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    Eid Al Adha 2022: UAE officially announces holidays for public & private sector

    Lifestyle

    by Sarah Joseph
    1 minute ago

    The UAE government has announced the Eid Al Adha holidays for both private and public sector employees.
    Per the Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation (Mohre), the holiday will take place from Friday, July 8, 2022, until Monday, July 11, 2022.
    Per an announcement made by the Federal Authority for Government Human Resources (FAHR), the public sector would also enjoy a four-day break on the same dates.

    #MOHRE announces the #EidAlAdha holiday in the private sector from 8 – 11 July. Work will resume on Tuesday, 12 July. Eid Mubarak! pic.twitter.com/kHaDKVkJCj
    — MOHRE_UAE وزارة الموارد البشرية والتوطين (@MOHRE_UAE) June 30, 2022

    Work for both sectors will resume on Tuesday, July 12, 2022.
    The announcement was made following, the Dhu Al Hijja crescent moon which was sighted on Wednesday evening by Saudi Arabia’s Tumair Observatory, according to the Kingdom’s Supreme Court for the festival of sacrifice.
    So if you’re looking to take a break, without the added hassle of travelling, Emirates Woman has curated a guide of all the luxe staycations to book for a quick escape in the UAE. If you wish to travel without the COVID-19 restrictions, Emirates Woman has made a list of all the countries that are easy to book without any PCR test or vaccination certificate requirements.
    With the upcoming Islamic holiday all set to fall next week, per the Gregorian Calendar, we’ve also rounded up when you can expect the rest of the public holidays in the UAE to fall in 2022.
    Islamic New Year
    A couple of weeks later it’s the Hijri New Year. Falling on Muharram 1, it’s projected to fall around July 30, 2022.
    The Prophet’s Birthday
    The Prophet Mohammed’s birthday will fall on the 12 of the Hijri month of Rabi Al Awwal, which is predicted to be around October 8, 2022.
    Commemoration Day and National Day
    To close out 2022, those in the UAE will have another break to look forward to with Commemoration Day, December 1, and National Day, December 2.
    – For more on luxury lifestyle, news, fashion and beauty follow Emirates Woman on Facebook and Instagram
    Feature image: Instagram @emmett_sparling More

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    How to Set Resolutions You’ll Actually Keep

    Even though I know I don’t have to wait for the new year to start a new habit, new beginnings leave me wanting to feel like a new(er) version of myself and make resolutions to get there. But whatever resolutions I decide to make, I know that I’m going to do it out of self-love, not self-hate. For example, if your resolution is to work out more, do it because exercise helps you manage stress or because exercise makes your body feel good and your body deserves it, not because you want to change your body as it is or punish your body for the food you ate over the holidays. When you make resolutions rooted in fear or self-hate, you’re more likely to abandon the goal altogether by March (trust me). Because you deserve to feel accomplished, confident, and happier by 2023, here’s how to set resolutions you’ll actually keep.

    1. Get clear on what you want and why
    Stop and reflect on the last year and how you want to feel in the new year. What does that look like for you? Think about what it would look and feel like when you meet your resolution, and get specific (and I mean really specific). One of my resolutions is to hit the treadmill for at least 30 minutes whenever the day has me stressed because I feel less stressed when I am able to move. Maybe for you, it’s leaving for work 20 minutes early because you want to feel more relaxed and not rushing in the morning helps (or you feel your most productive when you have time to pick up an oat milk brown sugar shaken espresso from Starbucks). Tune out other expectations and visualize all the details around how you want to feel, and then set action goals around that feeling.

    2. Make the resolution realistic and manageable 
    We often set resolutions that we think are manageable but are actually impossible, and it’s the unrealistic resolutions that’ll have you tripping. For starters, try not to make too many changes at once. I want you to dream big sis, but I also want you to understand the assignment. Break down larger goals into smaller ones to position yourself to celebrate and be motivated by small wins. If your resolution is to get a certification in your career field, break that resolution into tasks, like getting the study materials or registering for the exam, to figure out your targeted completion date. Proclaiming that you’ll study six hours every day when you can realistically only study two hours a day might leave you feeling discouraged or overwhelmed and eventually ghosting your resolution. 

    3. Plan ahead
    Give your resolutions a fighting chance by setting yourself up for success. Try attaching your resolutions to any established habits you already have that you do regularly without thinking about it. If your resolution is to read eight books this year, and you’ve made more it manageable by breaking it down to read for at least 10 minutes everyday, make getting into bed your “trigger habit” to get cozy with a good book. Check if any of your resolutions pair well together. For example, your resolution to level up your skincare routine would go great with your bedtime reading resolution. Plan ahead by having your skincare items within reach and pick out a book ahead of time for your nightstand. The key is to find maintainable steps you can proactively take that support your resolution and work for you and your lifestyle.

    4. Switch up your routine
    One of my favorite quotes is “The definition of insanity is to do the same things and expect different results.” If your resolution is to change jobs, what do you intend to do differently this year to get to that resolution? More specifically, what habits do you have now that are holding you back from that resolution? Maybe you tend to lose two to three hours each night watching TV or scrolling on social media that could be spent fluffing up your resume or making connections on LinkedIn. Reassess your current routines and how you’re spending your time to block out time that would be better used to learn a professional skill, check job listings, or network with professionals in your industry. What we water grows, so realistically update your routine to reflect your new priorities.
     
    5. Schedule checkpoints
    Stay on track throughout the year by scheduling checkpoints. Depending on the length of your resolution, these dates can be weekly, monthly, or quarterly. Because you’ve thought about what it looks and feels like to meet your resolution, you’ll have the metrics needed to be able to tell how it’s going. For example, if your resolution is to save $5,000 for a vacation at the end of 2022, try checking your progress monthly. Have you been depositing $417 each month into your savings? Do you need to make any changes to your budget to help you stay on track? The pre-scheduled checkpoints give you a chance to reward yourself if you’ve met your smaller goals or adjust as necessary if you’ve been struggling. Having a schedule in place will increase the likelihood that you’ll hit your resolution by Dec. 31. 

