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Sticking With My Healthy Habits Through the Holidays

Last updated: December 2022

The holidays are approaching fast! I will go home to see my family in the south of France for two weeks! What happens to my daily healthy habits which have proven to help me so much to manage my AS pain?

A new balanced approach

I look forward to the Christmas cookies, the home cooked meals and time in nature with my family.  My approach for the holiday season has changed over the years living with AS. I used to come out of it with a flare.

This was most likely coming from a combination of factors. For example, the larger amount of sugar and food I was eating, the increased consumption of alcohol, less movement than usual and stress carrying over were all triggers for a flare.

While I of course enjoyed my time, I also always had a bit of anxiety, knowing that my body would feel worse with more inflammation. Not the best mindset to spend the holidays, isn’t it?

Now, I have a much more balanced approach so that I can feel good coming back to my daily work/life routine post holidays. The key for me is to stick to my daily habits which help me to manage my inflammation levels.

Nutrient-dense diet

Going back home to France is an opportunity to eat foods I don’t eat as much normally, such as delicious cheese and all the homemade Christmas sweet treats. However, I also follow my nutrition habits which work well for me.

I continue to prioritize a nutrient-dense diet, with a focus on lots of vegetables, good quality protein, healthy fats and carbs. For example, we always make sure to have salad as an appetizer and veggies on the side. I also continue with my habit of doing intermittent fasting. I don't aim to fast every day, but I will look to do it 3 or 4 days per week with a 16 hour window without food. Especially after a heavier dinner, I like to give my gut time to rest and thus focus the body’s energy somewhere else.

Daily movement 

This is so important for my well-being and to prevent flares. My workout routine looks different when I am on holiday as I don’t have access to a gym and can’t attend the classes I usually go to. However, I still ensure to get some daily movement in. For example, I will do some Youtube yoga classes, go on long walks with our dog, go hiking or biking. Overall, I look to stay in motion and do less sitting as I don’t have to be in front of the computer working all day. So beneficial!

Stress management

“More being, less doing” is my motto for the holiday season. It is easy to get overwhelmed with all the holiday to dos, plus the different social commitments and so forth. However, I really try to follow this motto and use the opportunity of more down time and relaxation. Simply just allowing to be in the present moment, surrounded by loved ones, taking a nap, reading a book or going on a walk.

What healthy habits do you try to follow while on holiday?

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This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.

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