How to Stop Stress Eating during the holidays

How to Stop Stress Eating during the holidays

Whether you celebrate Christmas or Hanukkah or Kwanza, the holidays can be a great time of joy for many. But for others, they are filled with anxiety and stress. Sometimes, even for those that love the family get-togethers, the stress of holiday shopping, finances, and hosting relatives can tear them apart. Let’s talk about ways to stop stress eating during the holidays and enjoy the happy activities and time with your family.

When stress hits at this time of year, it’s easy to turn to that tray of cookies for moral support. After all, cookies won’t criticize you about your life choices the way your family will.

But that’s not healthful … and you know it. Plus, you’ll feel even less joy when you realize you’ve undone this year’s hard work toward wellness. If you find the holidays cause you to gobble down more than you should as a way to cope with the stress, I am offering you these tips for curbing the stress eating before the first tray of cookies is introduced.

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How to have a stress free holiday

How to have a stress free holiday

The holiday season brings a great deal of joy and warmth.  There’s something extra special about this time of year — but it doesn’t come without challenges.  A great deal of added stress is seemingly dumped on our plates, and we find it hard to catch our breath.  The pressure of finding gifts, rushing around attending added events, hosting people at your home, visiting relatives you miss during the year and even having to deal with those that aren’t always a joy to be around. Maybe this is the time to talk about how to have a stress free holiday season?

This season really can be enjoyable and heart-warming, even with the stress involved.  Walking into this time of year with a great mindset and some helpful reminders gets me through every year… and I’d love to share my tips on how I do this with you.

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Mindful Eating

Why is mindful eating important?

Why is mindful eating and pacing the eating of your meal a great part of good health? We are going to talk about that here today… even though it’s nearing the holiday’s and we might want to eat without much discretion.

Even during the holiday’s, it’s important to enjoy the splendor in your meals while pacing yourself and enjoying your meal. The holiday season is well known for the added temptation of celebratory meals, parties, and gifts that seduce the senses. We expect your brain to be enticed with holiday spreads, but I suspect you have already been enticed by commercials and cookbook illustrations even in the planning stage. I sure have!

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Circadian Rhythm in Humans

Circadian Rhythm in Humans

Did you celebrate on Saturday when the time change gave you an extra hour of sleep? I hope you actually slept rather than using that time to work, play, or do anything else.

I’ve written often about the value of sleep for our wellness. Losing (or gaining) an hour of sleep can happen more than in the fall or the spring. It can happen when your schedule gets overwhelmed, or you work shifts. It’s the circadian rhythm everyone talks about.

Science and Your Sleep Rhythm

Science is constantly learning more about the body, and more recently has discovered that each of our cells also has its own clock. Never saw that in your high school biology text, did you?

To optimize your health, it is important to pay attention to and honor our built-in patterns of waking, sleeping and eating, commonly referred to as our circadian rhythm. This rhythm affects the core function of your body as it rises and falls at certain times of the day. For example, growth hormone production usually rises at night while you are sleeping. If your stomach is not full of food at that time, the growth hormone will help to repair your stomach lining.

Circadian Rhythm Tips

To leverage these daily rhythms, we just have to do a few things — sleep at the right time, eat at the right time, and get a little bright light during daytime. Let’s look at these areas more closely.

Sleeping less than 6 hours a night limits your body’s ability to heal and restore after the day’s demands. Studies have also shown that this shortened sleep dramatically increases the risk of insulin resistance, which is at the core of many chronic diseases. Shift workers, who are often deprived of regular sleep, are more likely to develop insulin resistance, leading to diabetes and more.

Effective sleep is influenced by your body’s production of melatonin, which is heavily controlled by light exposure. In the days of candles and lanterns, lights used at night did not interfere with melatonin. Today’s electronics, LED and fluorescent lighting emits a blue light that does. Solution? You can either change your light sources in areas that you frequent in the evening, or you can wear blue-filtering eyeglasses at night.

