Feel Your Best with Healthy Habits for the Holidays

Alex, Matt, and Kris share how they use our Feel Your Best habits to enjoy the holidays without sacrificing their overall health goals.

The holidays are a time to celebrate food, family, and traditions. But for many, it can be a stressful time that can lead to overeating, lack of energy and enjoyment, and feeling overwhelmed. It may not be 2023 just yet, but it is never too early to prioritize your health. We spoke with three Wegmans employees who shared how they use our Feel Your Best habits to enjoy the holidays without sacrificing their overall health goals. They are hoping that sharing their successes will encourage their colleagues and customers to pick up a habit or two for themselves.

Alex Schmanke works in the frozen foods department at our Irondequoit store. In 2020, when his poor eating habits and sedentary lifestyle began to cause health issues, including weight gain, he knew it was time to make changes. He was only 17 and living with his parents. He had little knowledge of nutrition back then but was keen to learn. He began with the Stock for Success habit by turning a bookshelf in his bedroom into a pantry of healthy snacks. He then focused on planning meals, which is especially helpful during the busy holiday season. Today, not quite two years after his journey to a healthier lifestyle began, he has mastered many of our Feel Your Best habits, losing 154 pounds! His pride comes from more than just weight loss. “I’m so amazed at the things I’m capable of,” he said. “I couldn’t run for a whole minute before I lost weight, now I try and run at least a mile every day.” His success has inspired his mom and several co-workers to make food and lifestyle changes that benefit their health as well.

Matt Fitzpatrick, receiving team leader at our new Wilmington store, says his go-to habit for the holidays is to Be Mindful. He says that by paying attention to what he eats – the flavor, texture, and smells – and eating slowly has prevented him from overindulging. He used to find himself overeating to the point of discomfort and was unable to appreciate the time with his family. “Now I take the time to enjoy the special foods of the holidays instead of just eating a lot quickly,” he said. His ability to make healthier choices also gives him more energy to play with his two young grandchildren. He also proudly said, “utilizing the concepts learned directly from our Wegmans Nutrition team, I have been able to maintain my desired weight.”

Kris Bragg, on our pharmacy third party accounting team, says it’s about picking the best meal plan and food for you. “If I’m eating a certain way, but it’s not sustainable, then that’s not the best option for me,” she said. She’s been enjoying Half-Plate Healthy meals and snacks for years which helps her to Eat Plant Foods more frequently. This means she makes sure at least half of her plate includes fruits and veggies, then she can put whatever she wants on the rest of it, which she finds very helpful during the holidays. “If I’m going to eat a Christmas cookie, for example, I make sure to make it half-plate healthy by adding a piece of fruit.” She added, “I’ve also gotten very good at taking smaller portions of the holiday foods I really like. That way I can enjoy them and not get overly stuffed.”

Alex, Matt, and Kris all believe that incorporating the Feel Your Best habits helps them live healthier, better lives, and wish the same for you. Everything you need to incorporate the Feel Your Best habits can be found on the Feel Your Best section of our website. Happy holidays and cheers to a healthy new year!