Yes, the Atlanta Braves clinched the World Series last night! The game was a true joy to watch as pitcher Max Fried threw an impressive six scoreless innings after shrugging off an incident in the first inning when an Astros player stepped on his ankle as he made his way to first base. Don’t you wonder how athletes train their brains to become mentally tough? Are they born with it, or is this a skill honed through the years? Talent is a gift, but it needs to be cultivated to perform at professional or Olympian levels. Athletes not only train their bodies but their brains. A key to their success is they know how to focus on themselves, improve themselves, and achieve the goals they set for themselves. We can all take a page from their playbook, which is why we’re taking a look at self-care during the holidays. Thanksgiving, Christmas, and Hannukah are the Super Bowl celebrations. It takes quite a bit of prepping and planning for a successful outcome. But many of us burn out before the big day arrives. Why? We lose focus on ourselves and what it takes to cross the finish line feeling happy and whole. So let’s plan for a more joyful, less stressful holiday with self-care during the holidays.
Self-Care During the Holidays
Many of us may think self-care is all about bubble baths, massages, and mani and pedi. While I love to indulge in any or all of those events, self-care is much more than that. Just like athletes, we need to focus on healthy foundations like a good night’s sleep, exercise, and eating well. Today, I’m sharing five simple ways to take care of yourselves during the holidays.
1. Minimize Sugar
Sugar is a killer. And it comes in a variety of forms: sucrose, glucose, fructose, corn syrup, hydrolyzed starch, to name but a few. Many of us rely on quick processed foods for meals and snacks. But processed foods have hidden Sugar, so religiously read the labels. Choose organic produce over processed foods—unsweetened oatmeal over sugary cereal. Swap your sweetened yogurt for plain. These small steps will help wean you off Sugar. If you have a sweet tooth, always reach for natural sugars found in fruit.
2. Take care of your physical health.
Develop a plan to enjoy the special foods and treats around the holidays while balancing them with healthy eating. Swap a cookie for a banana or try my next tip.
3. Drink Smoothies
Smoothies are a great way to add fruits and veggies into your diet. And I’m not referring to those milkshake concoctions that taste like dessert and contain sweetened fruit juice. If you reach for fresh ingredients, you can make it sweet with fruit or pack a healthy punch with spinach. Frozen berries and chopped greens are excellent choices. Add protein powder or collagen for an extra dose of healthy.
The banana date smoothie is a healthy all natural energy drink
2 ripe bananas
3–4 pitted Medjool dates
1 1/2cup Almond Milk (unsweetened)
1 tablespoon protein powder or collagen powder (optional)
1 tablespoon Chia seeds
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
Pour into a blender and mix until well blended.
How to customize: You can customize this smoothie by adding different kinds of nuts or add toppings like homemade granola.
Serving Size:1 cup
Sounds simple, right? But when our bodies and minds are stressed, we forget to breathe correctly. Many of us have smartwatches that remind us to breathe and stand. Why? Every system in our body relies on oxygen. Breathing fuels our bodies with oxygen, helping to clear a foggy mind and strengthening muscles. So remember. Breathe in. Breathe out. It’s that simple.
That’s right! Even during the busy holidays, you can give yourself a day of rest and relaxation. My mother coined those days “mental health days.” And she was right. So go ahead and sleep in, read a book, watch a favorite Christmas movie, or head to your local bookstore and enjoy a cup of coffee while you’re flipping through magazines. Whatever trips your trigger, permit yourself to do absolutely nothing.
It’s Wednesday, ladies, time to put a smile on someone’s face including your own.
Thank you Beth that smoothie looks delicious!!
