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bigstock-Beautiful-family-smiling-happy-333592798“I could use a little social interaction” – The Grinch

Couldn’t we all? Usually the holidays are filled with maybe a little too much interaction for my taste. But this year is filled with not nearly enough!

And along with not enough social interaction, we also do not have enough delicious feasts. This is usually the season where pies are basically falling from the sky and we all invest in a new pair of Spanx. Now there is basically no reason to even wear Spanx, and I think mine misses me.

There is, however, an upside to not having tons of holiday meals, passing baked goods around the office, or going to decorate-your-own-cookie parties. This year, you have an opportunity to be healthier without the pain of trying to turn down something pumpkin spice flavored. Here are my tips for how to stay healthy, motivated, and not feel totally lonely:

Update your favorite family recipes. Take your favorite family recipe that you usually eat together at the holidays and update it to fit your needs! Trying to eat less meat? Swap the meat out for a plant-based substitute. Want less sugar? Swap the sugar for a small amount of natural sweetener, like honey. Maybe you will even create a new masterpiece that is screenshot worthy at your holiday virtual events!

-Eat foods that boost immunity. It’s especially important this year to keep your body healthy and your immune system strong right now. Try making meals with these immune system boosters in mind to keep you healthier.

-Exercise baby! You won’t feel good if you don’t get moving. Exercise is also proven to help boost the immune system. We are currently offering Merritt members 30 days of free virtual fitness! Simply log in to the Merritt Clubs app and click the Virtual Fitness tile. (If you don’t have the app yet, you can get it for iOS here, or Google Play here, or access it on a desktop.)

-Play Rose, Thorn, Bud. It’s important to keep your mind healthy as well. At the end of each day, tell someone your rose (or something good that happened to you that day), your thorn (something that disappointed you), and your bud (something that you are looking forward to.)

-Plan to eat healthy. Planning meals can help you stick to healthy eating. If you have always been a meal prepper, keep doing it! If you’re not, LM Prep can help with that. Find a way to stay motivated to eat well. Plan to try one new recipe a week instead of getting take out. Maybe try ten new recipes a week!

-Don’t become obsessed about it. Staying healthy should be one of our top priorities right now. But don’t obsess about weight or trying to find the Zoom settings that enhance your appearance. Give yourself the space to let life happen as it comes and go easy on yourself if you want to indulge in 50 sugar cookies one night.

-Get help staying motivated. Ask a friend, a spouse, even Merritt to be your accountability partner! We offer nutrition and wellness coaching to help create meal plans and offer advise on how to stay on track with your goals. And our Personal Trainers are always around to help you get the most out of your workouts.

-Be grateful for yourself. Even if all you did today was wake up to feed your dog before going back to sleep, you should be proud of yourself! Don’t punish yourself for not learning to bake bread like a Great British Bake-Off champion or mastering the piccolo. Whatever level you have operated at this year, that is enough.

We wish a healthy holiday to you, and all of your families!

Need to pass the time during a long virtual meeting that definitely could have just been an email? Try out my healthy holiday themed crossword!