The holiday season is fast approaching and it’s always a time filled with friends, families – and food! But experts warn about the combination of stress, fatigue, and high fat foods – factors that can, over time, increase your risk of cancer. Following the eating & lifestyle tips listed below during the holiday season – and continuing throughout the other seasons as well – will not only help ensure a happier, more healthful life, but also reduce your risk of getting cancer.
1. Drink 16 oz of water 30 minutes before eating. Sometimes dehydration is confused with hunger. Additionally, make an effort to stay hydrated every day: drink 8oz glasses of water per day.
2. Laugh! Our busy schedule can stress us out, and laughter truly is medicine.
3. Heavy on the vegetables and fruit, light on the meat portions. Eat colorful fruit and veggies; get your lycopene, beta-carotene and phytonutrients. This combination will yield anti-inflammatory effects.
4. MOVE. Walk, jog, play a sport, practice taichi, etc. three to four times a week for 20 minutes – this will have an amazing positive impact on your life.
5. Moderate alcohol consumption. Drinks can be full of sugar and calories. If you drink, stick to red wine; which contains anti-oxidants, and keep your consumption modest.
6. Fiber is good! Choose grains, beans, barley, lentils, etc. Challenge yourself to a new stuffing recipe with higher fiber content and more vegetables in it. Learn to like dried figs, dried cranberries, dried apricots, whole wheat bread etc.
7. Slow down. Eat slowly, enjoy family & friend time, (turn off the phone, TV, electronics). Eating slowly gives your body time to realize it is full. Mechanical digestion (chewing well) will also help maintain even metabolism.
8. Eat chemical-free. Go organic when possible. The industrial food chain is unfortunately filled with harmful pesticides and inappropriate animal feed such as hormones and excessive antibiotics.
9. Have wild salmon, tuna or mackerel. They are full of omega 3 oils, great for cellular health and may help to fight against cancer.
10. Be green. Eat lots of spinach, broccoli, green beans, and dark leafy greens. If cooking them, use healthy oil like flax, walnut or canola. If not cooking, drizzle with extra virgin olive oil.
11. Eat a healthy snack at home before you go out to a holiday party. Avoid getting really hungry and just jumping in with your sleeves rolled up.
12. Go to your room. Get 7-8 hours sleep and stay on your natural schedule as much as possible. Late night eating and drinking will result in a rough night’s sleep and perpetuate less favorable eating habits.