Monday, December 7, 2015

Healthy During the Holidays {and a recipe!}



I love the Christmas season. It is one of the reasons I started my food company- to sell all of the treats I wanted to make at Christmas! It was always a much-anticipated time of year when I was growing up, and now with my family, it is certainly one of our favourite holidays. 

It is also a time of year that seems to bring colds and flus. I dislike the concept of "flu season" as it is not a season but a virus. With all of the entertaining, cooking, and family-time during Christmas, it isn't a good time to be sick. 

Rather than getting over-worked and exhausted during this season (which happens to also be my highest volume time of the year!) I employ a few preventative strategies to keep me and my family healthy and ready for a fun-filled Christmas. 

prepare
It seems so simple but with a little preparation, I can ensure I am ready to keep us healthy. Most importantly, we emphasize hand-washing all year long. It is one of the best ways to stay healthy, plain and simple. 

Stock up on food- this helps me have healthy meals on hand and reduces our food expenses during December. It also helps me with healthy lunches for me and the kids! Also, check out my tips for easy meal planning here.

Some of our favourites foods to have on hand for easy meals and snacks:
  • homemade apple sauce
  • frozen berries
  • organic granola
  • stock and soups -my 15 Minute Soup recipe is a great start
  • healthy baked goods such as muffins and granola bars
  • pickled vegetables
  • frozen fish
Healthy home and body care-  just like storing food for winter, I make big batches of body care and cleaning products. I make my cleaning products with vinegar, baking soda, essential oils, and not much else! I also love to make soothing bath salts (recipe below), sugar scrubs, body butter, and lotions. I love to make body care products with dried flowers and herbs from the garden such as rose, lavender, rosemary, and mint. I also have started using only soy candles- during winter we use a lot of candles with the short days and numerous power failures!

plan
To sleep, to drink lots of water, to get outside as much as possible. And to NOT plan too much in terms of work, entertaining, socializing, shopping, or any of the other typical holiday activities. We keep it pretty simple once the kids are on break for Christmas. 

I have found that sleep has had the biggest impact on my health, both positive and negative, in the past few years. It is now a focus for me, before many other parts of my day. 

Water and fresh air- one of the reasons colds and flus are so rampant in the winter is that we are spending most of our time indoors in close proximity to others. Just think how much healthier we would be if we spent more time outside? One of the reasons we moved to Northern BC was to be able to enjoy the winters here. 

practice
Whether it is yoga, prayer, meditation, sports, crafting, writing, cooking or dancing, I have found that Christmas and the solstice are especially important times to focus on a practice. To have something, even just one thing, that grounds me, allows me some time alone, and helps me reflect and connect. Some people find tools such as meditation apps to be helpful or to belong to a group or club. Whatever it is, make it for you, where you can be yourself and simply celebrate. 

{lavender bath salts recipe}
I thought I would share my recipe for Lavender Bath Salts! This is highly flexible in terms of scent and you can double the batch if you want to make more.

  • 1 cup Epsom salts
  • 1/2 cup baking soda
  • 1/4 cup sea salt
  • drops of Lavender essential oil (start with 10 and see if you need more)
  • dried lavender flowers (optional)
Mix all of the ingredients and store in a sealed jar. Use a few Tablespoons in a warm bath. 

Have a happy, healthy holiday!
~Kimberley


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