(Plus Healthy Tips to Survive the Holidays)
Fingers crossed for your success this New Year. If you’ve picked (or are planning) a resolution, fair warning not to beat yourself up in case of a challenge.
Even if you’re not the resolution-type (pros and cons here), preparing for an amazing new year should start early. Watching our behavior, diet, and other habits in the final stretch of this year (now decade) can either make, OR break our morale.
That’s why we’ve put together these simple holiday survival tips. Since we all want to give 2020 our best shot, continue reading for trends to watch for, including essential ways to get ahead and Level Up in 2020, starting right now in 2019.
Matcha (shamelessly) included, but that’s not all!
Quick Fun Fact: It Pays to Enjoy
According to this article, people are healthier when enjoying meals socially. That includes family mealtimes, dinner with friends, and so on. As a precedent of holiday cheer, this social factor is also suggested to be significant to health. It’s a psychophysiological interaction, and may positively influence how we respond to what we eat (and drink). Good news for the coming weeks.
Arguably the most simple thing to succeed this time of year is to ensure your enjoyment. Not only a great rule of thumb, but (within reason) it amplifies other healthy decisions and keeps you on track to level up.
Here’s our recommendations to harness a positive holiday spirit as you build momentum to level up this New Year:
Kick the Common Cold (before you get sick)
Many are in the habit of catching a cold this time of year. You’ve heard it before, that one friend or family member who just about ‘plans’ on being sick in time for the cheer. The drop in temps may leave us more disposed, but if not that negative expectation itself, holiday travel is next in line.
We may not entirely avoid illness during this end to our decade, but we should try.
Try these 5 tips to boost immunity, especially if your New Year plans tend to fall short early due to sickness:
- If you’re flying, aim for a window seat. You’ll minimize exposure to others who are sick, even if it’s a short flight.
- Up the ante on the hand-washing. Avoid touching your face when possible, particularly during (and after) any group gatherings.
- Get your sleep. Sleep is a leading stressor during the holidays. Immunity relies on restful sleep, so be sure to rest, especially if working extra hours for time off.
- Drink more water. First thing in the morning, and extra throughout the day. We need adequate hydration to process food, and excrete toxins.
- Pick the right fuel. Avoid coffee as you power through last-minute shopping. Choose Matcha instead, it won’t elevate cortisol and worsen holiday stress.
Go for the Fats
Skip (most) of those tempting rolls and other sources of simple carbs. Seek to enjoy balanced meals, while saving those indulgences for the cheeses, nuts, and other high-fat foods.
If you know you can’t say no, seek whole-wheat and slow-rise breads and consider dipping in omega-3 rich, extra virgin olive oil.
When opting for healthy fats, you can buffer against spikes in blood sugar. You’ll avoid the extra insulin response and prevent a cascade of inflammatory changes in the body. Another ally to remember is fibrous veggies.
Think cauliflower, celery, and broccoli to name a few. Altogether, you’ll feel more satiated without the suffering.
This is a great opportunity to familiarize with one of the next decade’s biggest diet trends. Especially if you’re cooking for company this time of year.
Pick from a growing list of alternatives to common grains, meats, and other animal products. With a few recipes under your belt, you can tastefully moderate a healthy diet while boosting resilience for 2020. Options include replacing wheat pastas with those made from legumes and veggies (black beans, garbanzos, zucchini).
Also consider vegan cheeses in at least one popular dish (careful for allergies, many alternatives are nut-based). Even give homemade, low-carb pizza crusts a try.
At least one friend or family member will give thanks for choices that fit their diet.
Feel Full with Less
If you’re seeking a change of pace, try this simple trick: Eat slowly.
Research on eating habits recommend that slower eating can contribute to smaller portions. When serving yourself, aim for about 25% less on your plate.
Take smaller bites and chew mindfully. By working to savor your food and slow down, it’s suggested you’ll feel equally satiated as an original portion size.
This technique is great to pick up this time of year, but even better to carry on for the New Year. Give it a try!
Especially if to you, leveling up in 2020 means combating weight gain or metabolic syndromes. You're unlikely to notice change in hunger, particularly if knocking-back a glass of water before meals.
Join the Health Optimization Bandwagon
Ready to show health who’s boss in 2020? It’s time to treat herbal supplements seriously (albeit wisely). One incredible feat of modern times is this accessibility to health promoting compounds.
This trend which includes plant-based nootropics and adaptogenic energizers is evolving rapidly. The widespread growth has created access, but it’s up to you to choose between the many sources (and haphazard claims).
That applies to any time-tested herbs (ginger, turmeric, ashwagandha), all the way to the newest ‘shotgun-product’ of laboratory compounds. Whatever you’re curious about, it’s important to do your research and evaluate products for purity and reported benefits.
The Bottom Line
Make this next decade count and join while you’re ahead. If you’re looking for new products to stave-off holiday sickness and promote a healthy New Year, we believe asian mushrooms like shiitake, lion’s mane, and cordyceps offer reliable boosts to immunity and mental focus.
We also recommend drinking matcha at least twice a day for a continual stream of calm & focus, boosted nutrition, and potent antioxidants. It also contains EGCG which is suggested to reduce infection from the flu and the common cold.
High levels of amino acids like L-theanine regulate our neurochemistry to keep steady focus and help through the holidays. Matcha is also reported to improve memory and reduce inflammation - everything you need to power through whatever life throws at you!
Most of all, it increases our resilience, will power, and fortitude to achieve those difficult first-steps in the New Year. When you choose matcha, leveling up in 2020 will be a breeze, and your body (and mind) will thank you.