This post was sponsored by Optimum Nutrition as part of an Influencer Activation and all opinions expressed in my post are my own.
With the holiday season here, it is easy to get so busy that you forget to focus on taking care of your own health. The result is a mom who is burned out and too tired to enjoy the holidays. These tips will help you focus on your health during the holidays so you can enjoy making memories with your family.
I have a horrible habit of running until I’m so burned out that I curl up in my bed for a marathon binge-watching session. This year, I want things to be different. As tempting as it is to do EVERYTHING that there is to do during the holiday season, I want to make sure I have enough mental energy left to enjoy it too.
In order to do that, I need to take care of my own health, even when life gets busy.
That is definitely not the way it usually goes. A typical holiday season for me involves a lot of scrambling to get everything done and completely putting my health goals on hold until January.
That isn’t going to cut it this year. I’ve had some health issues this year and my health goals just can’t be put on hold. I fully plan to slide into January ten pounds lighter and with quite a bit more of the flexibility I’ve lost since my back first started having issues last year.
The thing is, I know how easy it is to put health goals on hold. There’s always one excuse or another. The reality is, there’s just never a perfect time to take charge of your health and wellness so you just have to jump in where you are now.
One of the tools I have in my toolbox this holiday season is Optimum Nutrition.
These delicious and ready-to-eat protein options make it easy to get the protein I need, even when I’m on-the-go . . . which, let’s be honest, is pretty much all the time at the moment.
They have some pretty fantastic flavor options (including Red Velvet cake bites . . . I may have to hide those). They are all available at Walmart at an amazing everyday low price so it’s easy to stock up on a few of your favorites.
The Cake Bites come in some pretty amazing flavors and have 20 g of protein per serving. I love that these feel like a treat while still helping me to meet my protein goals for the day.
I LOVE the Protein almonds and have started keeping a bag in my purse when I need a quick protein boost. They have 2x the protein of regular coated almonds and the flavors are amazing. My son loves the Cinamon Roll flavor but my favorite is the dark chocolate truffle. These have a sweet flavor but still only have 1-2 g of sugar so they are guilt-free.
If you are looking for a bit of crunch, the Protein Crunch bars have a light crispy texture and only 240 calories. These travel pretty well so I keep a few tucked away in my purse and car so they are ready when I need them.
How to Focus on Your Health During the Holidays
Before we get too deeply into the holiday season, make some goals that will help you keep your health on track.
- Set aside a few minutes every day to decompress. This is a must. I’m a much kinder person when I get a few minutes to just BE. This time is going to look different for everyone. Do whatever helps you relax and recenter. For me, this often looks like a few minutes to read a book or hiding in my bedroom with some noise canceling headphones on until I feel more like myself. Whatever works for you, find time to make it happen daily. Those days when you just don’t think you can fit it in are the days when you need it the most.
- Have healthy snack options ready to go. I’m horrible about skipping meals when I get busy. My guess is, you probably are too. I solve this by keeping some things prepped and ready to go. I keep Optimum Nutrition products on hand (and in my car) so they are ready when I need them. When I have some extra time, I try to cut veggies, boil some eggs, and pre-cook some chicken so I have lots of great options when I need to grab a quick snack that is going to give me the energy that I need.
- Create a weekly meal plan. It is so easy to get off track with all the holiday food that is around this time of year. I know that I have ZERO willpower when I am hungry. Having a solid meal plan (with anything that can be prepped ahead of time ready to go) helps prevent me from going all out and having holiday cookies for dinner.
- Set healthy goals as a family. It is much easier to stay on track when your family is on the same page. Sit down early in the holiday season and make some family health goals. My teenage son and I have a goal to go walking together three times a week. This helps me keep my fitness goals on track and I love that time I get to catch up with him during a season that is so busy that we don’t usually get that downtime together otherwise. Working towards goals as a family is much more fun and it is easier to stick to your own goals if you don’t have an overload of food temptation in your own kitchen.
- Share treats with friends and family. Baking is one of my favorite things to do during the holidays because my kids love to join in and help. There’s something about making the whole house smell like sugar cookies that just says “Christmas” to me. It’s about more than the food. Baking is a tradition in our home and I don’t want to give that up. Avoid derailing your health goals by sharing the treats you make with family and friends. Treats are always better when shared anyway.
- Avoid making drastic changes. I don’t go over the top during the holiday season. Last year I went totally sugar-free on Christmas Eve and it made for some really awkward gift giving the next day since my family, knowing how much I love chocolate, tried to give me quite a few of my favorites. Avoid making any major changes so you won’t yourself up for failure during a busy season. That doesn’t mean you can’t make small changes during the holiday season. Those small changes can really have a huge impact.
I love the holiday season and I’m excited that this year I’ll be able to enjoy it more since I’ll be feeling my best.