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How to have a Fun and Healthy Holiday Season.Podcast Episode 101


The holiday season is a dangerous time to overindulge and allow our behaviour to "spiral down the negative plug hole".

With a few tweaks, it can be a great time to maintain healthy habits and have fun (without depriving ourselves.)

Dr Orlena's top tips to keep your festive season healthy and fun.

Mentioned in the Podcast

Dr Orlena's International Fit and Fabulous Family Summit:

Flat lay photo of various holiday foods #holiday #healthyholiday #holidayeating #healthyeating #healthylifestyle

Hello. Wonderful people. Welcome to another episode of Fit and Fabulous with me, Dr. Orlena Kerek.

I hope that you are feeling fit and fabulous. We have another day today here in Spain, which is typical of 2020. I was just about to set out, dropping my kids off at school. We had our jackets on, our masks on and I was just arranging to meet up with one of the other mothers so that I could give her some uniforms that we no longer want.

And then I checked the WhatsApp group and saw that there were lots of messages. Guess what? No school today. We're quarantined. Isn't that just typical of 2020.

So I've had one of those days where things have not been, as I thought they would be when I sat down to breakfast this morning.

The Dr Orlena’s International Fit and Fabulous Family Summit is coming together

It is super exciting. I have all my videos done. It is an amazing summit that I am really excited to bring you.

The topics are mostly family orientated. Some of the talks are relevant to people who don't happen to have families like mine, how to get a good night's sleep. It's all about creating a healthy fit and fabulous family life so that you can all feel amazing. A lot of it is about reducing stress and just making it easy and fun of yourself.

So come and sign up for that. The link is in the show notes. It's totally free between the days of the 4th of December to the 6th of December. If you want to view it outside of those dates, or you want to have access, then there is a lifetime ticket, which will be $47.

Make sure to enjoy this holiday season

What I really want to talk about is how to maintain healthy habits during the Christmas season.

Before we get started. I love this little quote that goes like this. “It's not what you eat between Christmas and New Year’s that's important. It's what you eat between New Year's and Christmas.” And I think that that is really true.

It's been a stressful year. Go and enjoy yourself. If you're spending time with family, really enjoy yourself. This is the first year in many years that I won't be spending it with my mother. We normally drive up to France and sadly, we won't be doing that this year.

Make sure this is a time to de-stress from all the stuff that has been going on and connect with the people who really matter and take a little bit of time to recharge your batteries.

Beware of black and white thinking

One of the things I really see when I'm working with my clients is that they have this idea of black and white thinking. And it goes a little bit like this.

You set yourself a goal like ‘I'm not going to eat chocolate.’ And then you have a little bite of chocolate and the following thought is, ‘Oh well, I failed. I might as well eat the entire bar of chocolate.’

That can look like over the Christmas holiday periods or whatever festival you're celebrating like, “I'm going to try and be healthy. Oh my goodness. I failed in that I ate mince pie. I might as well forget about anything healthy and just go about indulging myself.”

That train of thought is not true. And I think when we take a step back, we know that.

A woman at a table eating a holiday dinner #holiday #healthyholiday #holidayeating #healthyeating #healthylifestyle

You’re allowed to have treats over the holidays in moderation

If we go back to the chocolate bar, a small amount of chocolate is far less bad for you than an entire bar of chocolate. So yes, have a small amount of chocolate. A small amount of any treat is nice. Say, ‘I'm going to indulge, but I'm just going to have a small portion and that small portion I'm really going to enjoy.’

There was a study that looked at people having desserts. And obviously, at the time of dessert, everybody wants to have more. But when they looked back and rated how much they enjoyed that dessert, it was the same whether they had a small portion or a large portion.

So the danger is really in that moment when you’re thinking that you want a bigger portion.

That black and white thinking doesn’t only happen over the holiday period but during the whole year as well. This really leads you astray and away from living a healthy life.

A small amount of exercise is better than staying sedentary

You also need to make sure that you continue to move. Your exercise plan doesn't have to be complicated.

You can go for a walk and in actual fact, you can make that something that the whole family can join in instead of just spending your holiday day going, ‘We're going to eat lots. We're going to sit around. We're going to watch movies.’

Go outside, get a little bit of fresh air. In half an hour, you can easily do 3000 steps. And that's an amazing difference from just sitting all day.

You might be thinking that it doesn’t make a difference but it does in terms of good habits.

A small amount of exercise will make a big difference in terms of your health

I have to say I am a huge fan at the moment of my seven-minute workout.

The swimming pool is currently closed and I found it a little bit cold in the sea. So I'm really loving my seven-minute workouts. I do it first thing in the morning, it's really easy and a small thing that you can do. Although it feels like hardly anything, it does make a big difference to the overall amount of exercise that I do during the day.

Eat your vegetables first before eating treats during the holidays
It’s a matter of awareness when it comes to eating healthily during the holiday season. It's so easy to focus on the treats, the sweets, and all the yummy, delicious things that are around but just be mindful of the fruits and vegetables that are around as well.

I would say to eat your vegetables first because then you're less likely to eat more of the treats and the cakes. Make sure that you have vegetables and fruit at all opportunities for eating.

I'm someone who always loves to eat nuts and I could easily eat an entire packet of nuts. But I make sure that I have a piece of fruit as well because then I know that I'm filling myself up and I'm not eating just nuts.

Have fruits and vegetables in every meal all year round

You can apply the same method to anything.

If you have porridge for breakfast, make sure to also have some fruit and the same for lunch. Make sure there are carrot sticks and easy things. If you can keep your intake of vegetables up, then you have done something good.

I always say to people when we're thinking about getting something quick like frozen pizza, present that frozen pizza to your kids with vegetables as well like carrot sticks, broccoli, and frozen peas. If I present those kinds of things they will most likely eat half pizza and half vegetables. They've still really enjoyed the pizza, but they've also eaten some vegetables.

The frozen pizza turns into a well balanced and much healthier meal.

A group of people doing a toast with wine glasses while having a holiday feast #holiday #healthyholiday #holidayeating #healthyeating #healthylifestyle

Remember to enjoy the holidays

Remember to have fruits and vegetables, do a little bit of exercise, and remember to have a fabulous time.

It all comes back to your default setting which is just a question of habits.
When we get exhausted and we have been in a stressful situation, we go back to our default setting whatever that may be. It might be that your default setting is to eat chips and potato crisps. But if your default setting is to eat vegetables, then you're good.

Work on having healthy habits with Dr Orlena

Don’t panic if your default settings are not healthy habits right now because you can work on that and create those default settings to be healthy. If you need help with that, then 2021 is the year I invite you to come and work with me.

I'm going to be having some amazing programs and it's really going to be about creating those healthy habits that are going to last you a lifetime so that you can lead a long and healthy life.

Have a fabulous Thanksgiving and I will see you next week.


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