North County Outlook - Community newspaper serving Marysville, Arlington, Tulalip, Smokey Point, Lakewood

Healthy for the Holidays


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If Thanksgiving left you feeling a bit overstuffed, now is the best time to slim down and get the food under control before the holidays hit hard.

Worried about how to get it all done for the upcoming Holidays? Do you always end up with so many items on your list to prepare for the holidays that the moments are gone before you have even had a chance to enjoy it? The first step in enjoying and thriving this holiday season is to make sure you stay healthy. Here are some tips to keep healthy during the holidays:

• Be prepared and boost your immune system. More people are indoors and traveling over the holidays. Before big gatherings and travel make sure you are ready. Take high quality supplements such as vitamin C, turmeric and Echinacea. Or a great immunity boost blend of herbs and supplements.

• Indulge in a little too much holiday cheer? If you have had more alcohol this holiday season, make sure your diet contains cruciferous vegetables such as kale, broccoli and lettuce to support your liver and immune function and help the liver flush extra toxins.

• Keep active. The holidays are a nice time to stay inside and cozy up, but don't let it keep you too sedentary. Try an indoor fitness class or bundle up and go on a walk to enjoy the lights or even do some caroling.

• Too much to fit in this season? Then just say no. There is nothing wrong with spending a quiet evening at home to recharge instead of attending another event you really don't need to be at. Your sanity will thank you for it.

• Did Thanksgiving leave you feeling over stuffed? Now is the best time to slim down and get the food under control before the holidays hit hard. December seems to be the month of eating. It can be very overwhelming for you and your waistline. Here are a few ways to combat all that food:

• Have healthy meals on hand. Spend some time filling up the freezer with quick and easy healthy dinners. On those busy days they are easy to pop in the oven without having to resort to another evening of pizza delivery.

• Rethink your drink. Alcohol has a large amount of calories, carbs and sugars and they will add up quickly. Try swapping a few high calorie drinks like that spiked Eggnog for something less indulgent such as a vodka tonic or a mimosa. And don't forget to hydrate with good old-fashioned water.

• Cut out the BLT's. No, I am not referring to the sandwich but the bites, licks and tastes. Those little bites while baking and cooking add up quick. It is said you can consume up to 500 extra calories while preparing for a holiday feast or event by sneaking in those extra BLT's. Avoid that by chewing on some gum.

• Know when to splurge. You don't want to feel restricted from your holiday favorites, but just like dealing with an angry toddler, you need to pick your battles. If you know the sugar cookies are your favorite treat at the holidays, go ahead and have one or two ... but don't also have all of the other items at the desert table as well. Know before you go what your few splurges will be and stop at that, you will feel much better come New Years Day when you start making those weight loss resolutions.

Now stop, relax, and enjoy the holidays.

Emily Countryman is a board certified health coach and owner of Ideal Wellness in Marysville. She can be reached online at


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