8. December 2021
Healthy and fit during the holidays
Christmas: the most beautiful time of the year. Peaceful, harmonious and idyllic – it goes without saying, a wonderfully relaxed celebration. The family gets together, relatives and friends meet after a long time and we indulge in communal, extensive feasting of various treats during these festivities.
This scenario may be a dream to some of us, possibly the epitome of comfort. Yet for many others, such a steadfast striving for harmony and family idyll unfortunately has the opposite effect: stress and tension! Added to this we are confronted with ample tastebud temptations such as gingerbread, winter stollen and other delicacies, which put our healthy eating habits to the test. But don’t worry, you can and should definitely treat yourself to something special during the Christmas season, and this includes less nutritious foods at times. Find out below how you can enjoy the holidays being stress-free, fit and without having to make major sacrifices.
This sounds a lot easier than you may think. Nevertheless, small time-out sessions with yoga, meditation, a hot bath, your all-time favorite movie on TV or a gripping book can work wonders for your well-being. Consciously shift down one gear and pay specific attention to small breaks. These conscious time-outs will make you stronger and more resilient in the hustle and bustle of Christmas.
By the way, it also helps to lower your expectations. Be brave enough to be imperfect! You don’t have to cook a 5-course meal for your guests, the apartment doesn’t have to be spotless down to the last corner. You don’t have to be in the prime shape of your life and in the very best of moods, just because it’s the holidays. Think about what is really important to you at Christmas. High expectations of yourself and others create tension, tend to be exhausting for everyone and often only cause unnecessary strain – especially if things end up evolving differently than planned. Try to stay away from engaging with fundamental conflicts; after all, anything you have not resolved yet may also wait until the new year.
Organising Christmas presents can also cause stress. But remember: less is more. Choose gifts in a more relaxed way. Does it even have to be the classic gift? In many families, only children still receive gifts, because many adults find it difficult to express wishes, since they have most of what they need already. If you don’t want to do without gifts, you can also spread joy by gifting vouchers for joint activities or donating to a good cause. This also reduces the pre-Christmas shopping stress.
Likewise, it can be immensely helpful to agree how the holidays should proceed in advance. Once the family and thus various age groups come together, differing preferences come to the fore. Everyone wants something else and has other expectations for the get-together: the youngest want their presents early, the teenagers prefer to spend time with friends until late at night, whilst the adults happily go to bed at midnight. Here, it can be enormously relaxing if the most important needs are clarified beforehand and, if necessary, compromises are found to make everyone feel at ease.
Another important topic during the Christmas season is food. The entirety of December can easily be filled with festive cooking and feasting for body and soul. The aftermath of all the goodies which taste so marvelous during this time is often felt in January only, when the clothes seem to have shrunk overnight. How can we enjoy the festive season without putting on weight during Christmas?
Who is not familiar with this?! A big snack plate with marzipan, gingerbread, all kinds of cookies and chocolate treats. Just add a few nuts and some fresh fruit. Nuts are filling and provide us with important fiber and healthy fatty acids. Fruit provides important vitamins and satisfies our craving for sweets.
In terms of cookies, it’s all about the right ingredients. Why not bake them yourself? Often the amount of fat and sugar can be reduced. Instead of butter, you can easily use coconut fat. Perfect sugar alternatives are apple pulp, almond paste, dates, date syrup, baking cocoa, rice syrup or maple syrup – in moderation. Ground nuts instead of wheat flour, for example, are also a great way to provide valuable minerals and an alternative to generically produced dough. They are also less likely to cause blood sugar to spike. This is a great recipe for sweet potato scones with walnuts from our new Lanserhof cookbook.
Cooking with fresh and natural produce
We don’t want to ban the hearty Christmas menu from your protocol. A few tricks can easily make the festive meal more healthy. Make sure you eat protein-rich dishes, complex carbohydrates and lots of vegetables; these also promote fat metabolism and provide healthy vitamins and minerals. Especially when it comes to proteins, the body requires a lot of energy to break these down into amino acids and thus make them usable for the body. For example, how about a vegetarian main course this season, a “buckwheat and beet dumpling on pumpkin ragout”? You can find the recipe here.
You can find this and many other recipes in our new Lanserhof cookbook. This includes over 100 recipes and gives valuable impulses on how you can easily cook and live healthy at home – with plenty of fresh, plant-based ingredients and gentle food preparation from breakfast to light dinners.
If you happen to be feeling a little sluggish at the end of the year, you can also foster your performance with suitable nutritional supplements to start the new year with fresh energy. During the day, stimulating ingredients such as mate, guarana and green tea, as well as gingko are helpful for memory performance. During the evenings, calming lemon balm and passion flower help to let you sleep restfully. Lanserhof Lab Relight my Fire Energy capsules, for example, offer a balanced combination.
And last but not least: try to stay active over the holidays. A short run in the morning, a short home workout or even just a walk in the fresh air provides both a little time out and a pleasant feeling of well-being.
With this in mind, we wish you happy, reflective and healthy holidays!