    6. Get an accountability buddy
    I love checking in with my sister on the progress we’re both making with our goals. We encourage each other to stay focused on the big picture. Even though our resolutions aren’t exactly the same, our check-ins with each other are reminders not only to keep going but also that we’re not alone in successes or challenges. Your accountability buddy can also be someone in your virtual Weight Watchers group or book club. Having someone to bounce ideas off of, vent to, or be encouraged by makes a huge difference. It’s not about someone holding you accountable because you don’t have the ability to hold yourself accountable (hint: you should enjoy and feel motivated by your goals so much that it’s not hard to hold yourself accountable). Instead, having a “buddy” is about built-in support (it takes a village to reach a resolution!). 
     
    7. Stay inspired
    In order to stay motivated to reach your resolution, immerse yourself in foods, activities, content, and music that inspire you. If you’ve decided to learn French this year, make a French cuisine dinner with your friends to eat while you watch a French film and see how many words you were able to recognize. If your resolution is to run a marathon in the fall, listen to training techniques via YouTube or listen to podcasts with trainers and marathon winners that will keep you inspired and excited. There’s so much content out there to motivate you as you go after your resolution, so immerse yourself in whatever way will keep you inspired. 

    8. Remember your “why”
    Whenever I get distracted from my resolutions, I go back to why I started in the first place and remember that initial intention and how I want to feel. When you’re clear on what you want and why you want it, it’s easier to stay focused—especially when your “why” is rooted in something that matters to you like confidence, happiness, or a longer life. The pride that you feel from learning how to create a healthy and nutritious dish that gives you energy without sacrificing flavor or the idea of spending a longer life with the people you love will motivate you more than the desire to have a six-pack ever could. 

    9. Be kind to yourself
    Show yourself compassion if (and when) you fall short of your expectations. Talk to yourself as you would a friend (and we both know that friends don’t let friends trash talk themselves!). Journal or document your progress and also how you’ve been feeling while taking steps toward your resolution. Making progress toward your resolution is more important than being “perfect” or hitting your exact goals because you’re still getting closer to how you want to feel and the intention that matters to you. If you put yourself down or feel bad for not hitting certain expectations, your chances of ghosting said resolution will go up, so be kind to yourself, talk to yourself like you would a friend, and know that sometimes, resolutions are meant to be a starting point to become our best selves, not a final destination.
     

    The 15 Best Books for Your New Year’s Resolutions

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    Subscriptions to Gift the Wellness Lover in Your Life This Holiday

    If you’re looking for a gift they’ll actually use or need something last minute that still looks like you put a lot of thought into it, I have the solution for you: wellness subscriptions. If you’re anything like me, you spend most of the holiday season searching for the perfect gift that will make your loved one’s eyes light up when they open it. I love gifting items that my friends and family wouldn’t have thought to buy themselves, and I take great pride in finding unique pieces I know they’ll cherish or use every day. But there are times when someone on my list already has everything they need, so a trinket doesn’t seem like the right answer (looking at you, Dad). That’s when I resort to giving the gift of a membership or subscription. 
    And we’re not talking about the sample size boxes of the past. Subscriptions have come a long way and offer everything from meals to activities to products. Plus, a subscription that will help them eat healthier, exercise more, practice their spiritual health, or boost their mental health will not only be a favorite present during the holidays but will also help them reach their healthiest self in 2022—it’s quite literally the gift that keeps on giving. Read on for wellness boxes and memberships they’ll be sure to enjoy for months to come.

    Nutrition

    Healthy Surprise
    Snack Boxes
    Have a friend who’s recently gone vegan or has food sensitivities? By gifting a subscription to Healthy Surprise’s snack box, you can help keep their pantry stocked with dairy-free, gluten-free, soy-free, corn-free, wheat-free, and non-GMO goodies. Whether you select the Classic Box with 15 snacks, the Paleo box with 17 snacks, or the Big Box with 21 snacks, each box will feature a mix of bars, fruits and veggies, drinks, chips, candy, and nuts. Healthy Surprise offers 30, 60, or 90-day delivery frequencies and one, three, six, or 12-month subscription plans.

    Healthy Snack Boxes
    This subscription box is perfect for the health-conscious fitness lovers in your life. Each month, they’ll receive a mix of chips, jerky, drinks, snack bars, and granola, all of which are GMO-free, high in protein, low in sugar, gluten-free, organic, raw, vegan, and all natural. As a nice bonus, Fit Snack also includes nutritional tips, workouts, recipes, and mindfulness exercises with their subscriptions. Share this box with your fit friends for one, three, six or 12 months.

    Blue Apron
    Meal Subscription
    Give your loved one the gift of never having to decide what’s for dinner with a subscription to Blue Apron’s meal kits. The meals are also a great option for the person on your list who hates meal prepping or finding recipes (it’s me, I’m that person). Menu options span from vegetarian to WW-approved options, making this a foolproof gift to share with any friend, regardless of dietary preferences or health goals.

    Daily Harvest
    Meal Delivery Service
    For the loved one who loves to eat healthy but hates to cook, Daily Harvest has dozens of plant-based options, ranging from nutrient-rich smoothies to delicious bowls to vegan and gluten-free flatbreads that arrive freshly frozen for you to heat up whenever you need a meal on demand. Don’t sleep on their lattes, plant-based milks, and ice cream.

    Fitness

    Studio Bloom
    Online Pregnancy/Postpartum Studio Classes
    If you have a new mom on your Christmas list this year, a Studio Bloom membership is a great option if you know they’re working on their pregnancy or postpartum fitness journey. Studio Bloom by The Bloom Method is an on-demand fitness studio with over 300 exercise videos for every stage of pregnancy and motherhood. A subscription also gives access to an online community of like-minded mamas, free consultations with pelvic floor specialists, meditations, and recipes. Memberships are available monthly for $29 or annually for $240.

    Treadthrill
    Intensity Interval Training Subscription
    For the cardio lover in your life, Treadthrill is the ideal gift to keep them running through winter months. Think of it like your personal coach or trainer, with workouts designed for maximum results using choreographed high intensity interval training.

    American Ballet Theatre Zoom Classes
    Does your bestie dream of being on Dancing With The Stars or loves ballet? Look no further for the perfect gift than classes from the American Ballet Theatre. You can take classes from professional ballerinas and choreographers from the comfort of your own home so your loved one can live out their ballet dreams, whether they’re a seasoned dancer or newbie.

    obé Fitness
    Fitness Subscription
    Obé Fitness is basically a boutique fitness studio in your pocket. Filled with dozens of different kinds of workouts from barre to HIIT cardio to kickboxing to yoga, there’s something for everyone. They have an entire library of “express” workouts for 10 minutes and under as well as classes ranging from 30 to 60 minutes. (Trust us, the express classes are legit—you’ll be done with your workout in less time than it takes to make breakfast, but you’ll feel sore for days). Use code “TEG50” for 50% off your first month of Obé in addition to the seven-day free trial. 

