Tips for a Healthy Holiday

Khalil Rafati

The holidays are a wonderful time for gathering together with family and loved ones to exchange gifts and share in one another’s company. But while this season of eating, drinking and merrymaking is fun, it can also involve stress and poor health habits. The Malibu Times sat down with local business owner Khalil Rafati of SunLife Organics on Point Dume to get some tips on keeping healthy through this joyful season. 

Malibu’s a pretty laid-back community. What kind of changes do you see in people’s eating and living habits during the holidays? 

The main thing we see over the holidays has more to do with the weather change, which is more people fighting off colds and looking for immune boosts. 

What’s your advice for people who indulge a little too much, to help ward off food and beverage hangovers? 

Coconut water is chalk full of electrolytes and will help you rehydrate, which is particularly important for the “beverage” hangover part of that question. Ginger is also a great cure-all and is great for digestion and calming the stomach. But my personal favorite is turmeric tea, which contains cold-pressed ginger and turmeric, raw honey, lemon, cayenne and alkaline water. It really brings you back to life. 

What are some of the best ingredients to strengthen the body and mind especially in stressful times and during the colder winter days? 

The turmeric tea would be great for this. Not only does it have unparalleled anti-inflammatory properties, but recent studies have shown turmeric to be as effective as Prozac in fighting depression. 

What is the biggest health temptation or downfall you see in people during the holidays? 

The biggest downfall during the holiday is getting caught up in stress. People over-plan, over-shop, and then have a knee-jerk reaction and over-eat. 

There is no shortage of rich and sugary foods over the holidays, so that’s probably the most tempting vice. And I think it’s common to fall into a mindset of “I give up on trying to stay healthy through the holidays…I’ll shape up after New Year’s,” which makes it that much harder to “get back on the wagon,” so to speak. 

Life is so precious and so short. We need to put down our iPhones and love one another. The last thing I need is another “thing.” Hayley and I have begun practicing a “Gift of Love” policy with family, friends and each other. Consider giving the gift of love. 

If someone could only change one thing in a day to make a difference for his or her health, what would you suggest? 

The single most important thing that will drastically change someone’s health would be to drink a large green juice with lemon every day. Make sure it’s organic—don’t assume, ask! If the answer seems vague or ambiguous, ask to see the produce. If it’s organic it will have a sticker or band that says “100% Certified Organic.” If it doesn’t say certified organic, it’s not! Eat organic, drink organic. It does make a difference for your well-being. 

Also, eliminate bread and/or sugar. 

What’s changed the most in the community since you opened your store? 

People are coming together and communing. I see plumbers and billionaires, yoga teachers and high school kids all sitting together and eating and drinking healthy and organic food. That’s the beauty of being here, watching people make healthy lifestyle choices and enjoy one another’s company. 

What are your plans for the New Year? 

I’ll be opening up Malibu Beach Yoga in January and as of last night will be opening up a SunLife Organics on Montana and 17th. We are really excited about that! I’d like to open more stores and with it spread the message of health and wellness and to engage in my mission: Love, Heal and Inspire.