Ask the Expert: Handle that Holiday Stress
Q. How do I better handle the stress of the upcoming holiday season? My life is already stressful enough!
A. Stress, acknowledged or not, certainly does take its toll in many insidious ways, AND with the busiest, most “joyous” season of the year approaching, I’ll happily put forth a few ideas on how to reduce your stress while preparing for the many upcoming “magical” moments. For many of us celebrations during the holidays with family and friends can create a stress ball all on its own.
First, try to get at least 8 hours of sleep 5 nights a week. More importantly, lights out no later than 10-10:30pm! Honoring this “cycle” is not only mandatory to reduce holiday fat storage, but also needed to nix additional stressors to the immune system.
Second, never ever skip a hearty breakfast. Healthy meal plans should are even more important in times of high stress! For a quick fix consider a slice or two of toasted millet bread spread with 1 tablespoon coconut oil and 1 tablespoon raw almond nut butter. Following the old adage “Eat breakfast like a King, Lunch like a Queen and Dinner like a pauper” is the perfect approach. Should you be off to too many Christmas cocktail parties: Before you go, grab a large handful of raw nuts or 12 large olives (any color), or a small avocado before rushing off to eat, drink and be merry! This allows you to a) drink more without crashing and, b) keep your blood sugar from spiking precipitously; hence less chance of a hangover the next morning, unless you really over do it! Speaking of overdoing the alcohol, try consuming a glass or small bottle of water between each drink of choice (ask the waiter to put a slice of lime or lemon in your water to avoid explanations).
Another great “save your bottom” and keep you going approach is to mix a healthy all-protein, no carbohydrate powdered drink for breakfast daily during the crunch of December. Certain ingredients added to this drink are precisely what will carry you all morning long. Use at least 14 grams of Protein powder, (whey, egg, rice or pea), 2 tablespoons organic unrefined sesame oil, 2 tablespoons powdered fiber such as psylium, flax or bran flakes, plus 10 drops of a liquid neutraceutical grade Essential Amino Acids supplement containing all eight of the Essential Amino Acids to support detox of your liver and kidneys; plus 1 tsp of a good multi-vitamin/mineral powder to give you basic coverage. Add _ to 1 c. frozen organic berries of choice and you’ve got a Morning Smoothie that regulates your blood sugar, gives you sustained energy while burning fat!
Third, consider a marvelous homeopathic called Rescue Remedy. You can’t take too much so down a dropper or capful at the first signs of stress. My favorite is R & R by HVS due to its no-alcohol base. Serenagen by Metagenics is truly a lifesaver. Take 2-3 two to three times a day or 3 before bedtime to simply calm down the central nervous system. Void of drug effects this little brown herbal pill is the bomb! It’s never far from my reach.
Last but most importantly, pause to take a deep breath! Now is the time to honor who you are, how far you have come on this journey called your life, and all that you have accomplished, not only as a woman, mother, daughter, good friend, or wife, but as a living breathing human being who every day, in her own way is attempting to make and leave the world a somewhat better place.
The footprints we leave on this planet are how we will be remembered. So sink your toes in the sand where you can, stop, gaze at the wondrous sunrise and full moon, take a moment to smile at our elders and say “hello” to those who are so often alone in this world. Finally, know this: If you pause long enough you may connect to someone who’s candle burns as brightly as yours. May you be blessed with good health this Christmas season and all the year through.
Deborah Arneson, Licensed Clinical Nutritionist and consultant, is president of Advanced Nutrition Therapeutics (formerly Healing Quest Center, Inc.) If you would like more information regarding your path to health, please call Advanced Nutrition Therapeutics at 312.664.2288.