Everyday I see people getting more educated on healthy lifestyles. It’s no secret that you are what you eat. It goes much further than that; however, you are what you surround yourself with. If you are always on the run, making deadlines, meetings, and bombarded with noise, you are stressed. Ever had the great pleasure of eating at a yoga retreat center, spa or maybe even on the beach? If so, you will know what I am talking about. Food digests differently in your body depending on your surroundings. Check out the book, The Slow Down Diet: Eating for Pleasure, Energy, and Weight Loss by Marc David. He explains the effects stress has on our body and our waist line.

Below are some tips on being mindful to keep the stress level under control during the holidays. 

Keep it simple.  The simpler you make your lists and plans the more productive you will be.  Keep lists to a reasonable size.  Each day add no more than three things to it. Take pride in crossing off the old items.

Make sure you take time to breathe.  Take breaks during the day, sit with a cup of tea or better yet, hot water with lemon in it, the best way to detoxify your body.  Stay away from the constant bombardment of noise; TV, radio, traffic and yes people too.  Have a time of stillness to let your mind have some peace, this will lower your blood pressure and relax your body. You may even look forward to it after a while.

Attend a yoga class to learn the art of stillness along with the benefits of stretching.  Notice when a baby or your pet awakens the first thing they do is stretch.  Take a lesson from them.  It is like the fountain of youth. If you keep your body moving along with breathing exercises you will not get stiff or feel like you are aging.

Join a gym or invest in some good workout DVD’s.  You will be giving yourself the greatest gift of all, good health.  Carve out time for yourself daily.

Remember to drink plenty of water, and choose organic in your food, skincare, and cleaning agents whenever possible.  Not only will your body love you for it, but also the environment will.

Practice portion control. On a scale of one to ten practice eating to a seven. Never feel too full or bloated, it is not natural.  Please leave out the artificial sweeteners, sodas low fat labeled foods.  Food as nature created it is always best.

Enjoy your holidays. Practice the 80/20 rule. Eighty percent of the time you eat organic clean food, exercise and keep mindful. Twenty percent of the time you celebrate and allow yourself treats. The problem most people have is they do the exact opposite. The are mindful only twenty percent of the time and cheat the rest of the eighty percent.

Holidays are celebrations, enjoy the time with family and friends, enjoy the food that your body tolerates. Enjoying tastes means matching your mouth and your body. If you can’t eat gluten for example, why eat the cake if you will suffer later. Pick an indulgence your body tolerates. Need help discovering what foods work best for you, consult a health coach and attend healthy cooking classes. Your body and mind will thank you for it.

Sherri Mraz is the owner and founder of the Wellness Cooking Academy, and the Cookin’ Yogi. Sherri is an Author, Health Counselor, Certified through Columbia Teachers College, Certified Workplace Wellness Associate, Certified 500 hour yoga instructor, a mentor for the Institute of Integrative Nutrition, Certified in Reiki and winner of a “Best Plate” award. Sherri has been in the wellness field for over 15 years. Her passion is educating coaches how to use healthy cooking classes to grow their businesses, using done-for-you templates and a business roadmap, which includes creating your first book. Her motto is, “Healthy begins in the Kitchen”.