Summer is officially upon us and we are fast approaching Christmas & New Year! Whilst the longer days, more social events, and adventures are welcomed, a different kind of fullness comes with this time; extra activities, loved ones coming and going, families coming together, school holidays, and so on.
Often times we hear about balancing fun and health over the “silly season”, as if they’re seperate from one another. We want to take a slightly different angle and suggest making health part of the summer fun... and prioritising it now is crucial so you don’t collapse into a heap come Christmas. Here’s a few ways how:
Nutrition: A Fresh, Whole Foundation + All the Fun
Generally, the “silly season” comes with plenty of either dining out or gathering with friends and family. And here at Mitchells we’re all about the delicious spreads of food! Sometimes we can overdo it, simply because our body wants nutrients, and isn’t finding them in highly processed and refined foods. Alongside the bikkies and bites that can be sitting around at this time, keep some fresh fruit and veg on hand too. Green smoothies are a great way to get a dose of nutrients and nourishment on board and keep the digestive load a little lighter… just make sure there’s a good dose of protein and ideally 1/2 cup or 1 piece of fruit.
“Hara Hachi Bu”
One of the most long-lived meal traditions in Okinawa (Japan), Hara Hachi Bu translates to “eat until you’re 80% full” and is spoken before every meal as a gentle reminder. Not only does this encourage noticing the difference between “I’m full” and “I’m no longer hungry", but the pause prior to eating can inspire a more mindful meal and therefor better digestion and assimilation of what’s being consumed.
Drink the Alcohol - Drink the Tea
The holiday season can mean a little more load on the liver, so what a perfect opportunity to implement daily digestion & detox support. The two phases of liver detoxification are dependent on sufficient intake of nutrients. Some key foods to focus on for phase one are whole grains (ideally soaked), dark leafy greens, and eating a rainbow range of vegetables. Specific amino acids and sulfur are essential to the efficiency of phase two so optimising protein intake is essential, as is regular intake of cruciferous vegetables (broccoli, cabbage, and brussel sprouts). Mitchells Bone Broth Protein Powder is a great way to top up your body’s amino acid needs! PLUS, our DIGEST tea bundle is the perfect duo as a daily ritual to assist the gut and liver during this deliciously indulgent time.
Rise with the Sun
Pop outside as soon as you rise in the morning and expose yourself to bright, natural light. This sends a clear signal to the brain to increase cortisol, essentially setting an internal timer to encourage sleepiness at the end of the day, and washes away any lingering melatonin. If you struggle getting to sleep at night, try this! Whilst a lot of other routines can go out the window during this time, keeping a healthy sleep pattern can be super helpful when we return back to regular work and school life. Read more sleep tips HERE.
Often around the abundance of meals and gatherings, bikkies and tea on the couch, and the extra evenings with alcohol, we can be less inclined to move. Movement is a great way to shift the sluggishness and slowness that can come with this time. Find ways to move your body that feel enjoyable and easeful, working towards increasing your heart rate and working up a little sweat. If it’s been a while, start small, with just 10-15 minutes at the same time each day. Get in the garden or to the park with the family in moments you might usually slouch into the couch. This will also help boost circulation and promote lymph flow to assist detoxification whilst extra food and alcohol are about.
Let's not waste away precious moments with friends and family. This starts as soon as you wake in the morning. If you begin your day with a good ol’ social scroll, you get a good dose of dopamine, setting you up for reward-seeking behaviour for the rest of your day… hello multiple moments of picking up your phone to top up dopamine, probably finding yourself forgetting why you picked it up in the first place. Tip: make your bedroom a phone-free space (ya might need to invest in an alarm clock) and spend the first hour of the day doing something for YOU.
Most importantly, ENJOY the holiday season, have as much fun in the sun as possible. Take moments to yourself if you need, and enjoy the ones spent with loved ones.
A huge thanks from the Mitchells team for all of your support this year and we hope you have a wonderful time welcoming in 2024!