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Your (updated!) 2022 Holiday Sur-thirval Guide

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Your (updated!) 2022 Holiday Sur-thrival Guide

2 years ago, we wrote this blog as we were wading through the pandemic waters. In it, we talk about navigating a healthy holiday with the hopes of actually thriving (as opposed to simply… surviving.). There were so many good nuggets of wisdom in that blog that we decided to take the meat and elevate that dish to 2022’s standards. 

So if you’re heading in to Christmas week groaning and grimacing about what party time and family time might do to your health and fitness journey – have no fear! Your 2022 Holiday Sur-thrival Guide is here.

 

Party Tricks

It’s unavoidable that this holiday season you’re bound to find yourself at some sort of festive gathering. Check out the tips below for navigating any shindig, party or feast like a freaking pro: 

  • Distance makes the heart stay healthy. We’ve all been there: you’re at a party, and while there are definitely plenty of places to stand and socialize that are not within arms reach of the spinach and artichoke dip… you somehow spend 35 minutes mindlessly snacking as you discuss work or school or your dating life with your great Aunt Karen. The hottest take for prioritizing your healthy diet and hard-earned nutrition at holiday parties: simply don’t stand right next to all the food. Grab a mini tree-shaped plate, fill it with what you want and mingle away (no, literally) — only coming back for seconds if you’re actually hungry, not distracted.
  • Drink mindfully. It’s no surprise that alcohol is the sneakiest contributor of empty calories and heaps of sugar to any holiday celebration — especially festive mixed drinks and eggnog. And because alcohol has a tendency to derail folks the most, we actually have a number of tricks with which to take into a party: 
    • Before you arrive to your holiday hoedown, take a beat. Develop some mindful narratives around the evening. Stop and ask yourself, “what do I hope the outcome of this party will be? Is there something on my calendar tomorrow that I want to feel good and not hungover for? What choices do I need to make tonight to set myself up for success in the coming weeks?”
    • If and when you choose to partake in holiday libations, pace yourself. Space out alcoholic drinks by consuming a glass of water in between each one, or take a night off and sip on sparkling waters. Most of the time at parties, our brains crave more the mouth- and hand-feel of having a drink, less the actual drink itself. Want more tips on how to booze consciously?  
    • Have a number in mind with how many drinks you want to have going into the party. If we set ourselves up with a number, we allow ourselves to enjoy a beverage without introducing a ton of restriction, and we’re more likely to stick to the plan.
  • Be a conscious contributor. If you want to make sure there is a healthy dish at your family holiday meal or work potluck, bring it yourself! Lean proteins, colorful veggies or nutrient dense side-dishes such as mashed sweet potatoes or this curried squash soup will still bring the warm fuzzy festive element to the table without having to sacrifice your nutrition goals.
  • Don’t arrive on empty. Before setting out for a party, eat something satiating so you don’t arrive famished and prone to over-indulging. Excellent pre-party snacks combine complex carbohydrates with protein and good fat, like apple slices with peanut butter or a turkey and cheese roll-up on whole-grain tortillas.. 
  • Slow your roll. Take your time; chew slowly, put down your utensils in between bites, and eat mindfully. Remember: it’s the people you’re interacting with, not the food on your plate, that matters most during this season. Being conscious of your hunger and fullness cues during this season will come in clutch, I’ll tell you that.  
  • Eat the rainbow. When thinking about what foods to choose, make sure you’re creating a colorful plate! It’s easy to end up with a traditionally brown holiday plate — think turkey, stuffing, mac and cheese, mashed potatoes with gravy, rolls and pumpkin pie. While delicious and likely sentimental, balance those brown buddies out with bright salads, green veggies, orange yams, or those red apple slices from the kids table.

Travel Tips 

While some of us might stay home for the holidays, many others will find themselves traveling out of their routine. Here are a few tips for making those long car rides, flights, and days away from home a little more manageable:

  • Have a movement plan. Whether you’re headed to a resort in Mexico or your in-laws house in Idaho, have a movement plan before you get there. How many times while you’re away do you want to intentionally move/exercise? Maybe there’s a local box nearby you can drop in to. Or, Renew has you covered with these at-home workouts that don’t require any equipment. 
  • Healthy snackin’. Being prepared when hunger strikes is half the battle when pursuing health on road trips/during long airport travel days. Stock up on clean, whole protein bars, biltong, jerky, sliced veggies and dried fruit before you head out of town. If you know your final destination isn’t likely to supply you with goal-oriented snacks and meals, don’t hesitate to pack some food for that too! 
  • Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate! Bring a reusable water bottle while you’re away and drink up, buttercup. Start your day with 8oz, and fill up your bottle at least twice the day of your travels. We know how much water contributes to so much of our health – from hunger levels to energy levels to our sleep, recovery, and to generally staying in our routine. So being able to stay hydrated throughout times of travel will help you feel less like a dumpster fire and more like a bright-eyed, bushy-tailed, holly jolly human.
  • Don’t be afraid to have hard convos. If you know that your family and friends might have a hard time with your food/movement decisions for some reason, talk to them before about the health and wellness goals you are pursuing. We know family dynamics can be complicated and that it might not be this simple at times but, when possible, these conversations can pay dividends. 

Yes, the holiday season is full of wonderful food, traditions and parties! But in the end, it’s the people with whom you are celebrating that matter most. When the meat and cheese platter is taunting you from across the room for the sixth time that night, take a deep breath, fill your heart with gratitude instead of your stomach with gruyere and simply focus on the blessings all around you! It’s all about perspective, people.

If you need some extra accountability this holiday season — we’re here for you. Just head to crossfitrenew.com/nutrition and we’ll get you set up on a plan to keep your health on track and your goals intact.

Who wrote this post...

Chloe Mizianty

Chloe Mizianty

Chloe Mizianty is a former collegiate athlete turned strength training and functional movement fanatic. In 2016, she dove head first into the field of fitness, and she hasn’t looked back since. Chloe joined Renew in 2017 as an athlete while coaching with an outdoor boot-camp style fitness company, then formally joined the Renew team in 2022 as a personal trainer, nutrition coach, and pregnancy and postpartum coach. When she’s not in the gym, you can find her outside on the trails, on a paddleboard, or trying any of the hot dining spots with her husband. If she had it her way, Chloe would be staring out at the Pacific Ocean from her garage gym while doing the best benchmark workout ever: Linda.

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