By:  Wendy Kuchnicki, Pampered Chef Independent Consultant

Every year I look forward to the holiday season – the decorating, the jolly music, the cooking, baking, and entertaining.  Not so much the shopping and wrapping, but I do love giving the gifts!  However, by the time New Year’s rolls around I am starting to feel the jet-lag.   After all the over-indulgence, late nights, travel – it’s all fun while it lasts but by January 2nd I am feeling bloated, tired and lacking the energy to go back to work.

Here are a few tips to beat the holiday hangover.  First, get back on schedule!  Even if you are sleeping in during your holiday break those late nights still wear us out.  Maybe your kids are off from school or you have some vacation time so there is no reason to get up early.  However those changes to our sleep patterns can make us feel tired, even if we are getting the same amount of sleep.  Some of us travel for the holidays, and if you went to a different time zone you may have actual jet lag.  The quicker you can get back on schedule the less tired you will feel.


Along with enough rest our bodies need balanced nutrition.  After all the fatty holiday foods, too much Egg Nog, and lots of desserts some extra fruits and veggies are necessary to replenish and cleanse all the fats.  Beware of all the leftover cakes, cookies and snacks that your coworkers are bringing into the office – the longer you eat these foods the more fat your body produces and the longer it will take for you to feel comfortable in your clothes again.  Eight to ten servings are fruits and vegetables per day are recommended, and although this seems like a lot if you swap a healthy salad for lunch instead of a sandwich you can conquer 4 or 5 servings of vegetables in one meal.  Add some banana or berries to your breakfast, have a piece of fruit or some veggie sticks for snack and have 1-2 servings of fruit and veggies with dinner.  Not only will you be reducing your intake of calories but the extra vitamins and minerals will boost  your immune system and your energy levels.  After just a couple of days you will notice that you no longer feel tired and bloated.


Although this last suggestion may seem obvious, remember to drink plenty of water.  There is no better way to flush toxins from your body.  Not only are you cleansing your liver and kidneys from all the sugary drinks and holiday cocktails you may have indulged in, but extra water will also help you feel full so you start eating a normal amount of food again.  After a week or two of overindulging at holiday parties our stomachs start to stretch so we still feel hungry after a normal size portion.  Have a glass of water before you start eating a meal and you will feel full quicker and be less likely to overeat. 


It is always easier to eat healthy and control portion size when we cook our own meals at home.  Try to skip the drive through or eating out for the next two weeks.  You will be surprised how many simple and healthy recipes are available with just a few kitchen tools and six ingredients.  Try making fajitas in a grill pan with low fat whole grain tortillas and guacamole and salsa.  Substitute zoodles (noodles made from zucchini)for pasta, and add some grilled chicken.  It will take you longer to get a pizza delivered than it will take to cook either of these meals and you will feel more energetic and less bloated.  You can find many quick recipes on my web site, or contact me if you want some suggestions.  Wishing all of you a happy and healthy new year!

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