How to Enjoy the Holiday Season When You're Chronically Ill | The Health Sessions

How to Enjoy the Holiday Season When You’re Chronically Ill

December, the month of celebrations. From the Dutch Sinterklaas, Hanukkah, Christmas and New Years Eve , it’s the time for culturally-rooted festivities all around the globe.

But it’s little different celebrating when you’re chronically ill.

Pain, fatigue and other horrible symptoms can definitely mess up your plans and traditions. Depending on your personal health situation, enjoying things like shopping for presents, cooking an elaborate Christmas dinner, attending parties or even staying up on New Year’s Eve may not be an option – or one you pay a high price for with days or weeks of recovery time.

The trembling legs, relentless nausea or breathlessness won’t go away for a day just because today is a holiday and you want to celebrate. You still feel as good, bad or awful as you do every day, and it’s hard to keep smiling, enjoy the feast at the table and focus on sparkling conversations around jou when you experience throbbing pain or ’embarrassing’ stomach troubles at the same time.

So how can you make the most of the holiday season even when you’re chronically ill?

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10 Nutritious One-Tray Meals for Busy Days

10 Nutritious One-Tray Meals for Busy Days | The Health Sessions

 

It’s a common scenario in busy times or on flare-up days: dinner time rolls around and you’re too tired to cook.

Enter: the one-tray meal. 

A one-tray meal, also called sheet pan dinner, is a complete dinner baked on a single oven tray. It ticks all the boxes of the perfect weeknight meal: a nourishing dish that requires little effort make and is even easier to clean up – what’s not to love?

So if you’re looking for an easy way to put a healthy meal on the table, try one of these 10 well-balanced, one-tray oven dinners

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Getting Things Done with Chronic Illness: Housekeeping Hacks 101

Getting Things Done with Chronic Illness: Housekeeping Hacks 101 | The Health Sessions

 

It’s probably one of the most common dilemmas of the 21st century: “How do I get everything – work, family, household, social life – done with the limited amount of time and energy that I have?”

This problem only becomes more pressing when you suffer from health problems. Because how do you juggle making a living and taking care of your loved ones when your inner battery only charges up to 50% every day and runs out of energy much quicker than everyone else’s?

Basically, there are two broad strategies to tackle a mile-long to-do list when you’re worn out:

  1. Find ways to recharge your battery better – e.g. improve the quality of your sleep, eat nutrient-rich meals or gradually increase your fitness levels.
  2. Experiment with life hacks that help you do everyday things more efficiently.

 

Now there’s lots of advice on this website (and in my upcoming ebook!) on getting healthier and more energetic, but let’s face it, some days you just have to make do with the tiny bit of power that you have left. That’s why I want to share a series of tips on how you can do more with less energy in all areas of your life, starting with the inescapable job of running a household.

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The Essential Guide to Transforming Your Health For Good

The Essential Guide to Transforming Your Health For Good | The Health Sessions

 

A new year, a fresh start. 

The beginning of another year always feels like the perfect opportunity to set big goals, pick a ‘theme‘ for the upcoming twelve months or create healthy new routines. But dreaming away and making plans is the fun part – actually realizing your goals is a lot more challenging.

Making New Year’s resolutions has gotten a bad reputation, because so many of us fail to quit smoking, lose weight or hit the gym on a regular basis once the initial motivation and excitement wears off. It’s not surprising that we often don’t succeed in our efforts, since we tend to get carried away with ambitious goals we want to achieve in no time. Real change doesn’t happen overnight; it takes clear intentions, realistic expectations and setting yourself up for success – plus a good dose of perseverance and luck.

Now, I’d hate for you to set your New Year’s resolutions because you feel you need to improve yourself in order to be ‘good enough’. No matter your size and shape, health, abilities and all your quirks, you are perfectly fine just the way you are now.

But I also know what it’s like to wish you were fit, strong and able enough to make that once in a lifetime trip with your lover or dance on your best friend’s wedding. To hope your brain fog would clear so you can study and take driving lessons. If you want less pain and more energy, less worries and more happy moments, less dependence and more mobility, setting goals the right way can surely help improve the quality of your life.

That’s why I rounded up my best articles from the archives, packed with science-backed tips on how to build healthy habits and tried-and-tested ideas for eating healthier, moving more and stressing less. 

And hopefully this will be the year in which you’ll transform your health for good, one baby step at a time.

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How to Effortlessly Make a Healthy Dinner When You’re Tired

How to Effortlessly Make a Healthy Dinner When You're Tired | The Health Sessions

It’s non-negotiable. Just cook.” – Sarah Wilson on Twitter.

 

If you want to eat healthily, making your own meals (most of the time) is not an option but a necessity. It’s the best way to have a say in the ingredients, add variation to your overall diet and limit your intake of refined sugar, trans fats and artificial flavours.

Now, I love cooking. And I love all the amazing, wholesome recipes on food blogs these days. But honestly, after a long day of running around after a one-year old, squeezing in writing and household chores during naps, it sometimes feels like too much effort to cut up tons of veggies and spend an hour behind the stove.

You’ve probably felt the same way when you’ve had a tiring day, whether that’s because of work, illness or way too active kids.

And while it’s tempting to just shove a pizza in the oven whenever you’re too tired to cook, as a rule it’s better to find a healthy alternative to ordering takeout or heating up microwaved meals. Processed foods often contain too much salt, too little veg and an addictive combo of high sugar/high fat. And frankly, most convenience meals are just plain bland in taste compared to a home cooked dinner.

So let’s have a look how you can still put a nutritious meal on the table when you’re running low on energy.

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