Thanksgiving may be a week in the past, but the leftovers keep appearing. Just the other day my mom brought an entire pie to – get this – my yoga studio so that I could take it home with me after teaching! Ha! I can’t get rid of the food even if I try (not that I’m trying all that hard 😉 ) So while I love the taste of the buttery, rich comfort foods of Thanksgiving leftovers, I’m not totally crazy about how they’re making me feel.
The week after Thanksgiving I always think, Ok, now I am getting back on track with healthy eating and no more rich foods, but the reality is that Christmas is right around the corner so the increase in holiday cookies and Christmas cocktails makes it nearly impossible to totally eliminate the unhealthy stuff. And I don’t know about you, but as soon as I tell myself that I can’t have something, I want it. That’s why I could never be a vegan. Nor follow the Atkins Diet. Bring on the bacon and fruit!
When I think about healthy eating and healthy living in general, I try to take an inclusive approach rather than an exclusive approach. Eat more veggies, eat more fruit, spend more time exercising, be outside more, you get the idea. And this week, I’m finding that one specific habit is helping me feel like I am back on track in the healthy-eating department while not depriving myself:
DRINKING MORE WATER.
That’s it. I’ll try to have about a gallon a day which is awesome for the digestive system and keeps me sated when instead I’d be reaching for another piece of corn casserole. And if those cravings get the best of me? That’s fine, but I’ll make sure to have a big glass of water first. If I wake up in the morning and think, well I can’t have this and I won’t have that, it just puts me in a bad mood. So instead I’ll tell myself so have whatever seems appetizing, just as long as I’m drinking my water.
Another habit to incorporate if you want to take this whole hydration piece a step further is to start your day with a mug of hot water and lemon. I’ll usually chug this down while I’m waiting for the coffee to brew. Something about having this hot lemon water first thing in the morning makes me just feel cleansed, so I’ll want to continue consuming good things all day.
A bonus to this “cleanse” is that when you drink more water, your body is in a really good place to take on a workout. I spend a lot of time in a hot yoga studio, so keeping up with hydration allows me do my job that much better. If you’ve been drinking water throughout the day and then all of the sudden the stars align for you to get your own workout in, you’re hydrated and can take it on. And if not? No big deal either, your cells are happy and hydrated from the extra water you’ve been drinking.
I am a firm believer that delicious food and drink should be enjoyed, and that deprivation kills a little piece of my soul. It also makes me angry and tired, like my inner-three year old is surfacing. I want THIS. I want THAT. I don’t know about you, but one almost-three-year-old is plenty for my household!
So what do you think? Would drinking more water be a good way to come off of a holiday feasting weekend? What are some of the things you try to incorporate into your healthy eating routine?