With the holidays upon us, we are surrounded with food and drinks, socializing, and all of the other fun and cheer that come with this time of year.
But with the holidays, and all of the positive emotions, we also see an increase in stress and anxiety levels. Maybe even decreased sleep because we have so many things racing through our minds. This is all normal.
According to the Mayo Clinic, common effects and symptoms of stress include:
This graphic from Healthline shows the effects of stress on the body:
Too much stress may be affecting your health. But when does it cross the line of being just enough stress to too much stress??
Because not all stress is bad, and a certain amount of stress is needed to get through the day, and actually helps us in being productive.
So what can you do about it? Because we know that chronic stress left unchecked can eventually lead to many health issues, including high blood pressure, heart disease, increased risk of stroke, depression, obesity, or diabetes.
Identifying what causes negative stress in your life is important. Once your triggers have been identified, make note of the stressors that can be avoided. For stressors that can’t be avoided, determine what strategies will help with coping.
Common stress management techniques include:
But when the techniques listed above aren’t working, and stress gets to the point of disrupting daily living, or causing chronic inflammation in our body, then it is time to reach out for help. Seeking out guidance from a doctor, therapist, or counselor is an important step to consider if you’ve tried stress management techniques on your own that haven’t worked.
To assist with maintaining a healthy and balanced diet, explore the healthy, holiday worthy recipes below. Socializing over the holidays doesn’t need to lead to weight gain or guilt!
Vegan Holiday Recipes
Oh She Glows is one of my favorite websites to visit when I’m looking for healthy, creative recipes. There are some great ideas here!
Spaghetti Squash Lasagna Bowls
This is such a great way to indulge in a low-carb lasagna! Use a vegan ricotta if you are dairy free.
Quick and Easy Fish Stew
One of my all-time favorite recipes. One that the whole family loves. Avoid using halibut since it is higher in mercury. I use a combination of cod, mussels, shrimp and scallops. But any combination of fish will do!
Chicken Marsala Meatballs
Who doesn’t love a great chicken meatball recipe! These can easily be made gluten free (sub GF flour and breadcrumbs) or dairy free (sub nutritional yeast for the pecorino cheese, and oil for the butter), and can be low carb if served over spaghetti squash or mashed cauliflower.
Flourless Gingerbread Muffins
Another one of my all-time favorite websites to visit for healthy recipes and inspiration! These muffins are amazing.
And check out this vegan Cookie spread! Yes, these are ALL vegan!