Circadian Rhythm and Eating

Circadian rhythm in humans is also impacted by your mealtimes. Just like many cleanout functions occur in your brain during deep sleep, our other organs need downtime. Your digestive system has a Migrating Motor Complex that acts something like a street sweeper, cleaning through your intestinal tract when you give it time between meals and don’t snack frequently. If you have constipation, this MMC doesn’t function; and if you eat every couple of hours, it also doesn’t engage.

In time-restricted feeding trials, it has been discovered that mice whose feeding are restricted to a window of 8-12 hours are protected from obesity, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, systemic inflammation and a host of other diseases. In order for your digestive system to benefit from circadian rhythm, fast for at least 12 hours a day. This could be comprised of fasting for 3 hours before bedtime, 8 hours of sleep, and fasting an hour when you wake to allow your melatonin to level off.

How Can I Help You?

How can you keep rhythm with your circadian rhythm? Just like you would dance – one step at a time. You won’t change things suddenly, but small changes, step by step, can restore your rhythm and help you flow into wellness. Let’s chat and see how we can help you feel better!

Kelly Lutman Pursue Wellness

How to Boost Your Immune System Without A Vaccine

How to Boost Your Immune System Without A Vaccine

Let’s talk about how to boost your immune system without a vaccine and get you through the rough allergy and cold seasons.

Many of us look forward to the cooler temperatures and colors that appear in nature with fall’s arrival, but not so much the illness that often comes with the change in season. Have you struggled with allergies, asthma, sinus infections, a perpetual cold, or been laid low with the flu? That last one took me down for the first time last season and I don’t plan to let it sneak up on me again.

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Magnesium Is A Nutrient Powerhouse

Got Magnesium?

Do you experience tightness, tension or spasms in your body on a regular basis? When I am reviewing a client’s symptoms and see any of these noted, the first thing I check is magnesium levels. That’s right! It is more likely a deficiency in this mineral than a lack of Tylenol or any other pain reliever.

There are many other symptoms that can signal a lack of magnesium … including headaches, constipation, acid reflux, sleep issues, anxiety, high blood pressure and joint or muscle pain. Read more

Avoid Blood Sugar Crashes

Have you had those moments where you waited too long to eat, and then struggled through a blood sugar crash where that hangry mood takes over. You felt lightheaded, shaky, and generally unwell. Not only will keeping your blood sugar stabilized throughout the day avoid this rough situation, it is a great way to have sustained energy, feel vibrant, and keep your body functioning optimally. Read more

Is Your Thyroid Needing Help?

Dis-ease begins in the gut – and in the adrenal/thyroid axis. I often talk with clients who feel in a funk. Their energy is waning. They feel cold. Their hair is thinning and skin is dry. Stubborn weight creeping on and brain fog further dampens life.

Low thyroid drags cellular metabolism down and affects every cell in your body. It’s like trying to run a high-end car on low-octane gas. Frustrating! Read more

5 Ways to Ditch the Brain Fog

Ever have those days where you can’t seem to think straight? It can feel like your brain is actually foggy, and you can’t get to your thoughts. Fatigue often accompanies brain fog — including feeling easily irritated, forgetting things or having trouble learning new things, feeling unmotivated, anxious, lacking concentration and even insomnia. Frustrating, and the good news is you can do a lot to clear the fog in your head.

Here are a few tweaks you can start implementing: Read more

Do you find yourself drawn to sweets? It is possible to tame your sweet tooth by employing these strategies and you'll have better energy.

When Temptations Pop Up

I’m certainly no stranger to the occasional urge to rip open a chocolate bar, go through the drive-thru window, or dive into a bag of my favorite chips — and I’ll bet you aren’t. The occasional indulgence isn’t anything to be alarmed about, but if you find yourself licking the evidence off your fingers on a regular basis, you need to add some tools to help you. Read more