The holiday season is officially behind us. While we reminisce about all the festivities, snow days, and food and drink consumed, it’s time to ring in a new year! So, what are some of the holiday-hangover symptoms we need to shake off for a strong start? Here’s your guide to the foundation for wellness success, whether it’s getting back into the normal routine or preparing for your New Year’s resolution (which officially starts next week, right?).
November and December are the months many of us forget how to consume reasonably. Between big family dinners, baking with the kids, and one-too-many beverages with friends, getting your digestive health back in order might be high on your list of goals.
Probiotics vary and can be live bacteria, live organisms, and/or yeasts. These are all the beneficial kind, and specific strains have been shown to help with gas and bloating, as well as boost the immune system and reduce inflammation in the gut and the body.
What we’re loving: Garden of Life Gas & Bloating, 100 billion formula
Enzymes are activated in the stomach and help break food down into smaller, more manageable nutrients. Enzymes are targeted and can break down fats, protein, fiber, and carbs. You have probably heard of lactose and casein, but there are many others. They leave your body feeling lighter and can increase your energy, while also reducing occasional indigestion, gas, and bloating.
What we’re loving: Enyzmedica Digest Gold™ and Enzymedica Lacto™
What’s the difference between the two? Probiotics go to work when they make it to the intestines and help us with long-term health and gastrointestinal comfort, while enzymes prefer the stomach and are fast-acting for more immediate digestive support
We all love our family (and extended family…and extended-extended family), but hosting can definitely take a toll. Mix in holiday shopping and winter weather, and it’s easy to see why so many of us feel frazzled by the time January arrives. Now is a good time to relax and de-stress!
Ashwagandha is an adaptogenic herb that’s been in use for over 2,000 years. It helps your body cope with and adapt to ongoing stress and anxious moments. It can also help support better sleep and daytime energy.
What we’re loving: Oregon’s Wild Harvest Ashwagandha
L-Theanine is an amino acid that comes from the green tea plant. It promotes mental relaxation and calmness, while enhancing concentration. It can be taken any time of day and supports sleep quality when taken at night, but it won’t make you drowsy. Suntheanine is a purified, clinically researched, and patented form of L-Theanine.
What we’re loving: Natural Factors Suntheanine Chewable Tablets
Don’t underestimate the importance of a good night’s sleep! Seasonal stress leaves many of us in a sleep deficit and, if you need a little help, melatonin is what you’re looking for. There are a variety of fun options including flavored gummies and sprays (as well as capsules).
Melatonin is a hormone produced by the human body that helps regulate our internal clock. Increased levels of melatonin tell your body that it’s time for sleep. Stress, pain, and hormones can all interfere with our natural melatonin production and sometimes we need a little nudge to fall and stay asleep. Some people like a little bit and some like a lot—it’s recommended to start low and slow and increase as needed.
What we’re loving: Natrol Sleep Calm Gummies, Onnit Instant Melatonin Spray (Lavender)
Whether you’ve been running around with the kids over the holiday break, cooking away in the kitchen (and cleaning), or just feeling the effects of the cold weather, there’s help out there to reduce some of that pain you may be feeling.
Turmeric, which contains curcumin, is fantastic for pain resulting from inflammation. Curcumin is the naturally occurring compound found in turmeric root that is full of antioxidants which help our bodies deal with pain and inflammation. It also supports the liver, brain, heart, and immune system.
What we’re loving: Dose for Soreness, Terry Naturally CuraMed
Don’t forget we’re still in cold and flu season! Nothing is worse than feeling motivated to tackle the new year, then developing a pesky cough and runny nose. Let’s look at some ways to help with preventive measures, remedies, and post-care to ensure you’re off to a strong start.
Manuka Honey is a superfood that comes from bees that gather pollen from the wild Manuka flower that grows only in New Zealand and Australia. Manuka honey’s antibacterial, anti-viral, and anti-inflammatory properties come from a naturally occurring unique range of beneficial prebiotics, amino acids, polyphenols, and minerals, not to mention that it is high in vitamins B and C that support our Immune system inside and out. You want to look for Manuka honey with a UMF (Unique Manuka Factors) and/or MGO (methylglyoxal) certification that ensures the quality, purity, and authenticity of the honey.
What we’re Loving: Comvita Manuka Honey
Elderberries have an ancient history of supporting the immune system and maintaining whole body health. They’re shown to be anti-viral, anti-inflammatory, and antioxidant-rich, and they help reduce nasal congestion. Taking elderberry all cold/flu season-long is a great way to keep yourself a few steps ahead of all the germs.
