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Happier Holidays: How to mindfully eat drink and be merry!

With a little advance planning and a few strategies in mind, you can enjoy the holidays with your own wellbeing in tact! Here are some ideas for maximum joy:

Plan Ahead for Holiday Parties:

  • Eat a healthy snack prior to going to a holiday gathering to avoid over-eating. Foods that contain fiber such as vegetables, beans, and nuts help you feel satisfied.

  • Bring a healthy offering such as vegetables and hummus, fruit and dip or a festive salad.

  • Have a food strategy in mind. Budget your calories wisely and only indulge in homemade foods and treats that are truly special to you. Skip the store bought junk.

  • Move away from the food table! Move your conversation away from the food to a place where you won’t be tempted to “pick.”

Get plenty of rest:

  • Sleep deprivation causes over-eating and increases stress hormones.

  • Get 7 to 9 hours of sleep when possible.

Manage your stress:

  • Make time for a “quiet” moment. Stop, sit down and take a few deep breaths.

  • Practice letting go - things don’t have to be perfect! It’s better to under-promise and accomplish your goals, than to over-promise and feel stressed and discouraged.

  • Simplify! Do you really need to prepare a 5-course meal when a 3-course would do just fine?

  • Ask for help if you need it - what can you take off of your to do list? What is really not necessary?

Exercise when you can:

  • Exercise helps to burn calories and to reduce stress.

  • Add extra steps to your day: park farther away at the mall, take the stairs instead of the elevator, or take a brisk walk after a holiday meal.

Stay hydrated:

  • Alcoholic and caffeinated beverages are dehydrating. If you indulge, drink an 8-ounce glass of water for every alcoholic or caffeinated beverage you consume.

  • Sugary beverages are very high in calories. Stay away from high calorie soda and coffee drinks and go for mixers such as club soda with a squeeze of lemon or a splash of fruit juice.

Moderation, moderation, moderation!

  • You do NOT need to suffer and feel like you are depriving your

self over the holidays. Have the foods you enjoy but be aware of eating/drinking sensible portions.

  • Be particularly mindful over the holidays. Ask yourself – am I making the best choice? How will I feel after I eat/do/say this? Will this food/situation/relationship nourish me physically/emotionally/spiritually?

Wishing you a very happy and healthy holiday season!

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