Every year we leave our homes numerous times to visit family and friends and we check our health at the departure gate, not just our bags. This Thanksgiving bring your health and your eating regime with you so that you return from the holiday actually feeling rested.
1. Keep Drinking
Just because you are not in your office cubicle with your special office water bottle does not mean that you need to stop drinking all together. Think of every long conversation or road trip as an opportunity to keep a glass of water or a water bottle near by. You don’t need to drink coffee or tea whenever you sit down, replace your extra holiday beverages with water and fight the bloated, fatigued, headachy feeling that comes from dehydration.
2. Stay Regular
The best test for wellness while traveling is definitely the bowels. They are an incredibly sensitive system in the body. If you have a tendency towards constipation drink one or two glass of warm or room temperature water immediately upon waking and then follow it with a hot beverage like herbal tea or hot water with a little lemon juice and honey. Hydrating first thing in the morning will replenish the inevitable dehydration that comes from sleeping and keep bowels moving. Avocados, prunes, beets, sweet potatoes, and walnuts are much safer and tastier than traveling with a laxative. If you know you have a tendency towards loose stools avoid overly spicy foods, greasy foods and cold raw foods. Those are too much for a travel weary stomach.
3. Sip and Savor
If you set your self up to avoid all the tasty treats of the season you will fail, be miserable or do both. Instead think about high quality ingredients. Instead of sitting yourself in front of a bowl of cheap candy, bring expensive organic chocolate with caramel and sea salt to share. It will make you slow down and savor it and everyone will love you. Look for the desserts that you know will taste best and if it doesn’t taste as good as you thought it would don’t finish it to be polite. If anyone says anything remind people you are on a diet and look for tastier calories elsewhere. In terms of alcohol, stay away from the cheap stuff. The taste won’t satisfy you and you’ll end up drinking too much. Also be careful of drinking alcohol because you are thirsty. Be well hydrated before drinking time begins and then you will be able to control your desire for taste, not hydration. Limit beverages to one or two in a long night and that way you will enjoy every allotted sip.
4. Be Gentle on the Road
Let’s face it on Wednesday most of us will hit the road to visit those we call most dear. Everyone will be worrying about all the work they didn’t finish at the office and stressing about their unreasonable holiday diet. We are all in the same boat. So when someone cuts you off on the New Jersey Turnpike instead of throwing out some age old phrase or mannerism you could remind yourself that the other driver is very excited about going to their home away from home. You both are full of love for your loved ones and even though you were scared for a moment you are both safe. The best place to practice mindfulness is on the road. Try to think loving thoughts of all the other drivers when you get gridlocked on the Mass Pike this year and then find something good on the radio.
5. Remember to Rest
We all set excellent expectations of long cat naps and late sleepy mornings on Monday and Tuesday of Thanksgiving week, but by the time Thursday rolls around we are up at 5am to baste the turkey and up until 3am Friday morning reminiscing. Even though you are around the ones you love stay mindful of sleep cues. If you get overtired and grouchy you might start a fight you regret or end up convincing yourself you can’t stand your family. If you are going to stay up late, make sure it isn’t drastically different than your usual schedule and plan to nap the next day because the body likes to rise at the usual hour regardless of bedtime.