Dr Libby's silly season health tips

Publish Date
Wednesday, 14 December 2016, 3:23PM
Photo: Facebook/Dr Libby

Photo: Facebook/Dr Libby

Nutrition specialist Dr Libby Weaver let viva.co.nz in on her best tips for getting through all the over-indulging that happens at this festive time of the year.  

With the increase in special occasions around Christmas time and the often not-so-nourishing food options, a few days can slip by where we might not have consumed enough vegetables. Establish some regular habits such as drinking a vegetable juice or green smoothie, adding a salad to your lunch, or ordering a side of vegetables when dining out. With habits like this, you’re able to amp up your vegetable intake while still juggling the many aspects of the festive season.

As a key organ in the regulation of energy, body fat, toxin elimination, cellulite, clear skin, disease prevention and sex hormone balance — your liver plays a powerful role in how you look and feel each day. Without realising, we can be exposed to many “liver loaders” on a daily basis. Whether it’s alcohol, refined sugars from processed foods or synthetic substances such as pesticides, you can find yourself with a significant load on the liver, particularly when it comes to the season of indulgence. Moderating alcohol consumption is obviously one of the best ways to support your liver, however, if you know you’re going to be consuming more alcohol this summer consider taking liver-supporting herbs/nutrients such as, St Mary’s thistle, turmeric, dandelion and globe artichoke.

If your days are getting more and more jam-packed, starting your day with a restorative routine or some movement can make all the difference to help your mindset and allow you to start your day with a feeling of spaciousness. Go for a walk, sit with a cup of tea and watch the sunrise or simply practice some long, slow belly breaths while you wait for the kettle to boil. It will make all the difference to your energy in what can be a hectic time.

Are you the kind of person who nods your head in agreement, while inside you are screaming “NOOO!!” Make a list of what energises you and what drains you. If the “drains me” list?is longer, start by cutting back on one of those activities or obligations. It is time to put less pressure on yourself in all aspects of your life. So often our own expectations or pressure can cause us to burn the candle at both ends. It is particularly easy in the festive season with the longer days and beautiful evenings to book yourself out — leaving little to no space just to be. There is immense power in an authentic “no” — learning to say no is one of the greatest pieces of health advice I can give you. Only you can take care of your health and happiness and often learning to say no is the best place to start. Use the time you gained to do something you love — go for a walk, practice some yoga moves or simply curl up on the couch with a good book. You will feel so much better for it.

A great way help you breathe with your diaphragm is to lie on your back with your legs up the wall. Lie in this position for 5-10 minutes and focus on your breath. Place a folded towel under your back or bottom for support if you like. Take 10 minutes to fully relax into this pose, it’s especially restorative with some soothing music and can be great to do before going to sleep.

So often in the whirlwind of the silly season, we forget to stop and reflect on all that we already have. As the end of the year approaches many of us can be left feeling as if there is literally no battery left. If you find yourself stressing about all of the people you have to buy for, or what you should wear to your Christmas party and so on — flip this around. Consider instead how privileged you are to have so many loved ones and that you have the opportunity to celebrate with them.

- Viva.co.nz

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