There are cookies and punches and feasts and parties around every corner during this time of year. Navigating invitations and obligations can feel pretty overwhelming for most of us, and often that means our eating and exercise plans crumble as our schedules fill up. But a holiday party and your Wednesday night Pilates class don’t need to cancel each other out.
My most important piece of advice is to not derail your routine one way or the other. Don’t overdo it on the exercising and juice cleansing front, and don’t let yourself go overboard on the indulgence, no-sleeping front. Having a routine means you don’t need to rely on willpower to get up and head to the studio or go for your post-work run—it’s just your thing; it’s just part of your schedule.
Getting into the mindset of working off a meal or eating only salad for the week, so that you can let loose on the weekend, turns food (and cooking) into a chore that acts as a reward or a punishment based on your behavior. I had pie for breakfast one day after Thanksgiving, but didn’t overreact to that decision and also had my beloved oatmeal with almond butter every other morning that week. It’s crucial to respect the acts of eating and cooking, and to enjoy both as much as you can.
This article from last year focuses on the “Blue Zones” of the world in which people tend to live significantly longer than anywhere else, and there are a few important lessons to be gleaned. Eat real, whole foods; develop a practice of regular, low impact exercise; drink coffee and wine, if you like, plus plenty of water; and make cooking and eating an enjoyable experience to be shared. “It’s not just about what you eat, but how you eat, and how much you and your friends enjoy a meal together.”
Sounds like a perfect way to head into the peak holiday season. Eat what you love, have fun and respect your routine.
Blog post by Molly Siegler, RB teacher and Whole Foods Food Editor.
Lee Vallely and Elisabeth Kristof bring you informative articles about exercises, Pilates principles and the RedBird community!