Here are some tips on how to reset after the holidays to focus on choices that make you feel your best (and without doing anything extreme)!
The holiday season is notorious for feeling the squiggly line effect in action: the mountain goes up with an abundance of deliciousness the whole holiday season. Then most of us wake up on New Year’s Day craving those black eyed peas and collard greens (am I right?!). You naturally want to head down the other side (or perhaps jump off a cliff!) back to your normal habits so you start to feel great again.
A Reset Is About Self Love
Let me be clear: a reset should not be about deprivation, cleanses, punishment, or negative self talk. In fact, it’s quite the opposite! Think: nourishing your body, getting some movement and fresh air, making time for self care and adding back the routine habits that contribute to good health for the majority of the year.
Here are tips to get you in the right mindset to move forward into the new year feeling refreshed.
How To Reset After The Holidays
1. Ignore Diet Culture
You don’t have to punish your body for it to do its job. Extreme nutrition or exercise will probably make you feel worse! Do not attempt a 1,200 calorie diet, a juice cleanse, or the latest “this food group causes inflammation so you need to cut it out” trend.
Give your body what it needs: a variety of wholesome, real food in a rainbow of colors. Your liver is there to do the cleansing for you. If you want to cut out sugar or alcohol for 30 days because that makes you feel your best – do it. But just remember that life is not all or nothing and a sustainable diet is one based on diversity and real food.
2. Stock the fridge
Of course you knew this would be next! You can’t eat well if your fridge is empty. Head to the grocery store and splurge on your very favorite healthy foods. Buy all the herbs, try a new salad dressing, load your cart with the giant grapefruits.
Soups are the salads of winter and are an ideal way to get lots of vegetables at once (while staying as warm as possible!). Soup is great for a quick lunch and you can try a new recipe each week for some variety.
If you are watching what you’re spending: Spend some time batch-cooking hard boiled eggs, making tuna salad, baking oatmeal to reheat all week, or prepping overnight oats. Make veggie burgers, massaged kale salad or grilled chicken to toss into a veggie soup or salad.
Recipe: Prep Day Kale Salad
3. Make a meal plan
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4. Get outside everyday
Winter walks are my favorite because you barely get sweaty! If you’re freezing cold on the couch feeling lethargic, bundle up and go for a walk. You’ll most definitely be warmer when you get back home. Nothing is as energizing as a walk, and often when I think I’m on the verge of needing a nap, I take a short power walk and wake right up.
Sunlight is so important this time of year. Even if you have cloud cover or snow on the ground, go walk! Use the time to think, listen to your favorite podcast, download a free audiobook from Libby (fiction or nonfiction – you choose!), or catch up with a friend.
My favorite podcasts for a long walk:
5. Reset your budget
Sometimes even our budgets get a little bit of a hangover. The best thing you can do to prepare for next year’s season is to reflect on this year. How much did you spend on gifts? Giving? Parties? What was essential and what could have been saved? Take the essential total and divide it by 12 and start saving for next year today! Last I checked, the holidays are not a surprise. They come every year! Be prepared.
6. Drink mindfully
Check out this post about wine on the weekends and the follow-up post one year later. I’m not perfect at this approach but it’s a good goal for me to have. My weeknight drinks include seltzer, kombucha in a wine glass, and tea with honey after dinner.
Adding to the “don’t go to extremes” list: a juice fast only works because it’s deprivation. Juice is packed with antioxidants, but your body also needs protein and healthy fat. You’re better off blending the whole plant into a smoothie and incorporating protein and fat too so you’re getting balanced macros and fiber.
Also, drink plenty of water, but don’t set a number you have to hit each day. You’ll just excrete the excess like a cup that overfloweth!
7. Trust in your routine
The fact that you’re someone looking for a reset is a great sign that you have a good routine to begin with. Our health is defined by our everyday habits, not those that come around a few times a year. Make a list of all the good choices you employ for your health every day: good food, mindful breathing, some stretching, connecting with others, reading, giving, kindness, and more. Health is about so much more than how many extra Christmas cookies you ate. Trust in your routine and yourself and focus on what makes you feel your best.