December 2-8, 2018
Dial Back Your Stress
Hard to believe we are already into December of 2018. The holidays can often times be a source of stress for people. Practice some stress reduction techniques this week as well as trying to incorporate a day of fasting.
THINGS TO PRACTICE:
1. Reduce Your Stress. Stress can be a very difficult thing during the holidays. Family stress, financial stress, work stress, among many others can make December a difficult month. Chronic stress can lead to increased cortisol levels (see talk a few weeks back), disturbed sleep habits, anD other unhealthy changes in the body. This week, try to incorporate some stress reduction tactics to make your holiday season RUN smoothly!
- Stick to a budget: financial stress can be a big one this time of year. Create a budget for gifts, parties, etc. and stick to it. You will feel much better knowing your financial forecast for the month!
- Be realistic in your traditions: As families change and the years come and go, traditions change too. Be realistic in which traditions make sense to keep and which ones just add stress. New traditions that are less stressful are good too.
- Make a schedule: December is busy! Make a schedule or calendar of which parties you will go to, what days you will use for shopping, and any other necessary items. Include your personal time on the schedule also. Don’t overbook yourself.
- Take time for yourself: You need time for you. This might be time to exercise, time to journal, or just time to watch a funny Christmas show. Regardless of what it is, make sure you spend some time on yourself to recharge.
- Stick to your healthy habits: Don’t abandon all your healthy habits during this time of year. Make a point to still getting your workouts, monitoring your steps, eating healthy, and getting sleep. All these healthy habits help to keep your energy tank on full.
- Just say no: It’s so simple, but so hard all at the same time. The word “no” can be a powerful tool this time of year to help you avoid stress. You can’t be superman or superwoman all the time. Make sure to say “no” to the requests that are just not realistic and will leave you stressed.
2. A day of fasting. Intermittent fasting is a great tactic to keep the body healthy. We want you to incorporate several days of fasting this month of December. Start with incorporating a dinner to lunch or a dinner to dinner fast this week (18-24 hour fast). I was recently asked how does intermittent fasting fit in with our cortisol talk a few weeks back. Doesn’t fasting increase cortisol levels? Yes, fasting will create a slight rise in cortisol in the short term, but that is why we do it intermittently. A day of fasting will not be enough to completely throw off your cortisol cycle and create chronically elevated cortisol levels. We believe the health benefits below far outweigh the short-term increase in cortisol levels.
- Decreased calorie consumption: this time of year is notorious for high-calorie meals. A day of fasting will help to combat a higher calorie intake by having a period of very low calorie intake.
- Reduced oxidative stress: intermittent fasting can help to regulate free radicals and inflammation.
- Improved cellular repair: fasting can help stimulate cellular repair and removal of cellular waste.
- Reduced insulin resistance: this helps to lower your risk of type II diabetes.
- Improved blood markers: fasting can improve triglyceride levels, cholesterol, blood pressure and many other markers. This also reduces your likelihood of heart disease and stroke.
- Reduced chances of Alzheimer’s: fasting is showing early signs that it can help reduce the chance of many neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s, dementia, Parkinson’s, etc.
THIS WEEK’S RECIPES
We love to keep meals healthy, easy, and tasty! Try some of these awesome recipes this week.