People gain an average of five to seven pounds over the winter months, a fact blamed on everything from holiday sweets, drinks, and comfort foods to cold weather and Seasonal Affective Disorder. But if we start healthy daily practices now we can feel better and weather the winter months healthier.

A healthy diet, exercise, and mindfulness can all play key roles in a healthier body, mind, and spirit. Here are four practices you can start today to help you maintain health and vitality through the busy holidays and cold winter months:

1. Eat for Energy — When our vibrations are low, we often turn to “comfort foods,” but the irony is that most of these so-called foods of comfort, while perhaps initially pleasant to the palate, can have a net-negative effect on our emotional healing. On the other hand, think of how great you feel when you do a cleanse or go a few days eating fresh, locally-sourced fruits, vegetables, and lean meats while drinking lots of water. When you adopt healthier eating and are mindful of what you put into your body, you often feel in harmony with your highest self.
Some things you might consider including in your healthy eating routine:

• Incorporate super foods (kale and avocado are two great examples).
• Purchase locally grown foods and know where your food comes from.
• Don’t diet — change your way of eating on a fundamental level.
• Try out being a vegan or vegetarian; it’s good for you and good for the planet.
• Avoid processed foods and MSG.
• Avoid GMOs (Genetically Modified Organisms).
• Enjoy oils such as olive, avocado, and coconut that are rich in unsaturated fats (the healthy kind of fat).
• Eat smaller meals more often throughout the day.
• Avoid sugary drinks.

Don’t forget to drink the proper amount of water each day. Dehydration can manifest itself as hunger, so you end up consuming unneeded calories when what you really need is more fluids.

2. Move More, Eat Less — Thirty minutes of moderate exercise each day will greatly improve your strength and stamina, and if partnered with mindful meditation it can keep your brain free from clutter. For example, just three 10-minute walks throughout the day can help keep you physically fit and emotionally strong. You can easily incorporate more activity into your day by:

• Using an exercise ball as a chair at your desk, or use a standing desk.
• Using the stairs instead of elevators or escalators.
• Parking in the furthest parking spot to incorporate more steps.
Walking or bike instead of driving whenever possible.

3. Embrace Gratitude — At one time or another most of us have found ourselves in a downward spiral of negativity. A nearly perfect lifeline to pull yourself out of the pity party and approach your higher self is gratitude: 99 percent of the time, you will find that your life is not as bad as you are currently viewing it. A great way to start a practice of gratitude is to start a gratitude journal. Each morning when you wake, write down five things you are grateful for or are looking forward to. Each evening, write down five things that happened to you that day for which you are grateful. Keep a small journal close at hand so when you feel the negative vibrations taking hold, you can keep them at bay by remembering the beautiful things that surround you.

4. Let Go of the Past — One of the most important steps on your way to becoming your highest self may be simply to let things go; in other words, practice acceptance. Some people and situations are never going to change, and if you continue to fight against that, you are just wasting energy. Agonizing over the past or speculating about the future is also a waste of time and energy.

When you change your mindset about things in the past, you may feel lighter, as if a weight has been lifted off your shoulders. You do not necessarily have to forget — you just need to change your mindset about how you feel. Live in the present, and focus on and enjoy what’s happening now.

Author's Bio: 

About Dr. Bradley Nelson: Veteran holistic physician Dr. Bradley Nelson (D.C., ret) is one of the world’s foremost experts on natural methods of achieving wellness. He has trained thousands of certified practitioners worldwide to help people overcome physical and emotional discomfort by releasing their emotional baggage. His best-selling book "The Emotion Code" provides step-by-step instructions for working with the body's energy healing power. A newly revised and expanded edition of "The Emotion Code" is now available (May 2019, St. Martin's Press). For more information and a free Emotion Code Starter Kit, visit