Relax and Enjoy the Holidays!

I often hear people stressing out about gaining weight through the holiday season.  Is it a fair concern?  It can be; however, below are some tips to make it through the holiday season.
1.    It is not the holiday’s fault …  What I mean is that Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Years, Valentines, St. Patrick's Day, Memorial Day, 4th of July, Labor Day and Halloween are only 9 out of 365 days.  Even if you had another 40 days that are unhealthy with parties and special events there are still over 300 days to build your health around.   Relax and enjoy these celebrations!  Just make sure you win the other 300 days in a year.  
2.    Holiday Parties … These are different from the actual family feast on Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year’s… these are the parties you find yourself invited to through the week during the holiday season.  Eat tapas style … small plates … small servings… and choose two healthier choices for every splurge.  Enjoy only one beverage that contains calories. 

3.    Don’t skip meals … this will help you during the holiday feasts not to eat as much.  Eat a healthy breakfast, snack healthfully and drink plenty of water especially before the “Big Meal.” 
4.    The candy and sweet baskets at work … treat yourself to only one a day, and enjoy it.  Follow tip #3 and it will be much easier.
5.    Plan, Plan, Plan … this simply means be thoughtful about the meals you are eating on a regular basis during the holiday season.  Think through your week ahead of time.  If you are traveling on the road, pack a healthy meal in a cooler.  If you are going to be in restaurants, check out the menu online before going and go ahead and make the healthy decision before you arrive. 
6.    Eat Right at Home … plan your grocery list for the week … make your refrigerator and cabinets at home a sanctuary of clean, whole foods.  Keep your refrigerator full of vegetables and fruit.  Purchase 5 different green veggies and 5 other vegetables of different colors as well as 5 different fruits.  Buy a variety of beans, nuts and seeds.  Purchase whole grain brown rice, oatmeal, whole grain cereal, and quinoa. You can find plenty of recipe ideas on the Internet.  Vegetable and bean based soups and salads made with citrus dressings, nuts and seeds will keep you full and healthy.  Keep your refrigerator and cabinets free from “junk food.”  If you don’t have the processed food and “junk food” at home, guess what?  You won’t eat it!
7.    Stay Active … make sure to schedule your exercise time into the week.  Throw in an extra walk for the extra splurges.  Pick out 3 days with one hour dedicated to exercise.  Put it in your calendar as a scheduled appointment.  Don’t break the appointment.  Treat it as an important meeting you have with someone very important … YOU.  If you have an unavoidable situation arise simply reschedule.  There are 168 hours in a week. Commit 3 of those hours to exercise!

To your health,