There are a wide variety of strategies to help us get through the holidays without harming our health, and in this video Dr Faryal Luhar shares some great advice on how to do just that! From added healthy activities to healthier baking substitutions, Dr Faryal has us covered for the Festive Season!
Can We Stay Healthy Through the Holidays? Dr Faryal Luhar Says Yes!
Title: Getting Through the Festive Season in Good Health
Hello Health Champions, it’s Dr. Faryal Luhar again with you and I hope that December has been treating you really well.
Today, I'm going to continue from a previous post where I was sharing tips on how we can enjoy ourselves during this festive season without derailing or sabotaging our efforts towards wellness goals or fitness goals.
So it goes without saying that we're still in a pandemic, so, please ensure that you're taking all of the precautions to stay safe and keep your family members safe, especially when it comes to crowded gatherings and confined spaces.
So my tips today are going to center around the idea of eating strategies because we know that this time of year is all about indulgences, we have lots of lovely treats and decadent items on the menu for us to try whenever we're at a social gathering or at a function as well as things to drink and all kinds of desserts. And so how can we enjoy all of these things without feeling guilty or without completely getting off track, so my first tip is going to be a little bit surprising in that I'm going to be saying that you shouldn't deprive yourself don't deprive yourself, it’s okay to indulge in some of these treats a little bit so that you can still share in the moment with your friends and family.
The keywords are a little bit, so that means you can have your cake but not the whole cake and you don't have to eat it too, you can have a slice but only indulge in maybe a couple of teaspoons and will that satisfy the craving and the desire to enjoy that particular food same thing for other desserts like pies and puddings or other kinds of meals that might be quite heavy in some of the carbohydrates or might be quite rich. Can we get away with just eating a few bites of that food so that we can still partake in the festivities and at the same time not feel that we have overdone it or completely gotten off track.
My second tip is around social gatherings and anticipating these gatherings were there may be lots of food available to you that you normally wouldn't be eating so if you are anticipating a function or an event with family, friends, colleagues, where there's going to be lots of beverages and tasty treats, I would strongly suggest that you try something like intermittent fasting. So, this is a strategy and it's a it's a strategy or technique that's been in use for centuries with all kinds of different traditions, but the idea is that you would fast for a period of time and you would narrow you're eating window to only eight hours.
And so if you can center that social gathering within that eight hours where you would be eating you can enjoy the food and then you would be fasting for the rest of the time keeping yourself well hydrated, of course and this allows for the food to be properly digested it also allows for some fat burning It keeps blood sugar levels at bay and it helps you to detoxify.
Along with intermittent fasting you could also do a little bit of exercise in anticipation of that special gathering or that special dinner. And so, if you were to do some walking or some other type of weight training, yoga, whatever it is that you enjoy you could combine that with intermittent fasting to amplify the effect and that way when you do go to the gathering, you know that you have gotten yourself a few steps ahead by doing a little bit of fasting and exercising and you can then enjoy whatever it is that spread out in front of you with your loved ones.
Another tip that I would recommend is for those of you who are doing some of your own baking or preparing of meals. You might want to consider using some healthier alternative options such as instead of wheat flour you could substitute for coconut flour or almond flour, which is much healthier, instead of white sugar you could use other types of natural sugars coconut sugar, stevia, monk fruit, which is one of my favorites even date paste or raw honey, you could indulge in dark chocolate, which is actually good for us as opposed to using the normal milk chocolate just make sure that the percentage of cocoa solids is quite high.
You can add some fresh fruits instead of using things that are canned or processed. So those are some tips in terms of baking which a lot of us, you know, get into quite a bit during this time of year and the same thing with meals make sure you have lots of brightly colored vegetables and good quality healthy fats in your meal preps so that you can still enjoy a beautiful spread but know that you've used some healthy ingredients.
My last tip is going to be around digestion. So, because we are going to indulge a little bit more than usual, some of us will start to experience digestive upset or certain symptoms that we don't normally experience. And so in order to help with that you can take advantage of drinking some of the wonderful herbal teas that we have available.
Please make sure that it's organic caffeine free and these herbal teas not only act as a digestive aid to help the digestive process along but they also help to beat that belly bloat, which unfortunately a lot of us probably will experience inevitably during this time of year.
So examples of herbal teas would be things like green tea, ginger tea, chamomile, fennel, peppermint and there are others that you can use as well and these would help to keep some of these undesirable digestive symptoms at bay and they also keep you hydrated, which is really important at this time of year.
So, I do hope that you enjoyed some of those tips and that you found them helpful. I wish you a wonderful rest of 2020 and I hope that I will see some of you here at the DNA Health Center in Jumeirah in 2021.