My Holiday Routine
If you asked me how I stayed fit and healthy over the holidays five years ago, you’d see extra fitness classes, long runs, a treatment here and there, and the odd yoga workshop – maybe even a post-holiday retreat to re-energise for the new year. Needless to say, my new norm is a far cry from this routine. I’m busy, I have little time for myself and my lovely girls – as cute as they are – seem to tag team with their sleep regressions. But I still want to feel great, so to embrace this new normal, I’ve found hacks that support my metabolism, combat fatigue and make the holiday season (with a business and two toddlers) a little less taxing. Here are my go-to ways to manage holiday mayhem – whether you’re juggling work, family, kids or just a busy social life.
I’ve talked about exercise snacking before, and whilst I’d always rather get in a full workout, I can’t tell you how impactful this has been for me since becoming a mom. With overseas family visiting this Christmas, we will be a household of ten; I have a hard enough time with four on a normal day, so I know that this practice is going to be a saviour. I try to do three, ten-minute exercise snacks on the days where everything is too much (but even one hits the spot) – and they are incredibly effective. In the morning, I’ll do a Tabata style HIIT snack – something super quick, bodyweight only, using plyometrics so I get the endorphin rush of a cardio session. Next will be a simple strength snack, maybe pushups, a wall squat, single leg glute bridges and some planking. If I have time for a third one, I’ll do some bands. Really simple, really effective and definitely achievable.
A big part of managing food over the holidays is your mindset. For me, something needs to be ‘worth it,’ so I’m pretty picky with my indulgences. That way, when I do eat something I wouldn’t usually eat, I really enjoy it, and there is zero stress attached. Having this mindset is easier when I’m starting from a well-nourished place, so I over index on protein in the morning and swap to savory breakfasts only daily during the holiday period. I also cut way back on fruit and starches in the day, to give myself a little extra leeway for the celebratory meals and treats. Another thing that helps me stay balanced is having a one-day meal plan that I fall back on. I know it makes me feel great, I love the recipes and I know it’s super healthy, so it’s the perfect hack to have in place to feel on track and in control. I always do a protein heavy breakfast (think dinner for breakfast – salmon or chicken and lots of veggies), our liver boost salad for lunch and a nourishing soup with crudite platter and hummus for dinner.
I’ve spoken openly about my relationship with alcohol since having kids and how much it affects my emotional wellbeing, so I’m not as tempted as I used to be when it comes to when to indulge or how much to have. But, I do drink more over the holidays, so I’m super picky with what I drink. I’ve learned, partly through trial and error, and partly by understanding what actually goes into the alcohol we’re drinking, that natural, biodynamic wines are the way to go for me. If you didn’t catch our blog a few weeks ago, we talked about the over 85 chemicals that are put into wines (which are not on label), and how they can be major contributors to hangovers and next day hangxiety. Switching to a better quality, lower sugar, chemical free alcohol has been transformative for me, and of course, I always rehydrate with Cellular Hydration.
My metabolism has changed since having kids, and with less sleep comes less glucose control, which means supporting my blood sugar is key. I take Metabolic Fix, which really helps keep my hunger at bay, and because Berberine is also great for the gut it's a nice counter to holiday indulgences. When I was in clinical practice, a lot of my clients would press pause on their supplement regime and ‘start again’ in the new year. I do the exact opposite; when I know I’ll have less sleep, more alcohol, more food and more stress, I bring in some of the supplements that I wouldn’t usually need but are incredibly helpful when I’m out of routine. The main one is G.I. Fix, which is our comprehensive gut support. The ginger and triphala have prokinetic action, which means it helps with regularity, and are also great for bloating and inflammation. The other one is Deep Detox, which I’ll take throughout the holidays (especially when I drink alcohol). These ones are great to have on hand for holidays as well; a must before and after a long-haul flight, or throughout a holiday that you know is going to be a little indulgent.
I’ve been in wellness for my entire adult life, so of course, I also have the weird and wonderful hacks I’ve come to love. Cold facial plunges are my current favourite, probably because they let me cop out of a full cold shower in the winter but still makes me feel amazing. It also helps that it makes my face look like I’ve just been to FaceGym... I also love ear acupuncture seeds, my Bed of Nails, and detox breathwork sessions.
But, I think the most important thing for me is continuing with a semblance of consistency, mainly with my of mindset. So, whilst the efforts don’t' need to be as long or as involved, the mindset is still health-centric, focused on food that tastes AND feels good, and always looking for ways to optimise my experience. When I do this, I leave the holidays feeling like I’ve really enjoyed myself, but not feeling like it’s going to take me six weeks to recover, because those are six weeks I just don’t have.
This article is for educational purposes only and the implementation of the theories and practices discussed is at the sole discretion of the individual. All information given is not a substitute for medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. If you have any concerns about your health, you should speak with your physician.