    Spiritual Health

    Chakra Balance Shop
    Chakra Box Subscription
    Send good vibes to your spiritual Secret Santa with a Chakra Box Subscription by Chakra Balance Shop. They’ll receive a total of nine boxes with vegan and cruelty-free products, hand selected to assist in aligning a different chakra every month. Subscribers can expect to see a mix of nine to 12 items in each box, including essential oils, teas, crystals, affirmations, and meditations. Each box is $28.50.

    Mindfulness Membership
    We’ve tried the Headspace app before at The Everygirl and recommend anyone with anxiety to give it a try. If you have a friend who’s always stressed, has a hard time sleeping, or is just interested in practicing more general mindfulness, a Headspace membership may be just the thing for them. For $69.99/year or $12.99/month, your loved ones can use Headspace to meditate, exercise, and improve sleep and focus.

    To Be Magnetic
    Manifestation Program
    For the friend who is always working on their vision board, the Pathway Membership by Lacy Phillips is a thoughtful gift that will change their lives. Members will learn to unblock subconscious limiting beliefs and begin manifesting their best lives. The program offers a few pricing options: 12 monthly payments of $27, one annual payment of $324, or $1,500 for a lifetime membership.

    Mental Health

    Self-Care Subscription Box
    Give the gift of self-love and happiness this holiday season. TheraBox is touted as the #1 self-care subscription box with six to eight full-sized products curated by therapists every month. Subscribers will receive mindful activities and journals to process their thoughts and emotions as well as beauty and wellness products to #TreatYoSelf. There are a variety of subscription options, such as monthly for $34.99, three months for $99.99, six months for $191.94, or 12 months for $371.88.

    CoachCrate
    Personal Development Subscription Box
    If someone on your gifting list loves all things personal development and growth, they’ll love a CoachCrate subscription this year (trust me, I’d know. It’s on my wish list). Not one but two boxes are mailed out quarterly and include goodies like personal growth books, coaching plans, custom journals, and two to four self-care or wellness products. Because CoachCrate is so committed to the development of their subscribers, they also offer live Zoom workshops, quarterly challenges, and an online community. Payment options start at $94 for the year or $99 per quarter.

    Silk + Sonder
    Wellness Subscription Box
    For the wellness lover in your life whose favorite section of Target is the stationery aisle, give the gift of a Silk + Sonder subscription. Each month, members will receive a themed planner with writing prompts and exercises for self-reflection. These specially curated planners provide reflection, guidance, planning tools, and accountability. Access to daily audio rituals, a members-only community, and thoughtfully curated content are also included in a Silk + Sonder membership. Subscriptions are available monthly for $19.95, quarterly for $18/month, and annually for $14.90/month.

    25 Edible Gifts To Send to Your Friends This Holiday Season More

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    19 Gifts To Ask For To Kickstart Your New Year’s Resolutions

    As the holidays roll around, your parents, in-laws, siblings, significant others, and friends might be bugging you about what gifts you’re hoping to find under the tree this year. And somehow, the age-old proverb exists: When someone asks what you want, every single thing you’ve ever seen or heard of flies out of your head like magic. Instead of worrying about how you’ll reach all of those health and fitness goals the second the clock strikes midnight on Jan. 1, ask for gifts that will help you become your best self. No matter what your resolutions are this year, we’ve rounded up the best items to add to your wishlist that will not only bring you joy on Dec. 25 but will also help you become your best self in 2022.

    Charge 5 Advanced Fitness and Health Tracker
    The ultimate one-stop-shop to achieve any resolution, a Fitbit is our go-to gift (and item on our wish lists!) because it can track stress, sleep, and physical activity, so whether you are looking to monitor heart health, move more often, get better sleep, decrease stress, or all of the above, this smart band will help you get there.
    3 colors available

    Equilibria
    CBD Daily Drops
    If you’re looking to tackle the new year as your best self, look no further than these CBD Daily Drops from Equilibria. Our editors love adding these CBD drops to their morning lattes to help them start the day with a better mood, improved inflammation, and increased focus.
    Use code theeverygirl for 20% off of your first order! 

    Elements of Balance
    Blueberry Lemon Focus Drink
    Looking to kick your coffee (or Diet Coke) addiction, once and for all? These plant-based, zero-sugar elixirs not only replace bad habits, but are powered by adaptogens for any health goal. This one is meant to help you crush that work project or get through an afternoon slump, but don’t miss out on the Energy, Calm, and Sleep flavors as well.

    Blue Apron
    Meal Subscription
    If your goal is to cook at home more often (because whose isn’t?), we have the perfect gift idea for you. Blue Apron is an Everygirl favorite because of their wide range of delicious meals. You select whichever meals sound best to you, and it’s delivered to your doorstep with exact proportions of ingredients (no grocery shopping or food waste) and easy instructions. Blue Apron also offers more weekly Wellness meals than ever before (like WW-approved, 600 calories or less, or vegetarian) and trust me, these meals do not sacrifice flavor. You won’t be tempted to get takeout when you have a homemade meal this good—and easy to make!

    Sunrise Alarm Clock
    This is more than an alarm clock—it’s a personalized sleep and wakeup routine, including meditations and a sunrise light. This time of year is especially hard because the sun rises later, so it’s pretty dark and gloomy in the morning. This alarm clock will mimic the sunrise to bring you optimal energy whenever you wake up to get that workout or morning meditation in and then give you energy to achieve your goals all day.

    Acupressure Mat Set
    If you’re looking for something to add to a morning or nighttime routine, are working on reducing chronic pain, or just want to step up your wellness game, look no further. This acupressure mat offers a wide range of benefits like headache relief, less tension, and improved chronic pain for your healthiest body in 2022.

    Sport Duffle
    Gym bags are an essential piece to maintaining health goals because they make it easier for you to get to the gym (or to your yoga mat, to barre class, or on a run). Packing a gym bag the night before will keep you motivated and make exercise a “must” instead of a “maybe.” This one is our favorite for the most organized, roomy, and chic option.
    2 colors available

    Therapy Notebooks
    The Anti-Anxiety Notebook
    If your goal is to ease stress and anxiety, of course you know the basic steps (get a therapist, try meditation, gratitude journal, etc.), but also try adding this notebook into your routine. Designed by therapists to help ease anxiety (in between actual sessions), the notebook offers tips, exercises, journal entries, and more.

