Image Credit Creative Commons, Simon Gotz
Holiday gatherings can throw off even the most well-intentioned nutrition plan. Have you ever wondered the best way to get a healthy breakfast that can be grabbed on the go while covering all your nutritional needs? What about the simplest ways to get yourself to actually eat healthy instead of caving to junk food? Or how to make an effective cold prevention tonic?
We asked three of our certified health practitioners to share some of their tried and true health hacks for getting through the winter season – check out the list below.
1. A Breakfast that Covers All Your Nutritional Needs
Ben Greenfield (MS, CSCS, CPT, C-ISSN) is a Certified Personal Trainer and former Ironman triathlete. He specializes in exercise nutrition, fat loss, muscle gain, and biohacking.
His favorite breakfast is “the ultimate smoothie…that you could consume”, and “cover all your nutrient and vitamin needs for the entire day.” For this, Greenfield advises,“You’ll need a…big engine, industrial-style blender.” The process involves mixing ingredients in 3 phases.
Start by mixing the following ingredients:
– A huge bunch of greens (kale, spinach, bok choy, mustard greens)
– Some kind of herb (parsley, cilantro or thyme are nice
– Half an avocado (or a whole one if it’s a high-calorie day)
– 4-6oz of full fat coconut milk. (“The less coconut milk you use, the thicker your smoothie will be. I prefer an extremely thick smoothie that I have to eat with a spoon, so that the digestive enzymes in my mouth can work on pre-digesting before the food even makes it to my gut.”)
– 2 teaspoons organic cacao powder
– 2 teaspoons cinnamon
– 1/2-1 teaspoon sea salt
– 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil or coconut oil
Blend everything above for 60 seconds. “You don’t want to pulverize things like protein powder, and collagen.”
– 20-30g of a “clean” protein powder (click here to learn about nasty ingredients in protein powders)
– 2 teaspoons of a good organic collagen hydrolysate
– 1 large handful of unroasted, non-vegetable-oil coated walnuts or almonds.
Blend for 15 seconds.
Finally, stir (don’t blend) in the following ingredients:
– 1 small handful organic dark cacao nibs
– 1 large handful organic unsweetened coconut flakes
“Boom. That’s it. You’re now ready to begin consuming your smoothie, preferably with a spoon or a spatula.”
Sounds yummy, yes?
2. Hacks For Making Eating Habits Healthier, With Ease
Pamela Kelle (RDN, CEDRD) is a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist and an expert at behavior change in the “big 3” areas of functional nutritional, fitness, and stress management.
If you have ever been in a position of knowing what to do for nutrition and fitness, but not getting around to actually doing it, Kelle is the expert to turn to in learning how to manage your health goals.
Kelle’s top 3 recommendations for following staying on track more easily are:
- “Keep clean fruit on the counter in plain view for snacks”
- “Keep [junk] foods out of the house if you tend to over eat them”
- Exercise “even if you only have 20 minutes”
Short and simple does the trick.
3. How to Keep Immunity Up During the Holidays
Janelle Deeds (CCN) is a Certified Clinical Nutritionist who specializes in eating disorders, self-compassion in food and exercise, gut health, and the elimination of food sensitivities.
For staying healthy during the holiday, she advises us to “keep your stress in check” and to “be prepared with a few key options,” such as the following.
“Fluids and immune boosting herbal tonic as a simple insurance policy for supporting those basic body systems and detox organs that can get quite the workout as the microbial exposure increases.”
- Herbal tea – “mint, passion flora, ginseng, or chamomile”
- Bone broth — “to nourish and replenish”
- Rescue Remedy – “a few drops under the tongue to help restore inner calm and control”
- Lavender Essential Oil — “for your bath or pillow”
- Deep breaths — “to calm and re-regulate the nervous system”
- A moment alone – “it’s free, even if it is hard to find”
In addition to keeping unnecessary stress to a minimum, Deeds recommends a “3-10 day healthy eating plan”, which “clears out cellular congestion and paves the way for improved immune response.”
Lastly, she advises to “check your biomarkers annually!” (you can do that here)
Helpful for preventing infections and feeling great, indeed.
How WellnessFX Can Help
If you are considering implementing any “health hacks” for the holiday season, it’s best to have a record of your body’s changes through lab testing, for an accurate “before and after” perspective.
Important biomarkers to test for the winter include (but are certainly not limited to):
- Complete blood count (CBC). Metrics in the CBC panel measure important functions in the body. For example, white blood cell count is a marker of immune function, which is important for fighting colds, the flu, and other infections.
- Vitamin D. Commonly deficient in the winter, due to decreased exposure to sunlight, exposure to which helps the body synthesize the molecule in the skin’s cells.
- Thyroid hormones (TSH, T3, T4). The thyroid helps regulate metabolism and body temperature to help you stay warm in cold weather.
The posts on this blog are for information only, and are not intended to substitute for a doctor-patient or other healthcare professional-patient relationship nor do they constitute medical or healthcare advice of any kind. Any information in these posts should not be acted upon without consideration of primary source material and professional input from one's own healthcare professionals.