This time of year can really screw up your wellness routines. The parties, food, family stresses, alcohol, travel and lack of sleep can really do a number on our health – whether we realize it or not! Before my love of holistic living, many holidays I’d end up arriving at a vacation destination only to get flat on my back sick. Why? Internalized stress! I’d get through the holidays and then fall apart. Here’s my Holiday Self Care Package to help make sure this doesn’t happen to you:
(Hint: I’m giving away a Holiday Self Care Package (value $350) from a random draw of people who’ve signed up for my email blasts. So it you haven’t already, sign up at nourishme.ca/cheatsheet and get my bonus freebie on helping your family stay well!)
1) MANAGE SUGAR CRAVINGS: L-GLUTAMINE
Sweet cravings out of control? The holidays disrupt our dietary routines with plenty of tempting foods that throw our body balance out of whack. L-glutamine to the rescue.
L-glutamine will help reduce sugar cravings and stabilize blood sugar so you can indulge in that tempting treat, but save yourself from eating the whole tray.
How to Supplement: Take 2 capsules twice a day to help support gut lining from the potential overindulgences of the season. Additionally, when you get a craving or know cravings are on the way, take 2 capsules to help alleviate them. You can’t overdo this supplement! (it’s kind of magic)
2) MANAGE STRESS + DEPLETION: ADAPTOGENIC HERBS
Stresses of the holidays wearing you down? Consider supplementing with adaptogenic herbs. Eleuthero, ashwaganda, American ginseng, rhodiola rosea help to combat stress and promote recovery from burnout and depletion. Ashwagandha adapts to your body’s specific hormonal and stress-related needs and can give you an energy boost or help you feel more mellow as needed.
Vitamins C, B2 and B6, and pantothenic acid (vitamin B5) also help with stress. Lemon balm and valerian root can help to calm the nervous system as well.
How to Supplement: Take adaptogens and vitamins daily when you know you’re heading into a stressful family, work or travel situation.
3) DETOXIFY DAILY: GLUTATHIONE + ACTIVATED CHARCOAL
One too many drinks last night? We’ve all been there! A good strategy to help avoid a hangover is to stay away from sugary drinks and stick to clear alcohols like vodka and tequila (with seltzer and citrus). But if you did have that one last drink, glutathione, the master antioxidant, can help you bounce back and give your liver a boost. It helps to reduce free radicals and strengthen immunity too. Stress, gaps in our diet and chronic illness, as well as long-term toxic exposure, not only deplete stores of glutathione but also inhibit its production.
Activated Charcoal will help mop up the whole mess but make sure to take away from any other medications as it purges everything from the body, not just the bad stuff. I like to take a few prior to a night out and then a couple at the end of the night before bed.
How to Supplement: Take glutathione daily. If you know you will be imbibing, 4 capsules of glutathione per day to help aid your liver with detoxification. Pro tip: Check out Lifewave Glutathione Patches which provide a steady flow of glutathione (read: energy) without having to take a pill. Activated Charcoal take before drinking and at the end of the night. Can also be helpful for gas and bloating after a rich meal.
4) OPTIMIZE DIGESTION: DIGESTIVE ENZYMES + PROBIOTICS
Big, rich meal? Too many party treats? Digestive enzymes help your body break down protein, carbohydrates and fats to improve nutrient absorption and reduce unwanted effects of indigestion associated with these harder-to-digest foods.
Probiotics are your friend this holiday season! They optimize the digestive system, help with heartburn and indigestion, reduce gas and bloating for a flatter tummy, boost overall immune system function and may even enhance the ability to cope with stress and anxiety. I recommend taking a probiotic year round for optimal well-being, but extra highly recommend it during the holiday season to keep your gut flora in balance!
How to Supplement: Take probiotics daily to build up gut health and help to keep your immune system strong all holiday season long. Take enzymes with you to all your social gatherings and take before a big holiday meal to help your gut digest foods better.
4) STAY WELL: THIEVES ESSENTIAL OIL + ELDERBERRY SYRUP
Feel that scratchy throat coming on? Down some Elderberry stat! I also diffuse Young Living’s Thieves essential oil at this time of year – bonus – it has a great christmassy smell. Rub it on the bottom of your feet at night if you feel a cold or sick coming on. Give the whole family a daily dose of Elderberry syrup to keep them well. It tastes good and works well in a smoothie too!
How to Supplement: Diffuse Thieves oil in house, rub on bottom of feet at night time to help ward off sickness. If you feel a sore throat coming on, rub a drop or two on glands. Take up to a tablespoon a day to help ward of sickness and as a preventative for coughs and colds.
5) GET GREAT SLEEP: GABA, MELATONIN + 5-HTP
Between travel, added stress and late-night parties, the holiday season can disrupt our natural sleep cycle and leave us feeling less than rested. Aim to keep a regular sleep schedule during the holidays to maintain balance, and, if you need a little extra help, our sleep formula will help you fall asleep and stay asleep, yet won’t affect daytime alertness like sleep medications can. GABA promotes relaxation by quelling overstimulated nerve cells, while melatonin helps to synchronize our circadian rhythm so we are alert during the day and at rest during the night. 5-HTP helps to create the “feel good” hormone, serotonin, which is great for inducing sleep.
How to Supplement: Take right before you get into bed.
To purchase any of these please visit my FullScript page nourishme.ca/shop/. I’ve discounted each of these supplements at 15% off for a little holiday treat!
Don’t forget to sign up on my website for my freebie Cheat Sheet on boosting your family’s immunity and you’ll be entered in the draw to win the entire package! I’ll be drawing Dec. 13th.
You’ll also find out about my upcoming Health Reset in January to help start out the New Year with a clean health slate!
Registered Holistic Nutritionist
Jill is a Vancouver-based mom, health researcher (MJ) and Holistic Nutritionist. Her passion is optimizing health and aging thru diet, supplements and lifestyle choices. Her goal is to share her knowledge and help others. Jill works with groups and on a one to one basis with clients.