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Top 9 Tips for Beating the Post-Holiday Blues

Have you ever noticed you feel sort of blue after the holidays? While there may be different reasons for this, there's a good chance that nutrition is at least partly to blame.

Too much sugar and processed food, not enough whole, real foods and quality nutrients.

The month of December is full of holiday parties and treats, marked by overindulgence of alcohol, sweets, carbohydrates, all of our holiday faves! This wreaks havoc on the body, especially our gut health - and with it, our mood, focus, stress levels, and even sleep. Sugar and wheat in particular throw us off balance and can live us feeling moody, irritable, depressed, foggy, sluggish, unfocused, and actions. These foods and the hit to our gut health can also leave us craving more – often for days after we’ve overindulged.

Mood, focus, and cognitive functioning are greatly impacted by the nutrients and messages from our gut brain. So what do we do after holiday overindulgence? The key to getting back to our vibrant, energetic, happy selves - as well as to curb cravings and get healthy overall - is to make changes to our diet and cultivate a healthy gut microbiome.

  1. Incorporate high quality probiotics to boost mood, gut health, and possibly even the feeling of dietary “willpower." Our favorite probiotic foods include kombucha tea, sauerkraut, kefir, fermented vegetables, grass-fed yogurt, and high quality probiotic supplements. Incorporating these will help rebuild the healthy bacteria in the gut. This in turn helps with digestion, absorption of nutrients, and making sure our brains get what they need for serotonin production and optimal functioning.

  2. Minimize sugar and wheat to promote balanced blood sugar and gut health.

  3. Remember to hydrate!

  4. Remember your greens. This can help rebalance ph levels after holiday indulging. Paired with healthy fats and proteins this will also help keep you feeling full and satiated.

  5. Consider supplementing with magnesium. This vital nutrient is depleted by consuming excess sugar or caffeine, Additionally, the Standard American Diet tends to leave most people deficient. Magnesium is responsible for many important functions in the body. Being deficient in this nutrient can results in headaches, fatigue, irritability, muscle cramps, insomnia, kidney stones, constipation, osteoporosis, confusion, weakness, and memory problem. Magnesium deficiency has also been indirectly linked to heart conditions and fibromyalgia. Some of our favorite food sources of magnesium include: organic dark leafy vegetables, organic almonds, raw cacao dark chocolate, avocado, organic pumpkin seeds, and bananas.

  6. Move your way out of those blues. Go for a walk, take some time to stretch, lift weights, try a fitness class. Besides helping you get out of the overindulgence funk, this can also help you get a jump start on your New Year’s health and fitness resolutions!

  7. Increase intake of healthy fats like grass-fed butter, pastured eggs, grass-fed meats, avocado, and organic coconut oil. This can also help balance out blood sugar, reduce cravings, and stabilize hunger/satiation cues.

  8. Beat stress and promote positive mood with meditation.

  9. Prioritize sleep!

A lot of people find that their weight levels off after incorporating these changes for an extended period of time. By focusing on choosing healthy, nutrient-rich food, nourishing your body with healthy fats, proteins and vegetables, and minimizing sugars, wheat, and chemicals, you can reap some serious health benefits, from weight loss to rebalancing blood sugar, hunger cues, mood, and gut health. What a great way to start the New Year - committed to your health and well-being!

Maitland Acupuncture

Acupuncture Winter Park

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