Thank you for capitalizing your sentences! It makes it so much easier to read!! ❤️
Beth, I love smoothies but I am on a low carb low sugar lifestyle change. I used a half of a banana, chia seeds, flax seeds, protein collagen powder, and instead of almond milk, I use plain yogurt. I add strawberries, blackberries, or blueberries. Also I add 1/2 cup of frozen pineapple. ( easier that going shopping for fresh every two days. If you feel like it is not sweet enough, add I tbs of natural honey. It does taste like a real milkshake ! Adding a small amount of fresh spinach works too.
so many smoothies, so little time. but green smoothies loaded with veggies is the way to go if you are on low sugar and low carbs. if you want energy to spare for a tough workout or run a banana date smoothie is perfect!
Great post, but I must respectfully differ about some fruits when you are trying to stay away from sugar. A banana has the equivalent of 8 tsps. of sugar according to our doctor who specializes in a metabolic diet and the body can’t decipher between regular white sugar and sugar in fruit. It certainly is better than having a cookie but might I suggest that berries…raspberries, strawberries and blueberries as well as half an orange are lower in carbs and better choices.
completely agree, but some of us face challenging or strenuous workouts, and this is a perfect smoothie for that. honestly, i limit my fruit intake because of the sugar, and that goes for the berries and oranges. don’t even get me started with orange juice… if we go back to how our forefathers ate, we understand they ate sugar, but it was a priceless commodity back then; therefore, it was a rare occasion. and they ate fruit but only when in season. it’s the modern age where anything and everything is accessible on any given day that things went awry. and more importantly, how processed foods have really done a disservice. i’m a firm believer there’s a time and place for everything. i lead a sustainable life, not a spartan life. and i’m certain you do too.
Enjoyed your post. I especially like your comment about your mom’s “mental health days.” Can you consider doing a post about her sometime? You’ve mentioned her before … and I miss my mom.
what a lovely suggestion! thank you. i miss my mom too.
I especially like your comment about your mother’s “mental health days.” Can you consider doing a post about her sometime? You’ve mentioned her before … and I miss my mom.
Wow, that sweater is so beautiful. Love the neck. I find most turtlenecks too tight, so usually opt for cowls, but this is a show stopper.
A diabetic friend of mine, shared her dietary balance guides with me and they really do work, without all the ‘special’ recipes – not that that is wrong. I’m Canadian, but I actually find your Diabetes guide makes more sense (to me), in that it separates sugars from starches. I try to stick to eating items with 10grms of sugar or less. She also taught me, that eating protein and a little fat with your sugar, keeps the blood sugar constant, so your body doesn’t spike. During my unintentional weight loss due to Covid languishing, seems to be due to keeping starch to a minimum and focusing on all the fruits and veggies I love. Thanks for sharing your health journey with us, Beth. We all need non judgmental inspiration- you 👏
thanks for sharing, Andrea!
Thanks Beth for the wise words on self-care. Also, love the funnel neck sweater you’re wearing.
thanks, Nancy! such a lovely color.
I, too, would love to hear more about your mom. I had a wonderful mother and think of her every day. So much of what I love in life is tied to her. The small, everyday things that are really the most precious. Looking forward to whatever you would like to share about your mom. P.S, Yay Braves!!
Yay Braves is right! and i agree, the small everyday bits of life are what’s most important.
I have smoothies every morning, two actually, with at least 35 minutes apart from one another.
As you fully know depending on your needs, I also put in a tablespoon of flax seed, a handful of almonds, and in one of my smoothies I put in a few tablespoons of Fiber One cereal, it’s good for your constitution. Fiber One has the highest fiber content. You can buy it at Fry’s, Safeway, and Walmart. We have been eating this and adding it into smoothies for years.
Beth I too love what your mother coined as a “mental health day,” I agree with her 110% your mother had her head screwed on in the right direction. Self care is so important. I look forward
to hearing lots more about your mother. I am sure she was an exceptional lady. Look how you turned out. Sometimes the parents are smart, and teach and the children learn by example but the children due to a variety of reasons are out of balance. I bet your mother is in your heart daily.
i truly miss her every day in so many ways. thanks for sharing your smoothie tips.
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