Silver lining

Detoxing from Halloween pumpkin pie, then staying healthy during Thanksgiving and all the winter holiday parties … it’s challenging enough in a normal year. But in 2020, if you want to stay healthy and happy, it’s all about finding silver linings. 

And one such sliver of silver during a pandemic is that because of social distancing, there might not be as many festive occasions at which to indulge in unhealthy treats. 

But the flip side of this upside is that the social isolation can cause loneliness, depression and anxiety. This, in turn, can make you more vulnerable to emotional overeating. 

Regardless of how you celebrate the holidays at the end of 2020 (which we can all agree can’t end soon enough), follow my tips for keeping your $hi! together. If you can tune out all the noise from the pandemic and election—easier said than done, I know—you’ll find that you can not only survive this tumultuous period, you can actually thrive. 


Meditate, Meditate, Meditate

Meditation is the best way to drown out the external noise that’s bringing you down. I know this tip isn’t some amazing new wellness trend or awesome new technology. But actually, thanks to new technology, it’s never been easier to meditate. You know this already. But now it’s time to take action. 

And when I write above, meditate, meditate, meditate, here’s what I mean… Most people eat three times a day to keep their energy level up. (If you want to slim down, try intermittent fasting and eating only two meals a day!) Likewise, to maintain your mental energy and balance, try to meditate three times a day. 

“As if, ain’t nobody got time for that!” 

If that’s what you’re thinking, then you definitely need to take the time to meditate. And it only takes 3-5 minutes to decompress. Set a timer on your phone for morning, noon and sometime at night to remind you to Zen it out!


Adapt To Stress

Adaptogenic herbs are one of the biggest health trends in recent years. And for good reason. Stress is the bubonic plague of our times. And in a pandemic year, it’s even more of a problem. Also called “adaptogens,” adaptogenic herbs are the premiere plant medicines of the world. They’ve been used for thousands of years and modern research shows that they bring the body back into balance after being thrashed by stress of all kinds, from physical, emotional and environmental. 

Examples of adaptogenic herbs are ashwagandha, reishi mushroom, rhodiola, ginseng, acai berry, goji berry, and licorice root. There are many brands that sell adaptogens. I’m not in the business of pushing supplements so do your research and try to pick a product that contains multiple adaptogens. Like meditation, make adaptogens a part of your daily practice. 


High-Nutrient Density Foods With Every Meal

Who doesn’t love a burger? Even strict plant-based eaters can sink their teeth into a delicious veggie burger these days. But even if you indulge in a burger, pizza or fries, I want you to fuel your body with high-nutrient dense plant-based foods. 

There’s nothing wrong with indulging in comfort food. In fact, a common rule of thumb in nutrition is that if you stick to a healthy diet 80% of the time, you can have some leeway with the other 20%. In other words, don’t worry about the side of fries when you eat out at a restaurant. But you should worry about canola oil in which your fries are probably cooked, so scratch that! 

Actually, I don’t buy the 80/20 rule. I hate to sound like the ultimate party pooper, but I think that in order to survive and thrive these days, it’s more like eat healthy 95% of the time and enjoy the rare doughnut or piece of cake. 

It’s impossible not to be affected by stress these days. And eating poor-quality food is a big stressor to the body. We need to be fueled multiple times a day by nutrient-dense foods. That’s why I start off each day with a 16 oz serving of Organic Green Drink


Expose Yourself To Negativity Every Day

No, I’m not recommending watching the news. (Actually, count curbing your news consumption as another tip to staying healthy during the holidays—or anytime of year, really.) I’m talking about negative ions. These are invisible molecules that float in the air. You can’t see them and you can’t smell them. 

But in certain environments, negative ions are abundant and make us feel profoundly happier. So where can you score a natural high from negative ions? The place that most always comes to mind is the ocean. But what if you live in a landlocked area hundreds of miles away from an ocean? 

The good news is you can expose yourself to these happiness-inducing molecules by walking in nature, lying down on the grass, sitting next to a stream or taking a lakeside stroll. 

Research proves that being in nature makes you happier. Negative ions, says the science, creates positive vibes!


Go To Sleep Early

Attention: night owls. You may think that late-night hours are the best time to get stuff done. Indeed, burning the midnight oil might be the only time you can actually take care of some business. But if you want to keep your immune system functioning at peak capacity, go to sleep early. Most articles on sleep suggest going to sleep by 10. I realize there’s no way that’s going to happen for many people. So my approach is a little more flexible. In bed with all devices in airplane mode or powered off by 11:30. Sleeping by midnight. A solid 7 hours of sleep gets you up relatively early and allows you to follow the first tip: meditate. 

Sleep is the best elixir for your immune system. A chain is only as strong as the weakest link, and going to sleep really late and not sleeping enough can be the link that breaks down your immunity. 

I know the power of a binge-worthy show. But really, is any show worth weakening your immune system? There’s always tomorrow night….

Practice these 5 tips everyday and you’ll stay healthy through the holidays and well into next year, which fingers crossed, will be a happier one than this one.