What We’re loving: Gaia Black Elderberry Syrup
Colloidal Silver has been used for thousands of years in the medical field for its antibacterial properties, treating wounds and infections. It was first used to purify and clean drinking water, and NASA still uses silver ions to purify water on the International Space Station! It’s shown to be an effective tool to maintain, sustain, and support your immune system. It’s completely taste-less, non-GMO, gluten-free, and vegan.
What we’re loving: Sovereign Silver Daily+ Immune Drops and Spray
So much of winter wellness is related to the weather. You may have noticed that as it gets colder, your skincare routine becomes increasingly important to help with dry skin, chapped lips, and more. The cold weather can compromise your skin health and create, or exacerbate, dry skin conditions like redness, flakiness, itching, and even eczema and psoriasis. Here are three steps to make sure you get the best results:
Exfoliate – So many don’t give exfoliants the credit they deserve, but if you leave dry skin cells on the top layer, your moisturizer won’t be able to reach the lower layers and you’ll be left with greasy/oily skin that still has flakes.
Hydrate – This is different than your balm or moisturizer. Look for a serum or essence that contains ceramides, hyaluronic acid, or squalene.
Protect –This is where your moisturizer, face oil, or balm comes in. Make sure it’s applied while your hydration layer is still damp. This creates a seal to best protect your skin from water loss throughout the day.
Don’t forget your lips and your body—same rules apply.
What we’re loving: Wild Carrot Borage Butter Face Cream, French Girl Organics Rose Lip Polish, French Girl Organics Le Lip Tint, Acure Ultra Hydrating 12 Hour Facial Moisturizer, Patchology Get Dewy with It Face Mask, SpaRitual Hand Serum, Derma E Ultra Hydrating Dewy Skin Serum
Some of that post-holiday discomfort may have you thinking about a detox. Antioxidants can help to clean up toxins in the body, with greens acting as a sponge to bind those things we aren’t great at processing.
What will greens do for you? The list is impressive. Most people see an increased energy, improved regularity, healthier digestion, clearer skin, liver support, and reduced sugar cravings.
What we’re loving: Sun Food Simple Nutrition Green Blend, Amazing Grass Green Blend Detox + Digest
A few too many candy-cane cocktails and hot buttered rums over the holiday season can leave you feeling extra tired, along with headaches or brain fog, parched skin, and/or a general sluggish feeling. Your hydration levels are probably to blame. Adding electrolytes to your day just might turn that around.
Make your water work harder for you! Electrolytes make sure the water you drink actually makes it into your cells where it’s needed the most. This also means you don’t have to drink that gallon of water—with the addition of electrolytes, you get deeper hydration with less water intake.
What we’re loving: Liquid IV (lemon-lime), Ultima Replenisher (watermelon), Buoy Hydration Drops
Did you know that eating tons of sugar, refined carbs, and less-than-healthy fats can all impact your overall health creating a nutrient deficit? So long holiday cookies and candies—hello, multi-vitamins!
Multi-vitamins are created to help address minor nutrient deficiencies that usually come about due to stress, less-than-ideal eating habits, and even some genetic factors. They’re a great way to make sure you’re hitting all the bases if you’re not quite sure which nutrients you need. Your body will use what it needs and easily excrete anything it doesn’t.
What we’re loving: SmartyPants Kids Formula, Garden of Life MyKind Men’s Multi, Vitamin Code Women’s Multi
Daily balance includes support for your Brain, Heart, and Mood.
Omegas support your brain, heart, eyes, joints, mood, skin, and overall health. We mostly hear about omega-3s—DHA and EPA which are essential fats, meaning they can’t be made in our bodies and must be taken in through foods or supplements. They are vital to our cells and are the building blocks needed to create hormones that regulate all sorts of key protective functions like blood clotting, artery wall function, steady heart rhythm, and reduced inflammation. All that indulging we did during the holidays could have thrown our omega-3 levels out of whack with an influx of omega-6s that are found in holiday foods (cookies, cakes, breads, chips, dips…need I go on?) and can lead to all sorts of internal inflammation and discomfort.
What we’re loving: Wiley’s Finest Fish Oil, Carlson’s Wild-Caught Super Omega-3 Gems, Nordic Naturals Ultimate Omega, Iwi Heart (plant-based), Funcho Brainy Chocolate
Sometimes you just need a little extra push to get through your day! Whether you’re a caffeine junkie or prefer a non-caffeinated pick-me-up, we’ve got you covered.
What we’re loving: Seattle Gummy Company MOCCA Shots Gummies, Om Morning Energy Blend