11c-progressive-all-in-one-blApple pie, turkey, handfuls of Halloween candy, and calendars filled with lots of upcoming holiday parties…here is your “how-to” on surviving and thriving through the holidays.

Forks digging into tender turkey pieces dripping with gravy. Handfuls of tiny, sweet treats left over from trick or treating. It is holiday season and our calendars are overcrowded with upcoming holiday parties. With all of the food we eat this time of year, some of it sugary and fatty, we can suffer from digestive distress, fatigue, moodiness and a general overall feeling of “blah”. Plus, it is all served up with a side of holiday stress.

Stress leads to the release of an inflammatory compound called IL-6 that has been linked to many diseases including heart disease. According to the American Psychological Association women most frequently turn to food for comfort (41%), and drinking as an escape (28%) during the holidays.
Breathe and Eat

Surviving the holidays requires two things: taking a moment to breath every now and then; and eating nutrients that help keep you feeling healthy and energized. But, wait! Don’t stress about how you will get helpful nutrients into your busy lifestyle. Foods that improve digestion (fiber, probiotics, enzymes), boost your immunity and energy levels (greens and berries), and keep you feeling full so you can overcome cravings (protein, fiber) can easily be found in one place.

Sidestep Holiday Weight Gain
Avoid weighing-in this holiday season with the help of fiber. Fiber can help make you feel full and satisfied. Plus, fiber traps fat and sugar in the digestive tract to help reduce absorption. Also, reach for high-quality sources of protein such as whey protein and plant-based proteins (brown rice, yellow pea). Protein is slow to be digested in the body, causing you to feel full longer. Feeling full and satisfied from protein and fiber can help reduce the amount of calories you eat – this is helpful when the cupboards are full of snack-sized candy bars and the boardroom is stocked with holiday cookies.

Shake It Up for Healthy Holidays
If you haven’t yet embraced smoothies, there is no better time of year than this. Putting nutrients that promote health into the blender is an easy and convenient way to start the day, or enjoy a healthy meal quickly mid-day.

You can make a smoothie by simply adding a pre-made smoothie mix in water or juice. Or, you can create a smoothie in your favourite flavour, you can make it banana, vanilla, strawberry, peanut butter or even maple syrup, by using an unflavoured smoothie mix.

All the Goodness in Just One Scoop
Looking for all of these helpful holiday nutrients in one place? Check out Progressive’s All-in-One products: VegEssential™ and WheyEssential™. They combine the benefit of an entire cupboard full of supplements with the ease of consuming a single smoothie.
WheyEssential™ contains over 80 ingredients to deliver a spectrum of nutrients, including omega-3 plant oils, fruit concentrates, fiber, vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. A convenient one-a-day, All-in-One smoothie!

WheyEssential™ features a blend of proteins imported from New Zealand. The cattle that produce the milk used to create these proteins are raised without the use of growth regulating steroids or milk inducing hormones (including rBGH). The milk is free of antibiotics and is routinely screened for over 200 agricultural and chemical contaminants. Whey protein has been scientifically proven to improve health in many ways, including enhancing immunity, promoting fat burning, preserving lean muscle mass and preventing bone loss.

VegEssential™ embraces the wisdom of consuming an alkaline-forming, whole-food diet. VegEssential™ draws on almost 100 plant-based ingredients to deliver an incredible spectrum of both micro (antioxidants, B-vitamins, minerals) and macro (protein, fiber, omega-3 plant oils) nutrients. VegEssential™ is made with a handful of plant-based proteins and a wide array of green foods (6-8 servings of vegetables per smoothie).

WheyEssential™ and VegEssential™ are convenient and delicious, all-in-one smoothies that are packed with healthy benefits. They enhance lean muscle growth, strengthen immune function, help to detoxify and alkalize the body, assist with healthy liver function, and it supports healthy skin, eyes, bones and teeth.

Fill your blender with quality nutrients to keep you feeling energized, improve digestion and reduce stress. Here’s to hoping you and your family enjoy the holidays, get to eat lots of good food, and live young.

References:
1. Rohleder, N. et al. Role of interleukin-6 in stress, sleep, and fatigue. Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences, July 2012;1261(88-96).
2. http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1749-6632.2012.06634.x/abstract
3. Danesh J, Kaptoge S, Mann AG, Sarwar N, Wood A, et al. (2008) Long-Term Interleukin-6 Levels and Subsequent Risk of Coronary Heart Disease: Two New Prospective Studies and a Systematic Review. 2008.
4. http://www.plosmedicine.org/article/info%3Adoi%2F10.1371%2Fjournal.pmed.0050078
5. American Psychological Association: Holiday Stress 2006.
6. http://www.apa.org/news/press/releases/2006/12/holiday-stress.pdf
7. Frestedt, J. et al. A whey protein supplement increases fat loss and spares lean muscle in obese subjects: a randomized human clinical study. Nutr Metab (Lond) 2008;5:8. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2289832/
8. Hall WL, Millward DJ, Long SJ & Morgan, LM. (2003) Casein and whey exert different effects on plasma amino acid profiles, gastrointestinal hormone secretion and appetite. Br Jour Nutr 89(2) 339-348.
9. Health Canada – Whey Protein Monograph. http://webprod.hc-sc.gc.ca/nhpid-bdipsn/atReq.do?atid=whey.prod.lactoserum&lang=eng
10. Marshall K. Therapeutic applications of whey protein. Altern Med Rev. 2004 Jun;9(2):136-56. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15253675
11. Tokaev, ES et al. Composition and clinical use of bovine colostrums. Vopr Pitan 2012:81(3):35-40.
12. Zemel MB. Mechanisms of dairy modulation of adiposity. J Nutr 2003; 133:252S-256S. http://nutrition.highwire.org/content/133/1/252S.full