Tips for Staying Happy, Healthy & Stress Free Over the Holidays

This article was co-written by Jonathan Brawley of LKN Fitness Specialists and Dr. Brandon Mahaffy of Exodus Health & Wellness

Over the next few weeks we will all be faced with lots of food and lifestyle choices.  Some options will be healthy, many will not be. This time of the year doesn’t have to be a decline in your physical, chemical and mental well being. Instead of toxifying your systems, detoxify your cells (and mind)!  Enjoying the foods you like over the holidays is important.  You don’t have to completely deprive yourself of your favorite holiday foods.  Try incorporating at least a few of the options below to help you stay on track through the Holidays.  

Be Generous

This time of the year is about giving so don’t fight it. Find out how you can take your generosity to the next level. Help out at a soup kitchen, give an offering to your church or even be helpful to a family member that is the most difficult. Giving to others actually, decreases your stress hormones which gives you a sense of well-being.

Make the choice that’s “a little bit better”

This is such a simple concept that has a huge impact on your body. By consistently choosing the option that is just “a little bit better”, you are setting yourself up for success. When you are going down the line at your in-laws house, just look at the options and ask yourself, “Which one is a little bit better for me?” That doesn’t mean that it has to be just turkey and roasted vegetables on your plate. However, if you can choose the dessert, casserole, or drink that is a little better for you then you will minimize the damage. You will still be satisfied and also confident that you have not ruined what you have worked so hard for in the past months.


You should be drinking half your bodyweight in ounces of water per day. Example: if you weigh 150lbs, you should drink at least 75oz of water (not tea, coffee…) per day.  This will help your cells detox and become more healthy. Having enough fluid daily can also keep you from overeating.

Save up for the big meal But Still Feed Yourself

If you know you have your big annual Thanksgiving dinner at 6:00pm, then “save up” for that meal so you can enjoy your meal guilt free. This concept is also simple. Eat less throughout the day than you normally would. Don’t starve yourself. The goal is to be roughly 300-500 calories under where you would normally be for that time of day. That way if you eat more at your dinner, you will be closer to an average day rather than being 1,000 calories over your normal day. Your last meal leading up to dinner should include protein and vegetables or fruit. This will keep your hunger levels under control so you won’t be so likely to eat three times as much as usual at your dinner.  Even if it’s an apple or a handful of almonds, it can stop your body from craving sugar and causing you to over-indulge.


When it’s too hard to keep the unhealthy foods away, detox your environment. This is a perfect time to change your air filter, remove toothpastes with fluoride, swap out soaps and shampoos that have SLS (sodium lauryl sulfate, or other form of SLS), or even purify your home with essential oils by using a diffuser.


The concept here is similar to number 2. You are looking to create a calorie deficit so again, you can get away with a slightly larger meal. The activity is up to you. A 2 mile walk around the neighborhood with your family or dogs would work just fine. If you enjoy more intense workouts, add in hill sprints or a weight training session. If you choose to lift weights, the extra calories consumed later on can help with recovery and building muscle.

There you go. EASY steps to help you stay on track during the upcoming holidays. Put these to use so you can enjoy the holidays with no guilt! Have fun with your family and friends, and cherish the memories!  

By | 2017-04-22T21:33:45+00:00 November 23rd, 2016|Goals, Health, Nutrition|0 Comments