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Stay in the Wellness Loop | Health and Wellness Articles

This Season brings with it opportunities of joy and fun for many. This season also brings a busy schedule, late nights, food and drink that are not in our daily lives throughout the year. This all can be a good thing. It is good for us to let go of our regular restrictions in diet and to celebrate with friends and family. The challenge is to keep it all in balance so as to start the New Year healthy, rested and rejuvenated. So let's review some ideas to keep things balanced during the holidays.

I recommend that when we have days away from school and work that we balance the extra treats and drink by spending extra time exercising.  It is a great time of year to do this with family and friends and outdoors if possible.  Try to maintain your regular exercise routine as much as possible and add in a hike, walk, ski or snow shoe.  Take in some trial Yoga classes to see which ones you will join for the New Year.


As far as nutrition goes, “Eat, Drink and Be Merry”.  I always tell my patients that it is not our festive eating that will hurt us; it is our daily habits that will have a long-term affect on our health.  If you are healthy and eat well most of your days, then your digestion and immune system can handle a break from its routine.  Drink lots of water, 5 fruit and 5 colourful vegetable servings per day and enjoy the festive foods. This may be a good time to take digestive enzymes to help digest late night meals or larger than normal meals. Or take a teaspoon of apple cider vinegar before each meal. 


Our immune systems can be challenged at this time due to lack of sleep, increased sugar intake, stress and social mingling.  Supplements that I recommend for this as well as throughout the winter are Vitamin C, Vitamin D, Fish Oil and something green (chlorophyll, spirulina…).  Perhaps have a good infection fighter already in your medicine cabinet to be used at the first sign of a sore throat or cold, for example, goldenseal, berberis, or oregano oil.  And for those who get cold sores, this can be a time for outbreaks, be cautious with your intake of nuts and chocolate combinations, which are high in arginine and sugar and perhaps pick up a lysine supplement to take with your Vitamin C.


In this busy world or ours, take this season to let yourself relax.  Sleep in, laugh, stay in your pjs, let the dishes be, connect with the people you love, give yourself a break. 


Preseason, stay grounded, try not to get caught up in stress and overdoing things. One thing that I have learned over the years is that not everyone finds this time of year to be joyful.  It can be a time of grief, loneliness and sadness for many, so if you can, spread kindness and thoughtfulness to those who may be having a hard time.  Goodness breeds goodness. 


Take this time to reflect on the New Year to come.  Break out the journals and all the good books you have and never got a chance to read and get inspired.  If you need to make change in the year to come to live a healthier life, take this time to make a plan.  Breath, reflect, be grateful and live well. 


Love, Peace, Joy and Laughter are the greatest of healers.

I wish you all of these.



Kathleen Mercer is a Licensed Doctor of Naturopathic Medicine.


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