    WB-1 Bottle
    It can be easy to forget to stay hydrated, so drinking more is always a resolution. This bottle with time stamps will help you keep track of your water intake and also keep you accountable to drink more. Need more motivation? The body needs optimal hydration to stay energized, so if you achieve the hydration goal, you can get more motivation to achieve other goals too. This water bottle will help you get there.

    Authors: Danielle Duboise and Whitney Tingle
    Eat Clean, Play Dirty Cookbook
    If your goal is to dabble with plant-based eating (or just to eat more plants), this cookbook is perfect, whether you’re just starting out with eating more produce or you’re an expert vegan. Filled with recipes for everything from dessert to pastas to tacos, this is plant-based eating like you’ve never tried it before. It won’t feel like you’re working on a resolution at all!

    Therma-FIT Leggings
    Yes, the beginning of a new year is crucial to start off that year on the right foot, but the beginning of a new year is always freezing cold. If you want to train for a marathon in 2022 but can’t even go for a jog on Jan. 2 because it’s cold, I got you. This breathable fleece fabric will keep you warm until spring.

    Reusable Snack Bags
    The key to any healthy eating goal is preparation—when you have healthy options already chopped, prepped, and stocked up in your fridge, it’s way easier to throw together meals and you’ll be less tempted to order UberEats (even after long work days).

    Make Your Matcha Kit
    If your goal is to kick your coffee addiction once and for all, matcha is the wellness world’s favorite alternative. This kit from one of our go-to supplement brands have everything you need to DIY a frothy, delicious, quality cup of matcha.

    Grove Collaborative
    Reusable Produce Bags
    Because one of the best resolutions we all could have is to be more sustainable, these produce bags will not only encourage you to buy more fresh produce but also to be more eco-friendly with your grocery shopping (Bonus: They’ll also keep your produce fresher and more organized in the fridge).

    Express Tasti-Crisp Air Fryer
    Because everything tastes better when it’s fried, an air-fryer will transform your cooking, recipes, and meals. It makes any veggie or protein more delicious without the hassle of an oven or the unhealthy coating and processed oils of a regular fryer.

    Swift Run Sneaker
    Insider tip: If you’re struggling to find motivation to work out or are lacking confidence to try a different exercise class, new athleisurewear is the solution. Invest in sneakers that not only are good for your fitness goals but are also a style that you love—you’ll be much more motivated to keep up your fitness routine when you’re actually excited to get use out of these shoes.
    2 colors available

    Rolling Spinner Suitcase
    After the past couple of years, we all probably have the resolution to travel more and make the most out of 2022. This suitcase is our favorite option for fitting in more while still keeping everything organized for easier packing and more stress-free traveling (because we could all use more of that!).

    Obé x Bala Bangles
    1-lb Weighted Bangles
    These weighted bangles are going to be your secret weapon to staying fit. They strap on to your wrists or ankles for full-body toning, are easy to throw in your carry-on for travel, and can be worn during any exercise like walking or jogging for an added boost. And most importantly, look how cute they are!

    Sweaty Betty
    Bouclé Athletic Jacket
    If you like to stay in pajamas all day but still want to go for a run and crush your Zoom meetings, I’ve found the perfect gift for you. The bouclé fabric is so soft, you’ll never want to take it off, but it’s structured like an athletic jacket so you can wear it at the gym or on a jog, and the mock neck detail makes it look more sophisticated and elegant than a regular sporty bomber. Basically, it’s your go-to jacket for any resolution.

    12 Hacks to Hold Yourself Accountable with Your Resolutions

    This post contains a sponsored inclusion of Fitbit, Elements, Equilibria, and Blue Apron, but all of the opinions within are those of The Everygirl editorial board More

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    5 Easy Meditations You Can Do Anywhere To Help Deal With Holiday Stress

    Navigating holiday stress can seem nearly impossible, but I have a fix for you: meditation. Between family dinners with in-laws who like to argue, waiting in long lines while holiday shopping, or dealing with inevitable delays while traveling, the holidays can feel like the most stressful time of year. In a perfect world, we would all love to maintain our regular healthy routines through these months, but sometimes, it’s just not possible. So instead of putting pressure on yourself to do it all, stop, take a breath, and find little moments throughout the day to give yourself some self-love with an easy and quick meditation. 
    Meditation is an amazing tool for keeping calm during stressful moments of the season because it can be done almost anywhere and for any length of time. You also don’t need to have any previous knowledge or experience to start. As a breathwork facilitator and diehard meditation fan, here are five meditations I use consistently to help conquer the holidays with ease and joy. 

    1. The Starbucks Line Meditation
    If there’s one place where it is easy to succumb to anger and stress, it’s a Starbucks line: You’ve been waiting for a while, your to-do list is nowhere near ending, and the clock is just ticking by. Instead, turn the dreaded wait into a quick meditation by Suze Yalof Schwartz from her book Unplug.
    Length: However long it takes to get your coffee order
    Practice: As you are in line, begin by placing your gaze on your feet and noticing how they feel on the ground. Allow them to really connect to the floor beneath you. Then, very slowly, as the line moves, lift up one foot and place it, heel first, onto the ground in front of you. Continue with the other foot as well in the same slow motion. As you do this, notice how your body moves, how your ankle allows your foot to turn, how your legs work with your feet. Continue in slow motion, taking your time until you reach the barista. Once there, look your barista in the eyes and smile at them, then place your order. Nine out of 10 times, they will smile back; a smile always goes a long way. After you have ordered, continue the slow and careful movements to wait for your coffee. Once it arrives, pick up your coffee and feel the warmth of the cup, bringing it to your face and breathing in the smell before taking a slow sip and allowing the taste to absorb in your mouth. Just like that, your coffee line has turned into an easy reset. 

