Straightforward steps you can take to stay well and minimize the blood sugar shock, the waist expansion and the liver challenges that can come with the Holiday Season.
Eat, drink & stay merry... whether it is putting too much rum sauce on your figgy pudding, hoisting several glasses of holiday cheer, eating till you have to undo your belt, or simply being stressed out about family events, holiday indulgences and pressures can leave you "in the hole" come the New Year. But instead of doing it anyway and dealing with the aftermath, know that there are some straightforward steps you can take to minimize the blood sugar shock, the waist expansion, the liver challenges, or the stress that can come with the Holiday Season.
1.) No one likes to get sick!
Firstly, no one likes to get sick, especially over the holidays! To reduce the chances of succumbing to a cold or flu, the most important consideration for many is to keep up levels of Vitamin D. Remember; the production of Vitamin D from sun exposure disappears in Canada from about October till May, along with its immune support benefits. Taking a supplement can go a long way towards maintaining protection, and for improved immunity we recommend Vitamin D that has been microencapsulated. This yields enhanced stability and absorption, but we chose it for our brand because we have seen it work for years!
Keeping your bottle of oregano oil on hand can also be very useful if your throat starts to get sore! Personally, I have found our Optimum Health Opti-Potency Oregano Max to be incredibly effective...but the "gachh" factor after you swallow can be pretty intense! Inexperienced users are advised to have a glass of water handy!
Also whether in the form of food, or supplements don't forget your probiotics! Along with your immunity they take a big hit when we consume refined sugar, or high fructose corn syrup, because these support the growth of yeast and other undesirable bugs in your gut. Along with probiotics I have also found that Opti-Immune C&F can be extremely helpful for those that deal with candida or food sensitivities…especially handy for those who know better but decide to cheat anyways!
2.) Keep calm and carry on
With all the joys that can come with Christmas, for those of us who are responsible to organize and orchestrate family events, (often involving many people and a lot of time management), the three ingredients in our Opti-Calm product, i.e. Theanine, Rhodiola, and Relora can be invaluable for helping to calm you down without slowing you down. It simply helps to keep you mind clear under pressure, without going into overwhelm. Those who have a tendency to get stressed may find it will prevent them from needing a holiday from their holidays when its all over. For more info, see this article Natural Remedies For Stress And Anxiety
3.) Keep your blood sugar stable
Next, the issue of blood sugar....you know, where your blood over the holidays has so much sugar in it that it resembles maple syrup! Not only does all this sugar have to be burned-off or stored somewhere, (like in your fat cells), but while in your bloodstream it is extremely reactive, and can stick to all sorts of different tissues. Though this may sound very “Candy-cane and Christmas-like”, when glucose or especially fructose react with proteins in your blood, or tissues like your nerves, the resulting products, known as AGES and RAGES are not only very sticky, but they create a lot of inflammation and a high oxidative free-radical load. Since many throw caution to the wind over the holidays, it is good to know that Alpha-Lipoic Acid not only helps with insulin sensitivity and blood-sugar balance, but also inhibits these reactions, known as glycosylation and fructosylation, thereby preventing damage. (1)
In addition, the high level of insulin that comes with elevated caloric intake over the holidays can itself be very inflammatory. Hence, the goal is to have “a little insulin go a long way” by making sure you are sensitive to its message. For enhancing insulin sensitivity the combination of herbs and chromium in Opti-Gluco Balance can be invaluable. The ingredients in this product can not only help support healthy blood sugar, but can reduce inflammation, support balanced energy levels, and control cravings as well as the tendency to store body fat on an ongoing basis that comes high circulating insulin levels. (2,3,4,5,6)
(Gout sufferers...remember that high insulin drives gout!)
4.) Minimize carb cravings!
If you still find yourself giving in to cravings that you can't seem to control, the Garcinia cambogia in our Opti-Slim Garcinia is another tool for helping quell them. By diverting glucose from being stored as fat, and converting it to glycogen instead, not only does Garcinia help keep our blood sugar balanced, it also raises serotonin. (7) This increases feelings of being satisfied, and reduces cravings, particularly for carbohydrates. Overall, Garcinia taken prior to meals decreases appetite, which you may or may not want over the holidays!
5.) A healthy liver = healthy holidays!
Over the holidays you also may want to drink less alcohol! But if it's looking like your going to drink more, you may want to consider trying our very popular Opti-Liv Extra formula. This combination has the primary goal of supporting liver detoxification by increasing a critical substance called glutathione. Our stores of glutathione get used up quickly when our liver detoxifies alcohol. The ingredients in Opti-Liv Extra also support energy production, and blood sugar balance. So if you figure you've had too many sweet holiday beverages and will pay for it tomorrow, taking Opti-Liv Extra with plenty of water will go a long way towards helping your liver detoxify, and clear the unhappy by-products that cause hangovers. (Experience has shown this works even better if you take it 1/2 hour or more prior to your first drink.)
6.) Digestive support
And lastly...but definitely not least, are the vast array of foods that can "cuddle", hopefully not curdle, together in our stomachs all at the same time. From Christmas cake, short bread cookies and Turtles, to egg nog, champagne, spirits, stuffing, nuts, turkey, cranberries, potatoes, bacon bits, cheese sauce, gravy, pies and desserts...OMG! My digestion is grimacing just thinking about it! But for those of you who take the opportunity to have some of everything, you may want to remember to take some of our Opti-Digestaway to aid your digestion before embarking on your holiday gorge! It can definitely help share the burden on an overworked stomach and intestines.
So from all of us, to all of you, here's to having the best, most enjoyable holiday ever....albeit with a little help from Optimum Health!
John and Nicola