Getting Started with a Healthy New Year by Samantha Wennerstrom

From October to December it’s a whirlwind of fun, sugar, travel and a busy schedule all sprinkled with a bit of chaos in between. The holidays have a way of coming and going like a tornado and while it’s always filled with memories, laughs and all the chocolate you can eat, come January we’re all in need of a good reset and some reminders of some healthy lifestyle habits.

Diet

This year was especially indulgent for me given the fact that I could play the “but I’m pregnant,” card and reach for anything and everything that pleased me and baby. While I tried to keep a balanced diet, I will admit the sugar was hard to resist this year and I wanted to soak in the joy of it all, being pregnant at such a celebratory time. But here’s the thing about sugar, it’s very addicting and once you have it regularly you crave it even more! But lucky for me (the biggest sweet tooth I know) I’ve been down this road before and have a few tricks up my sleeve for reseting a diet. 

What helped me the most when it came to understanding healthy diet habits was understanding blood sugar spikes, which in turn makes you crave sugar. Starting the day out right with plenty of protein, greens and fiber will bode well for the rest of the day. I always make a point to eat before I get starving, keeping healthy snacks like nuts, low sugar granola bars or greek yogurt will keep you in check before you reach for something like a croissant. Another trick, having a splash of apple cider vinegar in your water once a day will help keep your blood sugar stable. 

My holiday diet, which is full of sinfully good pastries, sugar and alcohol when I’m not pregnant, notoriously leaves me feeling lethargic which in turn makes me desperate for an extra cup of coffee—another habit I like to break after the holidays. Along with incorporating more protein, fiber and greens I love getting good quality tea and replacing it with my morning cup of jo. My go-to is Rooibos from Bellocq which is caffeine free and chocked full of antioxidants. 

 

Calming the Mind

Coming off that chaotic holiday high and jumping right into a New Year can feel overwhelming. I’ve always found a few lifestyle practices to be especially grounding once the dust settles. Number one is sleep. I make it a point to have my family get to bed early. We start our routine an extra hour ahead, which usually means no technology, a bath and reading, and commit to the change of pace. It makes the biggest difference for us all. 

Slowing down is hard when you want to come out of the gates hot for a new year. But I’ve always been in the camp of easing into it and giving yourself a little breathing room to reset and get re-inspired. Journaling is the best way I get my head straight during this time. I try to start every morning with a few thoughts on paper and my cup of tea. It’s also great to incorporate at bedtime as whatever might be plaguing your thoughts will give you a restless sleep unless you get it out on paper. 

 

Exercise 

I don’t think I’m alone when I say exercising is the first thing to go out the window during the holidays. It’s colder, there’s too much fun to be had and way to many things on your to-do list. But it’s amazing how much better (and calmer) we all feel when our bodies are in motion. My M.O. is always yoga or morning walks to ease into the idea of an exercise routine. And if following the masses to the gym isn’t your thing, check out Obé Fitness or Glo Yoga, which are both online classes you can take from your home. 

With all of this in mind, I try to ease into the new routines and stay as consistent (and realistic) as possible. Even trying one of these healthier lifestyle approaches will make a difference. Happy 2020!