    Do you feel like you never have time for mediation? You don’t actually need 20 minutes, 10 minutes, or even one. Instead, try this 16-second meditation any time you’re feeling stressed, overwhelmed, or worried. This meditation by renown spiritual teacher Davidji is perfect for escaping a high-stress situation and giving yourself a moment of rest.
    Length: 16 seconds
    Practice: To start, think about something that has bothered you this week. Maybe you missed your flight, lost your wallet, or spilled coffee on your favorite shirt (whatever the first thing is that comes to mind!). Once you have it, close your eyes and take a deep breath in through your nose. Notice how the breath travels all the way down to your belly. Let it sit there for a moment before exhaling back up through your body and out your nose again. Once more, notice the breath as it escapes, pausing as it is released. Now you can return to your normal breathing. That was 16 seconds! If you were following along during those 16 seconds, you were not thinking about the past or the future, you were simply living in the moment. You most likely weren’t even thinking about whatever had been bothering you this week. You were fully present. In just 16 seconds, you can push the stress away. 

    3. The Traffic Meditation
    While some of us get road rage, others just feel triggered by any extra inconvenience during a busy time of year. Suze Yalof Schwartz created this genius meditation for those moments where you feel restless sitting in traffic. Pro tip: While this meditation was initially designed for trips in the car, it’s also great for a delayed flight. Think of this meditation as the perfect de-stressor for things that are out of your control.
    Length: 1-3 minutes
    Practice: The first step is awareness. Start by looking at the road and cars in front of you. Register your surroundings and how you are feeling. Maybe there is no movement, or you are late, stressed, annoyed, or want to scream. No matter how you feel, become aware of everything. The next step is to do a body scan. Start at your feet and notice how they feel, then your ankles, legs, and stomach. Continue until you have registered every part of your body all the way up to the top of your head. The final step is to connect with your breath. Start by breathing in through your nose for four counts, allowing the breath to go down into your belly, holding there for four counts and then letting out for four counts, and finally holding for four again. Repeat this breath a couple of times until you start to feel your body relax. Now, open your eyes and repeat the phrase “it is what it is” three times. Even if the traffic is still there, hopefully, your agitation is gone. 

    Practicing gratitude is always important, but it’s especially important during the holiday season when it can become easy to lose perspective and let holiday triggers or a busy schedule take over. This gratitude meditation by Deepak Chopra will bring you back around to awareness. 
    Length: 5 minutes
    Practice: Start by finding a quiet place where you can be alone (even your car or a bathroom will work). To begin, close your eyes and take a slow, deep breath in through your nose all the way down to your stomach. Hold it there for a moment before letting it out through your mouth. Pause and then continue the breath a couple more times until you feel more connected and centered. Now focus on your heart, feel it beating, and maybe even place your hands over it if you like. Ask yourself the question, “What are you grateful for?” Allow whatever comes into your mind, and then let the question go. “What are you grateful for?” Let your mind fill with images, words, or people that capture this. Now say to yourself in your mind, “Whatever happens today, I will not judge.” Repeat the phrase a few times. To end, slowly wiggle your hands and feet, open your eyes, and come back into your body. 

    It’s a long season of delicious desserts, tasty wine, and turkey dinners. Sometimes, it’s hard to say no to it all, which leads us to overeat and not feel great, or other times, we feel guilty when we do want to indulge and enjoy the food that the season has to offer. This meditation by Amanda Gilbert is here to help you eat mindfully, all season long. 
    Length: 5 minutes
    Practice: Begin by taking a few breaths to help center and connect to your body before starting. This meditation is meant to be done with food, so once you’re ready, take a moment to look at the meal in front of you. Take in the colors, the smells, and the shapes. Now you can pick up the food, and before you take a bite, ask yourself how you are feeling right now. Are you really hungry? Moderately hungry? Once you know, take your first bite and allow the flavors to burst in your mouth, chew slowly, and take your time before swallowing. How do you feel now? Are you less hungry? Did you enjoy the first bite? Continue to repeat this practice as you take your next bite and so on. Really register each piece of food and remember to eat slowly and mindfully. Once you have taken your last bite, sit for a moment and appreciate the food that filled you. Not too full, but fully satisfied. 

    35 Gratitude Affirmations To Help You Get Through the Holidays
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    5 Things To Try if You Feel Stressed During the Holidays

    Sure, many of us are wrapping up the year with a calendar full of family time and happy traditions, but this time of year also brings holiday stress like figuring out a budget for all the gifts you need to buy or finding time for every event. Throw in pressure at work and less energy from the lack of sunlight and it seems like we’re all doomed. Even as a wellness editor and health coach, my only health goal this season is to stress less. After all, the point of physical health is for mental health—eating nourishing foods and moving our bodies are simply tools to help us live our happiest lives. Since the holidays are known as the most stressful time of year (just as much as they’re known as the most wonderful time of year), I gathered the best tips to decrease stress in every area of your life so you have the most enjoyable, happy, and stress-free season possible. The Ghost of Christmas Present will thank you. 

    1. Try CBD
    We’ve talked a lot about CBD for deeper sleep and even help reaching orgasms, but this super ingredient should not just be reserved for the bedroom. CBD can help promote a sense of calm and stress relief without making you tired or have lower energy. Whether you’re stressing about an overpacked schedule, year-end work presentation, or just feel more stressed because of the time of year (the weather outside is frightful AF), CBD might be the secret ingredient you’re missing.
    We love Equilibria because their products are high-quality, organically grown, and made without GMOs, heavy-metals, and pesticides—it’s basically like the farm-to-table version of CBD (and when it comes to supplements, it’s so important to know where they’re coming from). To stay calm, help your body relax, and overall decrease stress, add the Daily Drops to your morning coffee for sustained stress relief throughout the workday, rub the Calming Roller onto pulse points for a stress relief boost before meetings, or take the Daily Softgels for increased stress relief over time.

    Equilibria
    Daily Drops
    Buy any two stocking stuffers, get one free from now until Dec. 13, and use code theeverygirl for an additional 20% off!

    Equilibria
    Dynamic Roller
    Buy any two stocking stuffers, get one free from now until Dec. 13, and use code theeverygirl for an additional 20% off!

