5 Tips for a Healthier Holiday Season, According to Nutritionist Serena Poon

While the holidays are undoubtedly a time full of love, celebration and our favorite indulgences (usually too many of them), it's no secret that they can also be accompanied by the stress of planning and the exhaustion felt after coordinating the whole shebang.

Here's the thing: Stress causes inflammation in the body, which can put a serious damper on your health. Because of this, it's important to give your mind and body the support and nourishment it needs during these situations—and equip yourself with the right tools to do so. We tapped Serena Poon, celebrity chef and nutritionist to let us in on a few of her favorite secrets for creating better habits this holiday season. Top of mind for Serena is Elixinol, a champion of hemp for more than 25 years. Their mission is simple: to deliver high-quality CBD products that provide real results for real people. Check out Serena's top five tips, below.

tips for a healthy holiday
Getty Images/Klaus Vedfelt

1. Stay Hydrated

“Drinking lots of water is important on a regular basis, but even more so during the holidays when we find ourselves indulging a bit more and may have a higher level of stress,” says Serena. She explains that when our bodies are properly hydrated, everything functions better—including our metabolisms, our digestion, our natural detoxification process, mental acuity and our bodies' ability to properly absorb vital nutrients.

“Since our bodies are comprised of over 70 percent water, drinking enough water and staying hydrated creates an immediate shift in the way our bodies look and feel. More often than not, when we think we’re hungry or tired, we’re actually just dehydrated. So whether it’s your fourth virtual holiday party of the week, or your fifth trip to the store or you’re feeling tired from the extra hustle and bustle, instead of reaching for that caffeine or sugary drink, have a tall glass of water and give your body a few minutes to absorb and reset.”

2. Find a Grounding Practice and Use It to Decompress Daily

Whether it’s for an hour or just a couple of minutes, it’s important to take time for yourself every day. “I love meditation and breathing exercises,” says Serena. “Meditation is proven to be beneficial for long-term health and wellness, and even meditating for just a minute or two a day delivers benefits. A great place to start is with the 4-4-4 breathing exercise.” Here’s how it’s done:

  • Breathe in deeply through your nose, to the bottom of your stomach for four counts.
  • Hold the breath and visualize light filling up your entire body for four counts.
  • Finally, exhale deeply through your mouth for four counts.
  • Repeat at least three times and for up to five minutes.

3. Create a Balanced Health Regimen—And Stick to It

“Finding a routine that helps you stay grounded and balanced is so important. I often talk about how beneficial routine and supplements are in my life, because when you take care of your body, your body will take care of you,” Serena says. “Along with my daily herbs and supplements, I take Elixinol’s Organic Balance CBD Tincture to round out my health regimen. I love using the organic full-spectrum CBD as a reliable support in helping maintain my physical and mental healthy lifestyle.”

4. Eat Grounding Foods

Stuffing and wine, cookies and cocktails—those holiday goodies can get the best of you. And while Serena encourages you to enjoy yourself (in moderation, of course), she also notes how important it is to balance it out with ground foods, i.e. foods that keep your energy strong. Here are some examples of her favorite grounding foods:

Root Vegetables: “Vegetables grown in the earth carry powerful, grounding qualities,” says Serena. Some examples of nutrient-dense root vegetables include sweet potatoes, carrots, yams, radishes, beets, parsnips and turnips.

Soups and Stews: Serena believes that “hearty, nourishing soups and stews are the ultimate food for comfort and security. Even the preparation of making a warm soup or stew is healing and cathartic, as it’s a slow and transformative process. Root vegetables and a mineral rich broth are grounding and supportive.”

Grounding Spices: “I love spices like ginger, cardamom, cloves, turmeric, allspice, paprika, cinnamon and coriander,” she says. “They are warming and grounding. Cook with them, add to teas and soups, and enjoy the depth of flavor and the balance they offer.”

5. Get More Sleep

Sleep is crucial to physical and mental health, and Serena explains why: “When we sleep, our bodies rest, reset, and recuperate. A lack of sleep can weaken our immune system, disrupt our gut health, and completely throw our hormones out of balance. A lack of sleep also tends to amplify emotions and feelings of stress and anxiety. When we don’t get enough sleep, our adrenals become imbalanced, our cortisol levels rise and we find ourselves wanting to indulge our cravings.

“For those who are fans of melatonin or natural sleep aids, Elixinol has Good Night CBD Sleep Capsules that includes a powerful combination of full-spectrum CBD oil and a low-dose melatonin that work together to aid in the sleep your body needs to rest, recover and reboot. The capsules are great for those nights you think you might need extra help falling asleep and staying asleep. A good night’s rest can help you manage stress and make healthier choices during the holiday season.”

Elixinol has been a leader in the industry before it became an industry. And for the last five years, they've focused their efforts on the science, research and development of word-class cannabinoid products.

Read on for more information about Serena's top CBD picks, below

elixinol omega turmeric cbd

Elixinol Omega Turmeric Capsule

“We know that stress, both physical and emotional, can cause inflammation in the body, which can, in turn, plant the seeds for chronic illness. Inflammation can affect a range of things including our gut, brain, mobility, and more. Two of the best defenses for that are the strong antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties found in turmeric,” explains Serena. Elixinol’s vegan Omega Turmeric Capsules are designed specifically to provide antioxidant support, and the capsules also include Algae derived DHA that is rich in omega 3 to help support our brain and joint function.

BUY IT ($70)

elixinol stress less cbd

Elixinol Stress Less Capsule

“One of the most effective ways I recommend to combat any type of holiday stress is with the supportive and nourishing effects of a potent adaptogen, Ashwagandha,” Serena says. “I love how the ingredients in Elixinol’s Stress Less Capsules work so synergistically with the full-spectrum hemp extract to balance the body and mood. It can also be taken daily alongside the Organic Balance Tincture, since day-to-day stress is really just a part of every life. Giving ourselves the tools to manage and mitigate daily stressors optimizes our health and quality of life.”

BUY IT ($65)

elixinol organic balance cbd

Elixinol Organic Balance Tincture

“I love Elixinol’s Organic Balance Tincture and I try not to go a day without it, even when I travel,” raves Serena. “I find that both the daily ritual of using the Organic Balance Tincture, along with its subtle and effective ability to bring harmony, has been so supportive for me, especially on days that may be more stressful. This particular full-spectrum CBD product is truly unique, using organic whole-hemp extract blended with certified organic MCT oil and BCP (beta-caryophyllene), and the entire product has been certified through Pro-Cert, North America’s premier USDA organic certification organization.”

elixinol good night capsules

Elixinol Good Night Capsules

“By boosting the levels of melatonin that naturally occur in your body, Elixinol’s Good Night Capsules encourage a better sleep cycle overall. Their custom blend of full spectrum CBD oil and low-dose Melatonin (2mg) helps me to find that sweet spot of restfulness,” says Serena. “I love that Elixinol’s products are 100 percent natural.”

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Director, Branded Content

Cristina Gutierrez is the Director of Branded Content at Gallery Media Group. She produces sponsored media campaigns across all verticals, in addition to researching, testing and...