Happy New Year everyone!
If you’re anything like me, you LOVED the holidays…and are kind of happy they’re over.
Don’t get me wrong, I absolutely relish our annual festivities and time spent with family and friends.
between all the holiday parties, kids on winter break, shopping, phone calls, guests, bizarre weather, gift wrapping, meal planning, and constant eating and drinking…
….this, albeit joyous season can suck your energy, immunity, and mood bone dry.
Luckily holiday burnout has an easy fix: nutrition!
Today I’m going to share my top 5 favorite nutrients to help you recover from the holidays and start your New Year out full of energy, gratitude, and strength.
Holiday Burnout Remedy #1: Magnesium
Known as the anti-stress mineral, magnesium helps regulate your stress response, relax tense muscles, calm your nerves, balance blood sugar, and lull you into a restorative sleep.
A couple little-known facts about magnesium:
- Its stores are depleted by stress, sugar, and alcohol. And what do we experience a lot of this time of year?
Stress, sugar, and alcohol!
- And, most Americans are chronically deficient in this crucial mineral. Why? Stress is a big factor, as is our diet, and the depleted soil most of our vegetables is grown in.
Given these facts, it makes sense to focus on optimizing your magnesium levels during the Holidays…and all year-round.
- Where to get it: dark leafy greens, legumes, nuts, seeds, yogurt, kefir, avocados, dark chocolate, banana, and figs.
- How much to take: If you choose to supplement, which most people should, I recommend taking a chelated Magnesium Glycinate. It’s the most absorbable and gentlest form of magnesium available.
Holiday Burnout Remedy #2: Zinc
Though many of us reach for Vitamin C at the first sign of a cold, zinc is actually far more effective at helping prevent and shorten the duration of a cold.
Since most post-holiday colds are brought on by stress, lack of sleep, and poor diet, it makes sense to optimize your zinc levels either through diet or supplementation.
- Where to get it: Zinc is abundant in fresh oysters, pumpkin seeds, cashews, kidney, beans, crab, and eggs.
- How much to take: If you’re taking a supplement for prevention, 8 mg per day of preferably chelated zinc gluconate or zinc citrate should be sufficient.
If you already have a cold, you can take up to 24 mg per day to shorten its duration, but pay attention to how you feel. If it’s too hard on your stomach, take less.
Also, be sure and take your zinc supplements with food…or it will leave you feeling nauseous.
Bonus Tip: Zinc lozenges work wonders to take the sting out of a sore throat. So check your local natural foods store. And take lozenges on a full tummy too.
Holiday Burnout Remedy #3: Milk Thistle for Liver Health
With all the partying and often-irresistible libations, our livers take a beating this time of year.
Aside from metabolizing alcohol and toxins, your liver is also responsible for conjugating hormones, cleaning your blood, maintaining glucose homeostasis, and is your #1 fat burning organ (which is good to know if your New Year’s goal is to lose weight).
Now, I’m not saying you have to avoid all alcohol in the new year, BUT, you can protect your liver from its ill-effects and help it get back into ship-fat-burning shape by taking a little milk thistle, especially before and after you drink.
Milk thistle is a well-known liver protector. In fact, it’s often used in conjunction with chemotherapy to protect the livers of cancer patients by making the chemo less toxic.
Pretty powerful stuff, wouldn’t you say?
- How much to take: It depends on how strong your tincture or capsule is, but you can follow the package directions (usually 30 drops or 1-2 capsules) and take one dose before the party and a second dose before bed.
Holiday Burnout Remedy #4: These Flower Essences…
I am such a fan of the Bach Flower Essences for helping me calm every day anxiety and stress.
Rescue Remedy is the most popular Bach Flower Essence, but other single remedies that may help with holiday stress include:
- Elm—for feelings of overwhelm from work and exhaustion
- White Chestnut—helps quiet the cluttered mind and helps you sleep
- Walnut—helps with jet lag and adjusting to a new place
These next two can help you overcome any family issues that may have come up, or help with New Year’s resolutions
- Beech—helps you be more accepting of other people
- Vine—helps you respect other people’s opinions/ideas
You can find them online, at Whole Foods, or your local health/natural foods store with the homeopathics.
Holiday Burnout Remedy #5: Chocolate…specifically, this kind of chocolate
You read right, I’m giving you permission to eat chocolate!
Studies, like this one, have proven that eating chocolate reduces stress hormones in women…which explains why so many of us turn to chocolate when we’re stressed out.
BUT (and you knew there was a but coming), the type of chocolate you choose does count, so here’s what to aim for:
- Keep it dark, dark chocolate contains all those precious heart-healthy antioxidants, flavonoids, and minerals your body craves
- Go for low-sugar, dairy-free and/or stevia-sweetened varieties: like Lily’s Chocolate Bars (available at Natural Foods Stores), or vegan raw chocolate brands
- Limit yourself to 1 or 2 ounces a day—that way you can enjoy all the benefits with none of the calorie overload
Now you’re armed and ready to reset your health and energy for 2017 with NO excuses (-:
Thank you reading today’s post and for all your support in 2016…I have a lot of exciting changes and goodies coming up for you in 2017 so stay tuned for upcoming announcements.
Until then, I wish you a happy, healthy, and heart-felt 2017!