    2. Eat mindfully
    Food can be a major source of stress, especially around the holidays. Whether your stress comes from the chores of grocery shopping, meal prepping, and cooking (it can be so much work!), or your stress is more along the lines of feeling like you broke your “diet rules” during holiday meals, nutrition can feel taxing. Since you have much more important things to worry about than how many calories are in that cinnamon bun or when to go the grocery store, get rid of expectations, rules, or habits and just eat mindfully and frequently check in with your body.
    For those of you who are stressed about how much work cooking is, search for ways to make meal prepping easier for you during this busy season: Is it worth investing in grocery delivery or a meal delivery service to eradicate some stress? Most importantly, frequently check in on what your body really wants for each meal (sometimes it will crave something nourishing like soup, and other times it will crave Chinese takeout—and that’s OK!). For those of you who get stressed about “overeating” at holiday meals, know that there’s plenty of room for mindful indulgences, even in a healthy diet. Give yourself permission to eat foods you enjoy, eat intuitively, and check in with your body. Are you feeling sluggish and need some more veggies to nourish or will you enjoy a slice of pumpkin pie? Forget eating for perfection—eat with the priority of self-compassion and it’ll drastically reduce your stress levels (guaranteed). 

    Source: @alainakaz

    3. Schedule alone time
    I live for a morning and evening routine. I love a warm cup of lemon water and gratitude journaling in the a.m., and I look forward to evening stretches, skincare, and meditation all day long. However, routines feel more difficult to fit in during the holidays (or any other busy time), and we don’t realize that practices we started in the name of “stress relief” are actually making us more stressed. If you’re frustrated that you didn’t make time for a morning meditation or you binged Netflix instead of working out, don’t panic. The goal of a routine (or any self-care practice) is not to check items that you’re “supposed” to do off of a list. Instead, the goal is to do something that makes you feel good, and that might look different every day or season. Your only stress-relief routine should be to make time for yourself every morning and night, and then be OK if what that time looks like changes.

    4. Prioritize having fun
    A realization that changed my life is that the only purpose of the holiday season is to enjoy it. That’s it. The purpose isn’t to buy the best gifts, fit in every single tradition, make the most delicious pie ever, or even see every person you care about. The purpose is just to enjoy it. Once you start reframing the purpose of the season, you’ll be able to start realizing how you’re holding yourself back from that goal and causing stress you could actually get rid of. It sounds so childlike and basic, but it’s the #1 reason most of us are stressed out this time of year. We don’t realize that the items on our to-do list that are meant to make the most of the season are actually keeping us from enjoying it. Before scheduling every event you’re invited to, adding a bunch of different wellness practices to your routine, or deciding what food you’re going to eat at every holiday meal, ask yourself if this truly helps you enjoy your life. If not, you know what to do: thank u, next. 

    Source: Maddie Galassi for The Everygirl

    5. Make a list of the top 10 sources of stress (and then fix what you can)
    Many people avoid facing their stressors or sweep them under the rug until it comes out in moments that wouldn’t typically cause a ton of stress, like your roommate leaving dishes in the sink or your boss scheduling an extra meeting. Spend a few minutes identifying and writing down the top 10 sources of stress in your life. Once you know where your stress is coming from, you’ll be able to find solutions. You can even go so far as to take your #1 stressor and come up with five things you can do right now to minimize it (and then do them). If you find that some of your stressors aren’t solvable, you can begin to accept what cannot be changed. Accepting life circumstances as they are can also help ease stress, even if you can’t actually change them (because you can always change mindset). 

    Lindsay Kramer
    Write It Down, Let It Go: A Worry Relief Journal
    If you feel worried about everything from work to-dos to how you’ll have time to bake that pumpkin pie for a family party, writing it all out will help you organize what needs to get done and (most importantly) release the worry.

    Paper Source
    The Anti-Anxiety Notebook
    Designed by therapists to help ease anxiety (in between actual sessions), this notebook offers tips, exercises, journal entries, and more.

     

    6 Techniques to Reduce Stress That My Therapist Taught Me

     
    Head to Equilibria and get two stocking stuffers to get one free from now until December 13, and use code theeverygirl for an additional 20% off! 
     

    This post includes a sponsored mention of Equilibria, but all of the opinions within are those of The Everygirl editorial board. More

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    How to Cope With These Common Holiday Triggers

    It’s supposed to be the “most wonderful time of the year,” so why are there so many holiday triggers? It’s the time of the year when families come together, gifts and food are abundant, and memories are made, but it’s also a time when it’s dark by 5 p.m., the weather is freezing, and Taylor Swift just dropped an album that make you want to cry, not to mention that this time of year can actually bring up a lot of painful feelings, anxiety, and stress. Whether your stress starts at Thanksgiving or you’re hit with the post-holiday sadness after New Year’s Day, read on for expert tips on how to cope and get through the season enjoyably.

    If you’re feeling pressure or exhaustion thinking about the season…
    You are probably expecting way too much. “The holidays are so stressful because there are a lot of ‘shoulds’ placed around them,” explained Chloe Ballatore, a relationship and communications expert and author. “Holidays have rituals, or repetitive activities, so really think through if doing these activities are serving your own best interests.” With the holidays approaching, identify where you think you “should” do something and if you’re doing it for any other reason than it makes you happy or you want to do it. Respect your own happiness over expectations and try not to do anything because you feel like you “should” do them. 

    If you have a negative relationship with food… 
    Whether it’s Friendsgiving, gift exchanges, Hanukkah, or Christmas dinner, holiday gatherings often revolve around food. For those with any kind of negative relationship with food or even a medically restrictive diet, the focus on food can be triggering. Tayler Silfverduk, a registered dietician who specializes in celiac disease and disordered eating, advised to be aware of food pushers, which are people who do not take “no” for an answer when offering food (even if it’s a well-intentioned aunt or grandparent), which can be highly triggering. If you need to, remind your family that your body and eating habits aren’t up for discussion. Overall, eat mindfully, have a game plan if you know you’ll have limited food options (like bringing a hearty side dish to eat for your main course if you don’t eat turkey), and consistently remind yourself that nourishment should be pleasurable—stress about food is worse for your body than any Christmas cookie or cup of eggnog. 

    If family get-togethers are triggering…
    Maybe you don’t get along with certain family members or maybe your family events can just be draining. Maybe you have family members who do not agree with your political or core beliefs, argue through every get-together, or make you feel stressed/pressured. Missy McCrickard, an energy healer, breathwork facilitator, and wellbeing coach, suggested setting boundaries with your family members or removing yourself from the situation altogether. It’s OK to say “No thank you” or “I can’t engage in this conversation.” When setting boundaries, let your family know the boundaries beforehand so they know what will or will not happen when you are together. You can also let them know you will remove yourself from the situation if you do not feel respected or comfortable. You cannot control anyone but yourself, so setting what your personal boundaries and reactions will look like is crucial for navigating tricky family dynamics.

