“Holiday inflammation? What the…?”
I know, that’s what you’re probably thinking.
I’ll get to that in a bit. But first, and very much related: I ate a LOT of crap over the Thanksgiving weekend. Honestly, I’ll probably do the same over Christmas too. I debated telling you this; I’ve got to be the role model of all things fit and healthy, right? But then it occured to me this past Friday night when I was at a party–beer in hand–that I don’t have to be perfect, I just have to be human. And being human is a part of being real, and being real is the reason so many read what I write.
Thanks Amy, for making me feel both real and human this weekend.
Holidays are hard for everyone–trying to eat healthy or figuring out when to splurge, attending social gatherings, finding the time to squeeze in a workout, cooking for the family–it’s hard. And no one–no fitness “expert” has the right answer for everyone. We are all different and our bodies all react differently to foods, splurges, exercise, and rest. So I don’t have all the answers for getting through the holidays…just ideas on what might work for many different people.
For me, I practiced intermittent fasting throughout most of each day because I had a function to attend every night. I knew I’d take in plenty of calories those evenings and without crazy workouts each day, my appetite wasn’t huge either. I know some would call me crazy or even scoff, saying something about “breakfast revving your metabolism” (which is old science btw), but it helped me. And later those nights, when Erik’s friends said “I bet you won’t blog about that cake in your hands!” I said, “oh but I will! And for the record, if you don’t want your icing, I’ll take that too!”
I really love cake icing.
But oh God, the inflammation! ( <— I told you we’d get to it)
I woke up Sunday morning with the WORST pain in my shoulder that got progressively worse throughout the day. And the joints in my fingers hurt so bad I actually freaked out a bit when I had a hard time opening a bottle of water. For hours I tried to figure out what I had done. Other than three walks throughout the neighborhood and a nearby park, I didn’t do any intense exercising (remember this was my month break from heavy lifting), so I was stumped for a bit…until I realized that the majority of my food over the past three days had been pizza, alcohol, and cake. (It’s only three days out of the year–don’t judge too harshly.)
Crap foods–mostly sugar-rich foods–inflame your insides when eaten in abundance. And this was a great reminder for me. I feel good when I eat well. And if I don’t eat well, my body is quick to remind me of its “issues.” It makes me wonder if everyone who suffered minor aches and pains wouldn’t feel a good 75% better if he/she just ate cleaner, healthier foods 90% of the time? I joke that I had more pizza, cake, and wine this weekend than I’ve had all year, but according to my body, it really feels like the truth. I am achy and taking ibuprofen today to combat the inflammation.
“The food you eat can be either the safest and most powerful form of medicine or the slowest form of poison.” –Ann Wigmore
Moral of my story?
Fight your aches, your swelling joints, your back pain, your possible-clogged-up-insides with good, wholesome, healthy foods. When Christmas rolls around and the parties are in full swing and alcohol and desserts are plentiful, combat your sweet tooth with these strategies:
- Drink plenty of water–more than normal!
- Add lemon, ginger, cayenne, and cinnamon to your water. These all fight inflammation!
- Always eat plenty of veggies throughout the day.
- Onions, garlic, avocado, cranberries all fight inflammation.
- Get plenty of sleep!
- Add some yoga or simple stretches to your daily routine.
And if you’re like me, (in which I feel bad for you) you might be trying to combat your Thanksgiving damage this week by hitting up the gym in full force and eating extra clean, right? Erik’s mom actually asked me if I would be blogging about what to eat this week! Honestly, I wouldn’t even worry about it. If you had a great weekend, why feel guilty? Hashtag-No Regrets! As long as you continue doing now, what you’ve always done before, you’ll be fine.
- Eat your veggies this week–in plenty.
- Don’t skip out on your protein–leftover turkey is perfect for you!
- Drink more water than normal if you need to flush out some extra sodium.
- Take your leftover desserts to work and give them to everyone else. 😉
- Walk more. Sure, you can hit the gym in a panic but can we really “undo” what we’ve eaten? There’s still a bit of a debate on this one, but if you’re moving, that cannot be a bad thing! I would say do some squats. Pick up something heavy. And then try to walk more–whether it’s taking a walk or parking further away, or taking the stairs. Heck, it’s shopping season–that should count right?
- Start planning your Christmas exercise routine. Know which days you’ll workout, which days you’ll rest, and which days you’ll take long walks with your family or pets. This will help you feel calm about another holiday.
If it makes you feel better, I will be posting workouts all throughout the holidays! Here’s your next one–I think you will all like it!
5 Rounds for Time:
- 1 minute max effort any cardio of choice (elliptical, treadmill, burpees, bike, sprints, anything)
- 1 minute max effort leg press (you can sub back squats at a light weight or air squats)
- 1 minute max effort kettlebell swings (or burpees if you don’t have a kb)
- 1 minute max effort chest press (or light bench, or push-ups)
- 1 minute max effort sit-ups (or a plank hold, or hollow rocks)
- Rest one minute
I know I told you in my last post that I’d blog more about my crazy weekend, and I definitely didn’t forget!
So on Friday,
Erik’s sister Shari and I threw Erik a surprise birthday party! We had a blast planning, organizing, decorating, and of course–trying to keep the secret from Erik. EVERYONE knew about the party but him. His brother had to pick up a cake from Costco on Black Friday, I had to “pretend” to be shopping while instead I was decorating the bar where we threw the party, and we somehow had to get Erik out of house for “drinks and apps” without him noticing that we were all dressed up just to go out for “a drink or two”–haha. Honestly, if Erik had really paid attention to the constant slip-ups by seemingly everyone around him, he would have figured it out. But thankfully, Erik is a trusting and sometimes oblivious person–lol. Seeing the surprise on his face when he realized all his friends and family were there at that bar waiting for him was the most priceless moment of my entire weekend. Cake and drinking ensued, and we all had a blast. Check out the pics below!
This wasn’t the end of my Thanksgiving weekend–believe it or not, I attended one more function just as exciting as this! The bridal cocktail party that turned into a wine-extravaganza will be in my next blog post! Stay tuned!