The holiday season can be very hectic. It is easy to start feeling overwhelmed with the holiday because we get caught up in work, obligations, and gift-giving. For some people, this time leaves them feeling lonely. I see the holiday blues quite often. But we tend to forget what the holiday season is all about.

I urge you to start looking around you and start thinking about everything and everyone you are thankful for. Take some time for self-care and to reflect. Cherish every moment and be present.

I know this year is far different than anything we have ever experienced in the past. But I created this guide to help boost your immune system and keep you healthy as possible. I think any extra steps that we can take to stay as healthy as possible is worth it!

1.) Increase water intake; shoot for drinking at least half your lean muscle mass in ounces. Try adding in fresh lemon, lime, ginger, or cucumber. For every one alcoholic beverage, follow it up with one cup of water.

2.) Focus on eating when you are hungry, don’t eat when you’re not. Most of the time, when you think you’re hungry, you are dehydrated, bored, or emotional eating. It takes about twenty to thirty minutes for your stomach to get the signal to your brain that you are full, be sure to keep that in mind.

3.) Complete a strength training workout with high reps 3-5x a week. If time is limited, do a few short HIIT workouts. Focus on getting your steps in daily — a great goal to shoot for is 6,000-10,000 steps.

4.) Be sure to create well-balanced meals. The hand method is the easiest know method:

Palm=Protein/Palm-Starch or Fruit

5.) Don’t go to any event starving or empty-handed. Bringing a dish is polite, and you’re guaranteed a healthy option.

6.) Sleep has to take priority. How many hours of sleep do you need to feel energized? If your stress levels are high, add-in some extra time to get quality sleep.

7.) Get a workout partner and set early morning appointments; this will help hold you accountable so that you don’t stay up too late.

8.) Try adding self-care items such as a Himalayan salt lamp, hot Epsom salt bath, massage, acupuncture mat, and essential oils. Schedule a few minutes of YOU time daily, even if it’s just sitting in silence, meditating, or reading a book.

9.) Supplement correctly. If your immune system takes a hard hit this time of the year, with a Doctors approval, try supplementing with an effective Probiotic, Vitamin C, Elderberry, and Zinc.

10.) Start your first plate off with a good quality protein and vegetables. Then feel free to fill up on other items you’re craving.

11.) Prep all of your food as usual throughout the week to have food on hand at all times. If your time is limited, you can have meals delivered to you.

12.) Last but not least, don’t feel guilty about anything. Associating guilt with food intake will create a bad relationship with food and lead to binging. Eat slowly, and enjoy yourself!

I hope you have a wonderful holiday! XOXO, EZ.