    If you feel lonely during the holidays…
    Whether this time of year reminds you of family members who are no longer in our lives, you feel sad not seeing family this year, or the season is a reminder that you don’t have the relationship or family you want, the holidays can feel lonely. Dr. Rebecca Leslie, a psychologist and owner of Best Within You Therapy & Wellness, said that connecting in whatever way feels fulfilling to you is the most important thing to do when you’re feeling lonely. Set up friendsgivings, gift exchanges, or get-togethers (even if they’re virtual) with people who make you feel loved and supported. “If you’re feeling alone, know that you are not alone in feeling that way,” Dr. Leslie said. “Try to be kind to yourself and practice self-compassion.” Talk to yourself as you would your best friend or little sister, spend time with your favorite hobbies, books, people, and movies, and say ‘no’ to anything that doesn’t make you happier. Practicing self-compassion and fostering connection can help ease loneliness.

    If you’re sober during the holidays…
    If you find that many holiday traditions rooted in a partying or drinking environment feel triggering to your sobriety in any way, set boundaries and seek support. Beth Bowen LMSW, a coach for alcohol-free and sober-curious women, suggested managing your physical, mental, and emotional energy by making sure you are getting extra sleep, turning down invitations to events you don’t want to attend, fueling your body with nutritious food, and exercising regularly. These practices can help you feel grounded so you can make choices that help your body feel best. If you feel uncomfortable being sober in an alcohol-focused environment, bring your own non-alcoholic beverage or perfect your non-alcoholic order so you can have something tasty and celebratory. This can be a mocktail, non-alcoholic beer/wine, or something like sparkling water. 

    If you are financially stressed during the holidays…
    While this season should be more about spending time with loved ones than spending money, we often like to show our love with gifts come the holiday season. Beyond our shopping list, we spend money on new outfits, food and drinks to bring to parties, travel expenses, etc., which can all really add up. “First and foremost, remember you are not alone,” said Sara Kuburic, a holiday triggerspsychotherapist, consultant, writer, and columnist. “Stick to your budget, be honest with people you are spending time with, and find traditions that are more affordable or free.”
    Good news: Gifting doesn’t have to break the bank. Homemade gifts like jewelry, candles, or art can help erase some of the expenses and can even be more personal and thoughtful than a store-bought gift. Lastly, while it can be a bummer to say “no,” try setting boundaries around foregoing gift exchanges or events that cause you more financial stress than enjoyment. Instead, make plans with loved ones for activities that won’t cost a lot of money (and stress): a virtual catch-up, movie night at home, walking around the neighborhood to look at the lights, or a potluck and BYOB dinner (so you’re not in charge of providing all the food and drinks). 

    And no matter what you feel triggered by…
    Practicing consistent self-care is crucial all year long but especially during extra stressful or triggering times like this season. “Make a schedule every day so you can plan ahead and schedule in ways to care for yourself,” suggested Dr. Elizabeth Lombardo, PhD, a celebrity psychologist, keynote speaker, and author. “Determine which days will be particularly demanding and plan self-care activities before, during, or after those days.” Also, when you feel triggered in the moment, have a game plan. Try grounding yourself by taking 10 deep breaths from your belly, journaling, venting to a trusted loved one, or any other coping skills you have in your toolbox. Lastly, you should not be triggered, struggling, or coping alone. Seek support from friends, family, or a therapist.

    Anxiety, toxic family relationships, and depression can feel isolating, but you shouldn’t have to feel as though you’re going through it alone. Please reach out to your doctor, a therapist, or another trusted professional for support.
    National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-TALK (1-800-273-8255)
    Crisis Textline: text CONNECT to 741741
    If you are struggling with an eating disorder or with disordered thoughts or behaviors regarding food and eating, please seek help. Call the National Eating Disorders Association Helpline at 1-800-931-2237 for support, reach out to a qualified medical professional, or, for a 24-hour crisis line, text “NEDA” to 741741.

    35 Gratitude Affirmations To Help You Get Through the Holidays
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    PSA: The Holidays Can Seriously Mess With Your Gut Health—Here’s How Experts Prevent It

    From Thanksgiving turkey to New Year’s champagne, the holidays are full of delicious indulgences, favorite foods, and a busy social life, which are all fun and games until the gut health issues and digestive drama kicks in. There’s a reason that “holiday belly” is a thing and our digestive symptoms either worsen or resurface when the season starts. Maybe you even expect a constant stomachache from now until January or stock up on digestive enzymes and anti-gas pills this time of year (if you ask me, the real Grinch is painful bloat and constipation).
    The good news is that gut issues don’t have to be a given with the holiday season like the ugly sweater your mom will make you wear or the embarrassing cards she’ll send to relatives. Gut issues are typically due to specific problems and routine changes that come around this time of year, which means they are manageable. Because I’m personally over the digestive drama, I asked experts how to keep my gut health in check without giving up my favorite foods and traditions. Here’s what they said. 

    What makes gut health worse during the holidays?

    Lack of routine
    Turns out, your gut might not be as spontaneous as you are. Packed schedules, holiday travel, and a totally abnormal diet are all factors that can affect gut health. “The gut thrives in routine, especially when it comes to sleep, exercise, and meals,” explained Erin Judge, RDN, a registered dietitian nutritionist, gut health expert, and founder of Gutivate. “The holiday season throws off routines, thanks to travel, busy schedules, and shorter days. This can confuse the gut and lead to digestive symptoms, especially changes in bowel motility.” Just like your sleep cycle and menstruation cycle, your gut works best when it’s on a cycle too. When you’re eating at unfamiliar times (like late at night) or your body is going through general routine changes (like changing time zones), your gut might be affected.
    “When we’re changing time zones or even just out of normal routine, our internal rhythms are disrupted, often causing the metabolism to be less effective,” agreed William Siff, a licensed acupuncturist, clinical herbalist, ethnobotanist, and health educator who founded Goldthread Tonics. “Weaker digestive fire leads to slower digestion, which will cause gas, bloating, inflammation, and more.” It’s not just about what you eat during the holidays that wrecks havoc on your gut (but more on that below)—lack of consistency in all areas of your life can lead to weakened digestion and a confused gut. 

