Healthy Tips to Navigate the Holidays

by CJ Hitz December 21, 2016 3 min read

Healthy Tips to Navigate the Holidays

I hope this finds you running well as we move into the winter season! Here are 5 tips to keep you healthy as we enjoy the holiday season.

1.) Load up on Fruit & Veggies

As we move toward Christmas and New Year, tis’ the season to increase our sugar intake with all the holiday treats available. Make it a point to stock up on healthy snacks and limit the number of unhealthy snacks you have in the house. If sugary sweets are in our house, my wife and I have zero self-control. Instead, save the sugary treats for those special gatherings with family or friends.

We love to cut up fresh vegetables like broccoli and cauliflower and load up a container full to have handy. We’ll then use hummus or a flavorful dressing as a delicious dip.  Apples and oranges are also great to have available since they’re packed with immunity-building Vitamin C. Apples are also a fantastic source of quercetin, a flavonoid that helps guard against cold or flu bugs and also has been found to decrease inflammation. As a runner, lingering inflammation can be an injury waiting to happen. Refined sugar creates more inflammation throughout the body.

2.) Vitamin D Supplement

Depending on where you live, this can also be a time of year when the sunshine can be a little more elusive which means our bodies don’t make as much Vitamin D. For the runner, Vitamin D levels correspond with our immunity which is the body’s ability to fight off disease and illness. This is important, especially as training intensifies.

For those of us who suffer from seasonal affect disorders, winter can also be a bit of a downer emotionally, though it doesn’t have to be. Getting quality nutritional supplements into our bodies along with getting some measure of natural light and fresh air can help enhance our mood. 

3.) Don’t Forget Water!

As the weather gets cooler, it’s easier to back off on water since the body doesn’t alert us as quickly to our need. A nice formula to ensure you’re drinking enough is to change your body weight to ounces and cut that in half. For example, a 150-pound person needs a minimum intake of 75 ounces of water each day. This number will increase on days when we exercise. Water helps flush out waste and toxins. One way to know you’re drinking enough is to notice a clear to light yellow color in your urine. Dark yellow is a sign you’re under-drinking.

4.) Drink a Smoothie…Even if it’s Cold Outside

Christmas Smoothie

Baby, it’s cold outside! But smoothies can be enjoyed all year round. Here’s a seasonal smoothie recipe from my book Smoothies For Runners 2.0.

This is a great recipe to bring out during the Christmas season with mint being a constant theme. The fresh peppermint leaves add some green to this dessert-like smoothie. Peppermint has long been shown to be a remedy for indigestion or an upset stomach. This herb also aids in breathing (a benefit for endurance athletes) and can help relieve symptoms of colds related to allergy. Take a deep breath and enjoy!

CocoMint Christmas Cheer Ingredients

  • 1 cup vanilla or chocolate coconut milk, depending on your preference
  • 8 fresh mint leaves
  • 1 frozen ripe banana
  • 1 scoop vanilla protein powder of your choice
  • 1-2 drops Peppermint oil extract (optional for stronger mint lovers)

Blend all ingredients until smooth

5.) Stay Consistent!

For whatever reason (weather perhaps?), many people seem to have the idea that a good time to take it easy with training is around the holidays. In my opinion, this isn’t always smart. Not that you have to train like a maniac during this stretch but it’s a good idea to still stay consistent. Slacking off too much will lead to a loss of heart (cardio fitness) and an increase in weight. We all know it takes a lot longer to gain that precious fitness than it does to lose it. It also takes more effort to lose those stubborn pounds than it does to gain them.

It’s really easy to get out of our routines around the holidays but staying consistent in our exercise habits can help us stay strong mentally and physically. My wife knows how important my daily run is to my overall state of mind and gladly sends me out the door.

Practice these tips over the next couple months and you’ll give your body what it needs despite the distractions that are inevitable this time of year. As Cousin Eddie said in the movie Christmas Vacation, “Clark, that’s the gift that keeps on givin’ the whole year.”

Here’s to achieving new breakthroughs in 2017 2018!

CJ Hitz
CJ Hitz

After running in the 1988 State Cross Country meet in Eugene, Oregon as a high school sophomore, CJ gave up running for nearly 20 years before being drawn back into the sport. CJ caught the “running bug” in 2008 and has not looked back since. He’s dropped over 50 pounds in weight and continues to set new lifetime personal bests as a national class masters runner. CJ has competed in well over 150 races ranging from road 5Ks to trail 50Ks. He enjoys a fast road 5k or a grueling mountain race with lots of elevation gain & loss. Basically, he just plain loves running. CJ and his wife Shelley reside in Colorado Springs, CO where they are spoiled beyond measure with mountains, trails and sunshine. CJ's Train Well Race Well Coaching site - www.TrainWellRaceWell.com Check out CJ's latest book Smoothies For Runners 2.0 here - https://www.amazon.com/Smoothies-Runners-2-0-Performance-Injury-Free/dp/0692738452


Leave a comment

Comments will be approved before showing up.


Also in BodyHealth

The Master of Metabolism: How the Thyroid Gland Creates Vitality
The Master of Metabolism: How the Thyroid Gland Creates Vitality

by Dr. David Minkoff October 09, 2019 7 min read

When you think of “vitality” what do you think of?

For most people, it’s some image of an active life, bursting with energy: shining eyes; spring in your step; the zest of life.

But if you go just a little bit deeper into this idea of vitality, it’s not some abstract, ephemeral quality reserved for the chosen few with the right genetics. It’s a very real thing, grounded in the biochemistry of life.

And it ultimately comes down to your body’s ability to make biological energy, a complex process collectively known as “metabolism.” 

So if you want to enhance your vitality, it makes sense to start with the master regulator of metabolism –– the one gland that controls metabolism and energy for every single  cell in your body:

The Thyroid Gland.

And learning how to dial in its health is one of the most powerful ways to enhance your energy, speed up healing, and simply feel more alive.

Read More
The All-Natural Guide to Vitamins and Supplements: Whole Food Based vs. Their Synthetic Counterparts
The All-Natural Guide to Vitamins and Supplements: Whole Food Based vs. Their Synthetic Counterparts

by Andrew Schachter September 30, 2019 9 min read

You might think that with the current state of health in our society that manufacturers would see the value of investing in whole food sourced natural ingredients.  Poor government oversight and regulation combined with a lack of education for consumers creates an environment inconsistent with the primary intention of supplements which is to enhance and better health & well-being
Read More
PerfectAmino Uptake and Bioavailability, Plasma Test and Lab Results
PerfectAmino Uptake and Bioavailability, Plasma Test and Lab Results

by Dr. David Minkoff September 25, 2019 4 min read

Abstract
This study examines the effect of PerfectAmino on the plasma amino acid levels in 5 patients at an Integrative Medical Clinic in Clearwater, FL. Fasting levels of essential serum amino acids and glucose were taken, and then 10 grams of PerfectAmino were fed with repeat serum levels of amino acids and glucose taken at an average of 41 minutes and 103 minutes afterward. The data showed that in every case blood levels of essential amino acids increased significantly from fasting levels with no increase in glucose levels. Additionally, levels of conditionally essential amino acids, (Arginine and Histidine), had increases as well, demonstrating that with PerfectAmino both conditionally essential amino acids can be produced by the body when PerfectAmino is fed. We conclude that PerfectAmino in both tablet and powder from are well absorbed after oral feeding and have no significant effect on blood glucose levels.

Read More