
  • Remember life isn’t about perfection, but progress.
  • Be kind. To others, to yourself, and to the world.

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