    Chronic stress
    If you think your packed schedule, growing shopping lists, and family turmoil only affects your sanity, think again. Stress levels are a huge factor in gut health because the gut and brain are connected (via the gut-brain axis). “The gut and the brain communicate, so stress can cause us to clench muscle groups and hold tension in our abdomen, which can affect digestion,” explained Willow Jarosh, MS, RD, a dietician nutritionist and expert for Health-Ade. “Stress can also lead to changes in movement in the gut, and stress-related gut symptoms can vary (like constipation, diarrhea, gas, bloating, cramping, etc.).” 
    “The stress of the holiday season can increase cortisol levels, which sends the body into the sympathetic nervous system state,” Judge agreed. “During this state, the digestive system also goes into a state of stress, which can lead to changes in bowel motility and bloating.” Stress can affect gut symptoms by changing the chemical messages passed along on the gut-brain axis and also because we often hold tension in our abdominal muscles, which tenses the gut, causing cramping, gas, constipation, or irregular bowel movements. “Tension forms in the gut area when we’re feeling stressed, and these tight muscles in our diaphragm make digestion harder,” Siff explained. Bottom line: Stress is not just something you know you should improve eventually—it deserves to be the #1 priority when taking care of your health. 

    Abnormal diet
    No surprise here: Those sugar cookies, spoonfuls of gravy, and glasses of holiday punch are not your gut’s BFFs. “Holiday foods are higher in sugar and fats that slow down the gut due to malabsorption and are lower in fiber that helps regulate the gut and improve the health of gut microbes, leading to bloating and discomfort,” Judge explained. Your favorite holiday foods from a cup of eggnog to cornbread casserole are often less nutritious because of the high sugar content (who can say “no” to gingerbread?) and contain less fiber, which is an essential nutrient to keep the gut healthy and keep you regular.
    So while our holiday diets typically have less fiber that feeds the good bacteria, the increased amount of sugar is feeding the bad bacteria. “We likely eat more sugar this time of year, which can imbalance the gut microbiome and allow the bad bacteria to grow,” Siff said. However, the answer is not to avoid all of your favorite foods for fear of a gut flare-up. In the end, a rich meal or a sugary cookie here and there is not going to majorly affect your gut (and the body is meant to detox all on its own), but changing your diet and eating less crucial nutrients over a period of time can cause uncomfortable gut symptoms. 

    How to keep your gut healthy during the holidays:

    Stay consistent whenever you can
    Yes, routine is crucial, but our routines don’t have to be perfect to be beneficial. You don’t need to leave a holiday party early if you’re having fun just to keep your regular bedtime, and you shouldn’t forego traveling to keep your gut in check. This also doesn’t mean you have to fit in a 60-minute workout every single day or bring a container of your go-to meal to a holiday dinner, all in the name of “consistency.” Instead, be consistent where you can, whether it’s having the same morning routine (no matter where you are or what time it starts), getting seven to nine hours of sleep (even if that means 1 a.m. to 8 a.m. instead of your usual 10 p.m. to 6 a.m.), and fitting in movement (whether its a 60-minute workout or a walk around the block with your mom). 
    Judge recommended eating meals throughout the day, getting enough hours of sleep every night, and fitting in movement, because any amount of consistency helps keep your gut stay happy. But consistency doesn’t have to mean doing the same thing every day—it can simply mean taking time to check in with your body. “Try to carve out time each day to do something that helps you connect to your body, whether that’s a meditation or a walk without your phone,” Jarosh recommended. “Try to keep sleep consistent, hydrate throughout the day, don’t start a diet or try to skip meals in preparation for holiday meals, and practice strategies to avoid diet-related talk or feel the need to detox (that can cause stress on both the mind and body).”

    Prioritize stress relief 
    “Health, especially in the gut, always begins with the mind because our core area is extremely sensitive and actually has more nerves than anywhere besides the spine,” Siff explained. In other words, staying positive and seeking joy (including joy with food!) is not only good for your experience but also good for your gut. Judge recommended prioritizing habits that can help your body move into the parasympathetic nervous system state, or “rest and digest.” “This can be done through diaphragmatic breathing, mindfulness exercises, meditation, and adequate sleep. Starting your meals with breathing and mindfulness can also help you digest your food better and have less discomfort,” she said.
    In general, doing whatever you can to keep stress levels down can have a huge effect on your gut, digestion, and symptoms. So when you’re about to go ham (pun intended) on a huge holiday feast? You know what to do: Take some deep breaths, eat mindfully, and enjoy every bite without one bit of shame, guilt, or regret.

    Start strong in the morning
    Have you ever skipped meals or ate light snacks throughout the day, knowing you were going to a big holiday party at night and thought it was best to save room or calories? Yeah, same. In reality, the body does not work that way. If you go into a holiday buffet or extravagant dinner without properly nourishing your body throughout the day, you’ll be more likely to mindlessly binge, eat past the point of fullness, and not make mindful decisions of what you would really enjoy or what would nourish the body.
    Most importantly, breakfast is an essential chance to get in crucial nutrients that will help the gut stay healthy, even with added sugars and lack of fiber in other meals later in the day. “Starting every day with a breakfast rich in fiber is a guaranteed way to improve your gut health because prebiotic fiber is the fuel for probiotics and can help keep your gut healthy,” suggested Kara Landau, RD, a gut health expert and founder of Uplift Food. No matter what your holiday plans entail later, start the day off strong with a smoothie full of fruits and veggies, add leafy greens and onions to an omelet, or eat a side of fiber-rich fruits like berries to get in some added good-for-the-gut nutrients.

    Be mindful about meals
    Good news: Every expert I talked to agreed that you do not need to give up your favorite foods and that stress over food is worse for the gut than any cup of eggnog or slice of pumpkin pie could ever be. If you eat a diet rich in whole foods and nutritious fruits and veggies most of the year, a buttery dinner roll, plate of creamy Alfredo, or a few too many glasses of punch at the office party won’t make any difference. Instead of restricting, just be mindful. Your plate can (and should!) contain both the foods you love and the nutrients you know are going to make your body feel good.
    “The holiday season is a time for treats and indulgences, but your diet can still include gut-friendly nutrients,” suggested Sofia Popov, MSc, BSc, a microbiome scientist and founder of GUTXY. “Eating fiber helps your gut bacteria make short-chain fatty acids, which give your gut energy and keep digestion running smoothly.” Bottom line: Enjoy your favorite foods, but don’t skimp on the Brussels sprouts, salad, and pomegranate seeds—your plate and your gut have room for it all. 

    Improve Your Gut Health By the End of the Week More